Given the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the European Commission is reviewing its priorities for the current year. Some initiatives, including those from the recently presented Green Deal package, will be postponed until next year. However, the revision of the Batteries Directive should remain within the planned timetable (see also article above).
Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans recently told the European Parliament's Committee on Industry, Research and Energy that while the current focus is on the Covid-19 crisis, this does not mean that other urgent issues such as tackling the climate crisis are put on hold: efforts are being made to keep to the timetable as much as possible. According to Timmermans, the Green Deal is not a luxury that can be discarded in times of crisis; it is an essential building block for the future of Europe.
The importance of green transformation was also reiterated in an op-ed piece by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen which was published in a number of European outlets. Von der Leyen stated that green initiatives showed how the bloc would move forward after the Covid-19 pandemic. “We need to invest strategically in our future. For example, in innovative research, digital infrastructure, clean energy, a smart circular economy, and transport systems of the future. A Marshall Plan of this nature will help build a more modern, sustainable and resilient Europe.”