Performance and Prospects of the EU Green Deal

EU Green Deal Law Resilient

The EU Parliamentary Elections, which will be held from 6-9 June 2024 across the European Union, will shape and indeed constrain the next Commission’s room for manoeuvre, particularly  when it comes to decision-making regarding environmental and climate change policy. This is why, in the April 2024 edition of the Topic of the Month, we take a closer look at the Commission’s European Green Deal (EGD) flagship project. In this post, we trace its origins and implementation to date, while future instalments focus on some of the Green Deal’s most recent policy initiatives and examine the challenges that lie ahead.

This project was already at the heart of the speech that Ursula von der Leyen gave to the European Parliament in July 2019 when she emerged as candidate for the Commission presidency. In her speech, von der Leyen identified planetary health as the ‘most pressing challenge […] the greatest responsibility and opportunity of our times’. It was also a project that suited the political moment: this occurred against the background of United States’ withdrawal from the Paris Agreement (announced by then-President Trump in June 2017 and formally initiated in November 2019), as well as increasing domestic pressure to act more decisively on climate change through movements such as the Fridays for Future protests. Von der Leyen promised bolder EU action on climate change and environmental issues to obtain the support for her candidacy from the European Parliament. This included a pledge to strengthen the EU’s climate target for 2030.

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