10 Oct 2023
EP's ITRE and Budgets committees adopt position on Strategic Technologies for Europe Platform
On 9 October 2023, the European Parliament's Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) committee and the Budgets committee adopted their position on the establishment of a "Strategic Technologies for Europe Platform (STEP)" designed to boost critical strategic technologies through various means, such as financial support, the 'Sovereignty Seal' and 'Sovereignty Portal'. The “Strategic Technologies for Europe Platform” aims to boost digital, net-zero and biotechnologies and enable the EU's industry to achieve the digital and net-zero transitions.
STEP aims to strengthen various EU programmes and funds and to channel up to € 160 billion into new investments, alongside cohesion policy incentives and the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). In their amendments, MEPs advocate for an extra € 3 billion on top of the EC's proposed € 10 billion in new funds. MEPs also propose a closer alignment of this regulation with the Net-Zero Industry Act and the Critical Raw Materials Act, and the establishment of a STEP committee to ensure its effective implementation.
The EP position states that STEP should also act as a “testbed for a fully-fledged Sovereignty Fund in the next MFF period”. MEPs ask the Commission to conduct an interim evaluation by 2025. The proposed STEP is part of the ongoing revision of the long-term EU budget following the multiple crises that have occurred since 2021. MEPs insist that the STEP, along with the budgetary revision, should be agreed as soon as possible, as the package should be integrated into next year’s annual budget, to be negotiated in November 2023.
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