On 4 February, European Commission Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager hosted a Conference on Competition Policy contributing to the European Green Deal in which over 600 participants from the private and public sectors discussed how competition rules and sustainability policies work together. The conference brought together different perspectives on the link between competition and the Green Deal and covered topics such as innovation, green growth, competition rules and the State aid.
This event is a follow-up to Vestager’s intention to launch a European debate on how EU competition policy can best support the Green Deal and a call for contributions launched by DG Competition that ended in November 2020.
In her opening remarks, Vestager underlined that the fight against climate change is a global fight and maintained that while competition policy is the best tool to achieve Europe’s green goals, it can’t replace environmental regulation or green investments. The question is rather if we can do more, to apply our rules in ways that better support the Green Deal.
“We need to work together. We need every country in the world to play its part. Europe can lead the way and we are, but we cannot do it alone”, Vestager stressed.
Moreover, Vestager shared with the audience some of the initiatives that the European Commission is launching to ensure that competition policy is aligned with the goals of the Green Deal, including the revision of State and regional aid and a report with the input from all the consultations launched.
The Conference marked the start of a student challenge in which university students with an interest in competition policy and enforcement can submit essays sharing their views on the main topics of the Conference. These essays will be published on the DG competition website. See more here
Great discussion today #EUCOMPGreenDeal - thanks so much to all! Competition must play its part to make the world greener and keep driving innovation. Ideas incl updating rules on state aid for energy & environment, consulting on the framework & guidance on horizontal cooperation pic.twitter.com/LVd95T48N3— Margrethe Vestager (@vestager) February 4, 2021
Photo credit: © European Union 2020 – EP/Alexis Haulot