“Prioritise jobs, growth and European competitiveness“

– the key to achieving the green transition

Photo: Björn Leijon

As the European Commission prepares for its next five-year mandate period (2024-2029), the Swedish Forest Industries Federation (SFIF) is calling on the Commission to strike a more effective balance between focusing purely on environmental targets, and the need to support job creation and economic growth.

“We welcome the EU’s ambitious plans to promote a green, biodiverse Europe. However, we would  encourage the Commission  to ensure that its political guidelines for its upcoming mandate period also reflect the need to prioritise jobs, growth and European competitiveness,” says Viveka Beckeman, Director General, SFIF.

A strong economy, with a robust labour market and competitive industries, is the most effective way to achieve the bloc’s admirable environmental objectives, Beckeman argues.

The considerable investment required for the green transition means that business has a vital role to play, and business must be given the freedom to grow and innovate, and thereby accelerate the transition.

The business community is needed

“We need more balance. To paraphrase an increasingly widely-held view, it’s only the business sector that is equipped to put the ‘deal’ into the Green Deal. The green transition will never happen without the business community,” Beckeman says.

Beckeman goes on to encourage the incoming Commission to interact to a greater extent with Member States and stakeholders.

“Common European goals and targets in many areas are more efficient than national ones, but we strongly believe that there should be a greater degree of understanding and respect for the fact that Member States are often best-placed to decide how to achieve agreed targets. Top-down, detailed control from the centre is rarely the most effective approach – national and regional approaches, based on knowledge of local realities, are the best ways to achieve goals,” she says.

“Naturally, we’d welcome continued ambitious climate goals in the next political mandate – we want to see Europe continue to lead the world in the green transition – but we need to work together and combine that with a healthy economy to be able to do that.”