Sarah Kuen stresses the need to create synergies between environmental and industrial policies


Last Thursday, 18 April, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg held a breakfast-debate with Sarah Kuen, Counsellor for Environment and Climate at the Permanent Representation of Belgium to the EU. The presentation was about the priority climate dossiers of the Belgian Presidency.

The event began with a brief speech by the President of the Chamber, Pablo López Álvarez, who introduced the speaker and framed the event in a series of breakfast-debates of the Chamber with councillors of the Belgian PERMREP, with the aim of providing details on its management of the Presidency of the Council of the EU.

Kuen then began her presentation by contextualising the challenge of holding the presidency of the Council of the European Union in the last six months of a parliamentary term.

In this regard, she explained that the Belgian PERMREP completed during the first two months of their presidency the dossiers that are normally closed within six months, as they are currently focusing on preparing for the post-election period.

Environment and competitiveness

In terms of climate policies, the Councillor assured that Europe is currently at a crossroads that requires “generating synergies between industrial policies and environmental policies”. To this end, she said that it will also be necessary to develop new economic and fiscal instruments.

“We need to show the outer world that we are ready to be competitive,” Kuen said, adding that this will require “the right framework to pursue our goals”.

The presentation was followed by a question-and-answer session in which the audience raised questions related to the coherence between programmes such as Horizon Europe and research or the European climate targets for 2040.