EU Commission right to act to protect the European single market from foreign subsidies in a post-Covid world
MEPs from the Renew Europe Group have today welcomed the launch of a white paper and a consultation led by Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission, setting out proposals on how to address foreign subsidies in the Single Market and ensure a level playing field.
Renew Europe believes it is imperative that a European approach is taken in this area and for the integrity and openness of the single market to be maintained. In parallel, we need to invest now to ensure the European economy can thrive, by providing the environment that European companies need to succeed.
Dacian Ciolos, President of Renew Europe, said today:
“I strongly welcome the launch of today’s paper and its consultations. We cannot permit third country subsidies to distort the level playing field of our single market. There is a need to mitigate the risk that European companies facing financial uncertainty because of the COVID-19 pandemic are vulnerable to a takeover from state sponsored companies, which may not be in the strategic interests of our citizens and the broader European economy.”
“Our world has changed dramatically and we must respond to new realities. National Governments are introducing new takeover rules, it is important we also take a European approach. Ultimately, however, the best way to protect our strategic companies is to invest in the European economy and this is why we need a strong recovery fund capable of transforming our economic future. ”
Stéphanie Yon-Courtin MEP, Vice Chair of the European Parliament’s Economic Affairs Committee said:
“The White Paper presented today on foreign subsidies is definitely a step in the right direction, especially in the current context where the European Commission is working intensively on crisis management through the temporary framework for state aid. “
“The European Commission is right to strengthen competition policy in the context of globalisation and to ensure reciprocity with third countries in the field of public procurement and state aid. We must adapt our rules to the current situation whereby state aid rules, which allow the proper functioning of our single market, do not apply to non-European operators who have access to the single market.”
“A football match where the rules of the foreign team would be more lenient than those of the home team would be totally unfair! The COVID-19 crisis has also alerted us to the need to preserve our key sectors in order to achieve the resilient Europe we all want.”
Dita Charanzová MEP, Coordinator for Renew Europe on the European Parliament’s Internal Market Committee said:
“The pandemic has made it necessary to rethink many of our policies, not least in trade and competition. But this does not mean rethinking our values. The EU has grown and prospered thanks to its liberal values of openness and free trade, and we must make sure that any tools proposed do not undermine this.”
Karin Karlsbro MEP, Coordinator for Renew Europe on the European Parliament’s Trade Committee said:
"Today's white paper by the commission covers a wide array of issues related to foreign subsidies known to us for quite some time: Procurement, take-overs and state aid from third countries. As such, it is a welcome contribution to the discussion on how we can strengthen our toolbox. At the same time, it is important that the EU single market remains the open, attractive and competitive market that has created our welfare. WTO compatibility is as always a must."