Tue. Jun 6th, 2023
Participation of Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, to the G7. Image © EU, 2023

Brussels, 19 May 2023
Quotes from President von der Leyen at the first session of the G7 Summit, “Towards an International Community characterised by Cooperation, not Division and Confrontation / Global Economy, Digital, Trade” 

Despite all geopolitical difficulties, the clean energy transition is accelerating. It offers real growth opportunities.

We will focus on strengthening the clean manufacturing system in Europe. We are also shifting our focus.

When I started the European Green Deal in 2019, the priority was the fast deployment of renewables.

Now we have to also focus on the ‘sourcing’ of renewables: how to get to sufficient manufacturing capacity? How to ensure access to technology – and even more so – to critical raw materials?

The G7 and many others want to tap into the huge opportunities that come with the net-zero transition. We have to find the best way forward for both: the climate and our economies, that are intertwined.

Therefore we should always keep in mind the old saying: ‘if you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together’. This clean-tech race is an opportunity to go faster and further, together.

Now that the G7 are in this race together, our competition should create additional manufacturing capacity and not come at each other’s expense.

I see four fields of closer cooperation:

First, we need to jointly assess what is needed when it comes to global clean manufacturing capacity to reach our ambitious climate targets. We should even consider setting targets for the build up of such capacities.

Second, we need to provide a clear, predictable business environment to our clean tech industries. The starting point is transparency among the G7 how we support manufacturing.

Third, where we have specific concerns regarding fair competition, we should find ways to address them. Europe and the US have already achieved a number of solutions, some of this work is still ongoing, as we negotiate a Critical Minerals Agreement and engage in a Clean Energy Incentives Dialogue. And I hope our bilateral EU-US discussion on sustainable steel and aluminium can also become a global arrangement

Fourth, we should create new forms of clean tech cooperation. We need more green alliances among ourselves but also with other trusted partners. I hope we can take forward a Critical Raw Materials Club at this G7 meeting.

On Artificial intelligence

Artificial Intelligence’s potential benefits for citizens and the economy are great.

At the same time, we need to agree to guardrails to develop AI in the EU, reflecting our democratic values.

We want AI systems to be accurate, reliable, safe and non-discriminatory, regardless of their origin.

Source – EU Commission

President von der Leyen at G7 Session II – “Ukraine”


Brussels, 19 May 2023
Quotes from President von der Leyen at the second session of the G7 Summit,on Ukraine.

We all want an end to this war. The Ukrainians most of all want peace – but a just peace of course. Peace negotiations that equate the aggressor and the victim must be rejected. We should support the efforts of President Zelenskyy to gather support to his Peace Formula.

We need to match Ukrainian determination with our own endurance and stamina. We need to give Ukraine the tools now to successfully defend itself and regain full sovereignty and territorial integrity. We should provide Ukraine the necessary military and financial support. And we have to do this as long as it takes.

The European Commission just proposed an ammunition production act. We want to push our defence industry to ramp up production of badly needed artillery shells. And we will provide provide greater financial support for additional production for Ukraine.

And we must continue to provide them with economic and financial support. The G7 Coordination Platform we jointly created earlier this year helped closing Ukraine’s budgetary gap for 2023. But we also need together to agree on stable financial support beyond 2023.

Together, we have put a high price tag on Russia’s aggression. The EU alone banned nearly 55% of pre-war exports to Russia (= 50 bn EUR per year) and more than 60% of pre-war imports (= 90 bn), to deprive Moscow of advanced goods and tech, and to cut its vital revenue streams.

But there is more and more circumvention of our massive sanctions. It’s quite extraordinary to see the trade data and evidence on the ground. High tech exports to third countries, from micro-processors and sensors for Russian cruise missiles to chips in military communications equipment, make their way onwards to Russia and end up in weapons used against Ukraine on the battlefield. We must put a stop to this. Our new EU-measures will therefore target circumvention or evasion by operators in these and other countries.

Source – EU Commission

President von der Leyen on policies towards China at Session III of the G7, Foreign and Security Policy


Brussels, 19 May 2023
Quotes by President von der Leyen on our policies towards China at Session III of the G7, Foreign and Security Policy:

Our policies towards China need to change because China has changed.

China has moved from “reform and opening” to “security and control”. China has become more repressive at home and more assertive abroad, particularly in its neighbourhood. And China struck an “unlimited friendship” with Russia on the eve of the brutal invasion of Ukraine.

At the same time decoupling from China is neither viable nor in our interest.

Therefore we should keep open communication lines and working with China in areas like climate change, pandemic preparedness, financial stability or nuclear proliferation. At the same time we have to reduce our vulnerabilities in our economic relationship (economic de-risking).

For the way forward I see five strands of work:

First, we need to make our own economies and industries more competitive and resilient, particularly the health, digital and clean tech. We have to work with like-minded partners to build up capacities and reduce our dependencies on China for things like rare earths, batteries, or pharmaceutical ingredients.

Second, we want to rebalance our trade relationship. China is a vital trading partner for us and most of that trade is beneficial to both sides.

But it’s also true that the trade deficit between the EU and China tripled in 10 years to 400 billion. This imbalance is partly due to non-market practices such as hidden subsidies, discrimination in public tenders and other distortions created by China’s state capitalist system. We need to address these distortions.

The third strand is about protecting our security interests. So we have to discuss controls of exports or outbound investment with a focus on sensitive high-tech areas.

The fourth strand is about standing together as partners on core foreign policy and security challenges. We will keep calling on China to refrain from supporting Russia’s war. And we reaffirm our unwavering commitment to peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. We are collectively opposing any unilateral change to the status quo, particularly by force.

And finally: we should intensify our work with others to create an alternative to Belt-and-Road which is our Partnership on global Infrastructure and Investment.

Source – EU Commission

G7 Leaders’ Statement on Ukraine


Brussels, 19 May 2023

  1. Preamble

At our meeting today in Hiroshima, we, the Leaders of the G7, reaffirmed our commitment to stand together against Russia’s illegal, unjustifiable, and unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine. We condemn, in the strongest terms, Russia’s manifest violation of the Charter of the United Nations (UN) and the impact of Russia’s war on the rest of the world. 15 months of Russia’s aggression has cost thousands of lives, inflicted immense suffering on the people of Ukraine, and imperiled access to food and energy for many of the world’s most vulnerable people. We express our full sympathy and condolences to the Ukrainian people for their loss and suffering. We salute the Ukrainian people for their brave resistance. Our support for Ukraine will not waver. We will not tire in our commitment to mitigate the impact of Russia’s illegal actions on the rest of the world.

Today we are taking new steps to ensure that Russia’s illegal aggression against the sovereign state of Ukraine fails and to support the Ukrainian people in their quest for a just peace rooted in respect for international law. We are renewing our commitment to provide the financial, humanitarian, military and diplomatic support Ukraine requires for as long as it takes. We are imposing further sanctions and measures to increase the costs to Russia and those who are supporting its war effort. And we are taking steps to support partners worldwide as they navigate the suffering caused by the Russia’s war, including through humanitarian assistance. We are also building on the success of our efforts to ensure that Russia is no longer able to weaponize the availability of energy against us and against the world. Since February 2022, we have adopted sanctions, import bans, and other measures to reduce our dependence on Russia’s source of energy. In addition, in Elmau, we agreed to launch a price cap on Russian oil and petroleum products. This is working. Russia’s revenues are down. Global oil and gas prices have fallen significantly, benefiting countries around the world.

Visit the meeting page

Source – EU Council

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