Net-Zero Industry Act

With its proposal from March 16, 2023 the European Commission wants to make the European Union a base for the production of clean technologies and green jobs. This proposal is part of the EU industrial plan and aims primarily to strengthen the resilience and competitiveness of European industry. The proposal creates better conditions for the establishment of zero-energy projects in Europe and will attract investment and support the creation of quality jobs and the achievement of energy independence. This proposal will also help increase the resilience of Europe’s clean energy supply chains. Technologies to support decarbonisation include: solar photovoltaics and solar thermal, onshore wind and offshore renewables, batteries and storage, heat pumps and geothermal, electrolyzers and fuel cells, biogas/biomethane, capture, use and storage carbon and grid technologies, sustainable alternative fuel technologies, advanced energy generation technologies from nuclear processes with minimal fuel cycle waste, small modular reactors and associated best-in-class fuels.

More information here

European Parliament’s position on the data act

Data is essential for the innovation of businesses and public authorities. for example, for learning algorithms and building smart cities. However, most industrial data remains unused or its value is concentrated in the hands of a relatively small number of large companies. That is why it is necessary to investigate how to “unlock” the untapped potential of data sharing.

The European Commission’s proposal is intended to give users a new right of access to the data they generate, as well as create a user right to share that data with third parties. The draft text also imposes a number of obligations on data holders. For example, the proposal introduces a set of minimum regulatory requirements to facilitate the transition between cloud service providers and safeguards to address unlawful third-party access to non-personal data stored in the EU.

European Parliament Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) adopted its report in February 2023. The report clarifies the types of data falling within the scope of the regulation and how the new rules would apply to different actors. The report further strengthens trade secret protections for the benefit of data holders and clarifies provisions to make it easier for customers to switch cloud providers. The European Data Innovation Board, established by the Data Governance Act, would be given a role in coordinating the enforcement of this regulation.

More information here

Update of the European Union rules for urban waste water treatment

As part of the European Green Deal, the EC submitted a proposal in October 2022 to revise the directive on urban wastewater treatment within the EU. This directive dates back to 1991 and serves as a tool to achieve the objectives of the EU water policy, but it needs to be updated and adapted to new challenges and realities.

The revised proposal would introduce new obligations to better control stormwater pollution, impose stricter standards for nutrient removal, and require advanced treatment to remove micropollutants. An extended producer responsibility (EPR) system targeting pharmaceuticals and cosmetics would be created to cover treatment costs. In order to bring the directive into line with the ambitions of the Green Deal, an obligation of energy neutrality would be introduced for waste water treatment plants. Requirements for water reuse and sludge management would be clarified to improve circulation. Health parameters would be monitored in wastewater to support public health measures.

The legislative process itself is currently at its beginning.

More information here

Horizon Europe – Civil security for society

On December 6, 2022, the European Commission published an overview of calls for the Horizon Europe program for the years 2023 and 2024 in Cluster 3 – Civil Security for Society. In this area, 42 calls with a total budget of almost 320 million Euros were created for this period.

  • Better protect the EU and its citizens against Crime and Terrorism
  • Effective management of EU external borders
  • Resilient Infrastructure
  • Increased Cybersecurity
  • Disaster-Resilient Society for Europe
  • Strengthened Security Research and Innovation

The calls for 2023 will be open for proposals from 29/06/2023 to 23/11/2023 Specific calls have different specifications for the number of participants, the obligations of involvement of first responders or organizations with responsibilities in the field of crisis management, and the technological level of the results.

More information here