Wind of change

The European Union is gearing up for a period of institutional renewal that will shape its agenda for the coming years. With the EU’s political parties preparing their policy manifestos for Europe’s future, and with the European Commission readying itself for a new mandate, it is the right moment for a stocktaking of where we stand on probably the most emblematic policy of this institutional cycle: the EU Green Deal.

The pursuit of the Green Deal has been a rare pillar of constancy for the European Commission during a period in which successive geopolitical crises and macroeconomic upheavals have forced shifts in political focus. Upon her appointment in 2019, Commission president Ursula von der Leyen described the green transition as Europe’s “new growth strategy” – and that interweaving of the climate crisis with the need to stimulate job creation has guided EU policymaking ever since. Notably, the EU’s response to the unprecedented challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic was a recovery fund that placed green investment at the heart of its action. Equally, a shocked EU reacted to Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine with a strategy that emphasised green energy as a way of breaking old dependencies.

As a strong undercurrent to these top-level political developments, the EU over the past several years took major strides forward in its sustainability agenda – from overhauling emissions trading to frontrunning the world in laying out a system to guide flows of sustainable finance. While the upcoming elections create a natural staging post, Europe is also at a cross-roads in its green ambitions.

The advent of the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act posed an existential challenge to the EU’s approach to tackling the climate crisis, showing the firepower of a federal budget that Brussels does not possess.

In tandem, political headwinds are mounting against the green regulatory agenda – raising the question of how hard legislators can push to reshape industries and behaviour during economically tough times.

At FleishmanHillard, we are committed to connecting the dots between these political developments and the policy detail thus giving maximum foresight on what lies ahead. In this spirit, we have prepared a Policy Guide to help you navigate the changing landscape in all key sectors – from Energy & Climate, to Sustainable Finance and Healthcare; from Environment & Chemicals to Digital and Agrifood.

Get your copy of the guide by reaching out to [email protected].

Underlying it all is one certainty: whatever new policy avenues and course corrections the EU chooses to explore over the coming years, the need to tackle the climate crisis will be an inescapable imperative.

  • David Turier

    David is the General Manager of FleishmanHillard’s EU Office. He specialises in providing strategic counsel for clients seeking to influence policy whilst bridging the gap between more traditional government relations and fully integrated campaigning. David has been involved in creating large-scale multi-market communications campaigns for...

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