Fabian Demicoli

Parliament’s report on energy efficiency leaves open questions for SMEs

SMEs were left with mixed feelings by the vote at the European Parliament's plenary on the so-called "Bendtsen report" on the EU Energy Efficiency Action Plan. GRTU praises most of the report's recommendations, which are going to feed into the plan to be presented by the European Commission in spring next year, in particular as far as assistance and funding possibilities for SMEs are concerned. However, GRTU supports the recommendation made by MEPs of an impact assessment prior to increasing the speed and scope of the application of the Ecodesign directive.

 

Finally, while clearly supporting initiatives that can lower the environmental impact of the transport sector, GRTU is against the "modal shift" from high energy intensive transport modes to low energy ones advocated by the Parliament, calling on the Commission to revert to the "co-modality" approach, by which all transport modes are used in combination to achieve an optimal and sustainable utilisation of resources.

The vote on the Bendtsen report will provide the European Commission with excellent input for its upcoming Energy Efficiency Action Plan. We fully share the report‟s recommendations on the need to devise mechanisms for assisting SMEs in achieving greater energy efficiency and to provide financing schemes at national, regional and local level to reach this aim. However, we are afraid that the some recommendations on ecodesign and transport policy may be a step too far for SMEs.

On the Ecodesign directive, the report calls for a faster implementation and for the extension of the rules to a long and detailed list of new products. This cannot be done without a proper impact assessment of the consequence of such an extension on SMEs.

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