The unprecedented public health challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic quickly turned into a humanitarian and economic crisis. Throughout this period the chemical industry has been at the forefront of industry response and has demonstrated its resilience and flexibility to address those unprecedented conditions. It has stepped up regular production of critical products, maintained security of supply and has been crucial for the provision of essential materials and goods, including hand sanitiser and personal protective equipment. This challenging period has been a grave reminder of the need for a strong and resilient Europe with its own robust industrial capacities.
In May 2020, the European Commission put forward its proposal for a recovery plan that creates a new recovery instrument, Next Generation EU of €750 billion.
In July 2020, the European Council reached an agreement on a EUR 1.8 trillion package, divided over the Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF) for the period 2021-2027 and the Next Generation EU (NGEU) fund to help stimulate the recovery of the economy of EU Member States in 2021-2023. Beyond a simple recovery plan, the current plan will be used to accelerate the green and digital transition, and ensure a level playing field in the Single Market in light of diverging Member States financial capabilities. The EU aims to strike a balance between being open for global trade and protecting key sectors and companies.
The European chemical industry welcomes the ambitious Economic Recovery Plan to kick-start our economy by focusing on “driving competitive sustainability”.
The EU Recovery Plan can transform this crisis into an opportunity to build a more resilient European economy whilst delivering on the European Green Deal objectives. As a solution provider for a climate neutral and circular economy, the chemical industry will play a critical role in this transition. Together with other manufacturing sectors, the EU chemical industry has been hit by the current economic downturn, and our industry’s outlook remains highly uncertain. In particular, the EU chemical industry calls for investments into building renovation, clean mobility, development of all forms of clean hydrogen; chemical recycling, carbon capture and storage (CCS) and carbon capture and utilisation (CCU).