The role of European Union policies in accelerating the green transition

Annika Hedberg
Senior Policy Analyst, European Policy Centre
& Stefan Šipka
Policy Analyst, European Policy Centre

The EU can and should play a major role in addressing the planetary crisis, in enabling and accelerating the transition to a more sustainable world. It can do this by acting as a rule-maker and enforcer; as a major producer and consumer; as a source of significant funding within the EU and beyond; as a convening power; as an innovator and as a standard-setter. As the planetary crises know no boundaries, it is in the EU member states’ interest to work together and agree on common rules for action. As the role of the government is to safeguard public interest, it is in the EU’s interest to use the power of legislation (directives, regulations), economic instruments (public funds) and soft law (guidelines, stakeholder platforms, voluntary commitments) to ensure sustainable prosperity for Europeans today and tomorrow. The European Green Deal provides a valuable updated framework for action and a basis for a new growth strategy for Europe. While the pandemic and now the Russian war on Ukraine are testing EU leaders’ commitment to the goals of the Green Deal, it provides the needed guiding light for the way forward.