Brussels picks up the gauntlet thrown by France, the birthplace of several of the world’s leading vehicle manufacturers, and opens an anti-dumping investigation into Chinese electric cars. These types of vehicles receive large subsidies from the Beijing Government, which allows them to go on the market with “artificially low” prices, generating unfair competition for traditional European manufacturers such as Volkswagen or Renault. The investigation has been announced by the president of the European Commission, Úrsula von der Leyen, within the framework of her speech on the State of the Union, which takes place at the headquarters of the European Parliament in Strasbourg (France).
Some experts interpret processes such as the one announced this Wednesday by von der Leyen as the way for Europe to impose additional taxes on Chinese vehicles. The head of the Community Executive has emphasized that the electric vehicle industry is “essential”, in the middle of the decarbonization process that the EU is undertaking, to move towards a “clean” economy. She also said that she has “great potential” for Europe and has denounced that Chinese subsidies are “distorting the market.”
“Our companies are too often excluded from foreign markets or are victims of predatory practices. They are frequently weakened by competitors who benefit from large state subsidies,” concluded the German company, which wanted to make it clear that the region is “open to competition” but is not willing to engage in “a race to the bottom. The bloc “must defend itself from unfair practices” and at the same time keep open the “lines of communication and dialogue with the Chinese Executive,” she added.
Representative for SMEs and Draghi’s ‘return’
During her speech, Von der Leyen also announced the appointment, before the end of the year, of a representative of the European Union for SMEs who will report directly to the President of the Commission. He has also asked former Italian prime minister and former president of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi (whom he has referred to as an economic eminence) to produce a report on the steps Europe must take to maintain its competitive advantage.
The future of our clean technology industry has to be “made in Europe”, stressed the German, who also recalled that when it comes to the European Green Deal, the EU stays the course, its growth strategy and its desire for a fair and clean transition. Related to the latter, the President of the Commission recalled that the consequences of Russian aggression in Ukraine, drought and climate change increasingly affect the work of European farmers and their income. “We must respond to these new challenges together with the agricultural sector,” she stressed, making it clear that agriculture and nature conservation have to go hand in hand.
“I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to our farmers, thank them for providing us with food day after day,” he said in a clear nod to a primary sector that is going through serious difficulties. Von der Leyen has also announced a strategic dialogue on the future of agriculture in the EU.
Ukraine and the upcoming EU enlargement
The situation in Ukraine has also been present throughout his speech. In fact, von der Leyen has appealed to the need to finish the enlargement work started in the region, one of the topics that will be the subject of the next informal summit to be held in Granada, in the full Spanish presidency of the European Council, at the beginning of the month. coming. “History is calling us to complete our Union,” said the president in the last speech on the State of the Union before the European elections to be held between June 6 and 9 next year. Von der Leyen has assumed that Ukraine, but also Moldova and the Western Balkans will join the Twenty-Seven.