Mobility Portal, Spain
Date: May 27, 2024
eMobility overlooked: what was left out of the debate among candidates for the EU elections?
By Lucía Colaluce
European Union

eMobility overlooked: what was left out of the debate among candidates for the EU elections?

Nicholas Schmit, Sandro Gozi, Terry Reintke, Ursula von der Leyen, and Walter Baier expressed their views on the economy, employment, democracy, and leadership. However, in the category of climate and environment, one crucial issue remained unaddressed: e-mobility.
EU elections debate 2024

Ahead of the upcoming European Union (EU) elections, scheduled for June 6th to 9th this year, Eurovision organized an extensive debate with candidates from the leading parties vying for office.

Nicholas Schmit of the Socialists and Democrats, Sandro Gozi of Renew Europe Now, Terry Reintke of the European Greens, Ursula von der Leyen of the European People’s Party (EPP), and Walter Baier of the European Left had the opportunity to express their factions’ visions on various aspects.

Themes ranged from the economy, employment, and democracy, to leadership, among others.

However, what was particularly striking was that, during the climate and environment category, none of the speakers addressed the future of electromobility.

This issue is crucial, especially considering that the measures of the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR) came into force on 13 April.

In relation to this topic, during the International Mobility Portal Summit, a recent event on charging infrastructure trends organised by Mobility Portal Europe, the representative of an e-mobility company states: “We’re concerned about what will happen after the next European elections.”

“Everything is based on political will that changes every five years, making long-term planning difficult,” he adds.

Moreover, Sita Holtslag, Europe Director at CALSTART, published on their personal account of LinkedIn: “The gains of the last five years cannot be taken for granted– with the EU green deal, now the world needs decarbonisation to go further, faster and more just in the next political cycle.”

It is for this reason that the players in the e-mobility sector are closely monitoring the elections, to understand which policies will be implemented and which issues will be prioritised.

With this in mind, candidates could have discussed a range of policies and measures, such as tax incentives for EV purchases, investments in charging infrastructure, and research and development programmes to enhance battery technology.

The response from the public and experts to this omission has been noteworthy.

Many have voiced concerns that, without an open and honest discussion about electromobility and the necessary policies to support it, Europe could lose its leadership in the global fight against climate change.

This leadership is not only vital for the environment but also for the region’s economic competitiveness in the emerging global market of clean technologies.

Who were the candidates before applying?

Nicolas Schmit, from the Socialists and Democrats.

Firstly, Nicolas Schmit, with a solid political career in Luxembourg, has held various governmental and parliamentary positions.

As a member of the Luxembourg Socialist Workers’ Party (LSAP), he served as Delegate Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration and later as Minister of Labour, Employment, and Social and Solidarity Economy.

In the European Parliament, between 2018 and 2019, he stood out for his focus on employment and social issues.

His trajectory paved the way for his appointment as Commissioner for Employment and Social Rights in 2019.

Sandro Gozi, from Renew Europe Now coalition.

On the other hand, Sandro Gozi, with a strong background in law, has played prominent political roles in Italy and Europe.

Within the Italian Democratic Party, he worked in the Office of the Prime Minister and served as Undersecretary of State for European Affairs.

Elected as a Member of the European Parliament in 2019, he represented Italy and later France, bringing a multicultural perspective to his experience in European affairs.

Terry Reintke, from the European Greens.

In the case of Terry Reintke, a German activist and politician, she has tirelessly fought for human rights and gender equality.

As a member of the Alliance 90/The Greens, she excelled in the European Parliament on issues such as women’s rights, gender equality, and LGBTI+ rights.

Her firm commitment to social justice and legislative experience made her a promising candidate for the European Commission.

Ursula von der Leyen, from the European People’s Party.

Additionally, Ursula von der Leyen, with a distinguished political career in Germany, has held several key ministerial positions.

As the first woman to serve as Minister of Defence, she made history in German politics.

walter baier from the european left
Water Baier, from the European Left.

In fact, her appointment as President of the European Commission in 2019 demonstrated her leadership ability and commitment to a united and strong Europe.

Finally, Walter Baier, renowned for his leadership in the Communist Party of Austria (KPÖ), has been a prominent figure in the European communist movement.

As Secretary General of the KPÖ and coordinator of the Transform Europe network, he has promoted critical thinking and progressive policies.

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