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Element NL signs Antwerp Declaration for preservation of industry and broad prosperity

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Last week, major European companies and industry organizations presented the Antwerp Declaration to Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission and Prime Minister of Belgium Alex de Croo. Belgium is also president of the EU. The Antwerp Declaration calls for a European Industrial Deal, which is complementary to the already existing Green Deal. The core of the Industrial Deal: a reinforced, competitive position of Europe through clear, predictable and reliable policy, with a ten-point plan to achieve this. 
The Antwerp Declaration advocates for an integrated approach to maintain high-quality European industry. After all, Europe cannot take the risk of becoming too dependent on countries outside Europe. In 10 points, the initiators describe how Europe can get there, including removing bottlenecks in the field of legislation and regulations and improving Europe's competitive position. The Green Deal and an Industrial Deal should not be opposed to each other, but complement each other: the Antwerp Declaration outlines the preconditions for further greening.

The new Commission, which will take office after the European elections in June, must choose an attractive European investment climate that can compete with other countries as a strategic priority. Part of this is a cheaper, greener European energy system. Crucial links here are the infrastructure that provides an integrated electricity grid, networks for low-carbon molecules and CCUS, and a world-class digital infrastructure. 

“Collaboration between governments, businesses and civil society is necessary to achieve climate goals and maintain prosperity.” 

The members of Element NL drafted an Action Agenda for the future in 2022, which includes goals for CO2 storage, providing technological and logistical expertise, broadening services, developing hydrogen, and reusing existing infrastructure," illustrates Gerda Verburg, chairperson of Element NL 
“The question is how we organize our society, our world, in an attractive way for coming generatons. In my opinion, that is a society in which everyone can participate, with broad prosperity and healthy nature. This means working towards a vibrant green European industry so that we achieve climate goals and maintain broad prosperity. The Green Deal and the Industrial Deal must therefore reinforce each other.” 

By embracing new technology and implementing the appropriate infrastructure in Europe, European industry has the potential to thrive and transition to a more sustainable model. Investing in green industry within Europe is preferable to maintaining outdated grey industries elsewhere. Not only for the climate, but also to strengthen our geopolitical position and maintain employment for a prosperous continent.

If we want to retain industry for Europe, molecules with a low CO₂ footprint and an expansion of the European hydrogen network are essential. To expedite the implementation of such projects, it's crucial to simplify permit processes. 

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