EESC IN A FLASH - Sandra Parthie

Interview with Sandra Parthie, Member of EESC Employers' Group
"Updating the European industrial strategy to deliver the green and digital transition"

On the green and digital transition, I think we have really turned the corner. We want to invest in the skills that people need to live this transition, benefit from this transition. We have seen with the recovery programme from the EU, with national recovery plans, as well as with the NextGenEU deal, that there is a broad understanding of the direction of travel. So, we all want to invest in more green infrastructure. We want to invest in more digital infrastructure.

How can the EU support the digital economy?

I think it is very important for the EU that we are developing our own data infrastructure in a comprehensive way, meaning data clouds as well as hardware, the software and the skills of people involved, so that we really enable everyone to participate in this transition, that we are, as we say, leaving no one behind.

Will the spike in energy prices slow down the green transition?

Forty per cent on average of the energy prices in the EU are made up of taxes and levies, stuff that governments can influence and can change also in the short term. So, I think this is something where actions should be taken.

Are SMEs ready for the green and digital transition?

It's clear that CO2-heavy business models are not feasible anymore. SMEs are very interested in developing more resource efficiency, more energy efficiency, processes, and products.  And this is really something that governments, that regulation, really has to support in happening, that we really ensure that they have a path that they can take, where they can develop their own CO2-light or even free business models, because I am convinced that they are ready to do so.