On 1 February 2024, the CEO Alliance gathered its CEOs at the European Spallation Source (ESS) in Lund, Sweden for the biannual CEO meeting, hosted on this occasion by Skanska CEO Anders Danielsson. CEOs urge politicians and policymakers to hold the line on the European Green Deal, focusing on implementation and execution of the agreed plans, identifying a clear industrial policy aimed at making Europe globally competitive, reducing red tape and increasing support for digitalisation.

On digitalisation, the CEOs call for the need to support secure and reliable connectivity, innovation and the roll-out of cutting-edge technology – including artificial intelligence, and boosting investments in digital infrastructure and solutions supporting sustainability. We want a strong, innovative and competitive Europe. To achieve this, the legislative environment must be focused on incentivizing the opportunities we are facing, and not as today’s risk limiting approach. Through this, we can create progress and put Europe in the pole position.

The CEOs also exchanged views and provided concrete business examples on these important topics with Ditte Juul Jørgensen, European Commission Director General at the Directorate-General for Energy (DG ENER), and with Sara Modig, Swedish State Secretary to the Minister for Energy, Business and Industry, Ebba Busch.

Anders Danielsson, CEO of Skanska and meeting host: “Skanska believes that the vision of a more prosperous, sustainable and resilient Europe, with a focus on reduced emissions, will require a collective effort from all EU member states and collaboration between the public sector and industry. The CEO Alliance is a concrete step in that direction. Based on each company’s core business, we are working together to develop models for a more sustainable society.”

The meeting was held at ESS (European Spallation Source), the research facility under construction in Lund, Sweden, with its data management and software centre in Copenhagen, Denmark. The construction of ESS was successfully completed in 2022 by Skanska. At the end of 2027, when the overall construction of the facility will be completed, ESS will be the world’s most powerful accelerator-based neutron source.  Thousands of researchers from academia and industry will use the ESS facility to learn more about materials and biological systems, unlocking discoveries and driving innovative solutions to tackle global challenges, from energy to healthcare and sustainability.

For further information please contact: ceoalliance@kreab.com

About the CEO Alliance: We are a cross-sector action tank consisting of leading European companies representing key industry sectors, with ~1.6 million employees and ~EUR 560 billion annual revenue. We use our broad platform to make decarbonization of European industry happen. In spite of the challenging times we firmly believe that the only way forward for a competitive, prosperous, resilient and sustainable Europe is an acceleration of the transition to green energy and technology. Further information about our work is available on our website, www.ceo-alliance.eu.

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CEO Alliance 1 February 2024 CEOs meeting press releaseDownload

Dear President von der Leyen,

An intense year for sustainability lawmaking has come to a close. The EU has succeeded in finalising most of the Fit-for-55 package, and is edging closer to a conclusion on the landmark Net Zero Industry Act. Importantly, the year is punctuated by the historic global agreement at COP28 to transition away from fossil fuels and reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Like 2023, the new year begins in a continuing context of global crises and compounding challenges for the EU and for European industry. As we enter a European election year and the last year of the current Commission’s mandate, these pressures will bear their mark on the design of election pledges by political groups and the policy priorities for the incoming Commission mandate. In this context, the CEO Alliance commends the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Member States for the significant progress made towards addressing the challenges and opportunities discussed in our New Years’ letter from 2023 – not least in terms of new initiatives to strengthen European manufacturing capacity, to streamline permitting procedures, and new ambitions for  electricity grids and renewable energy. The work is by no means done, but we are seeing significant steps in the right direction.

As a cross-sectoral group of leading European companies, our key message for the work that lies ahead for European policymakers is simple: Hold the line on the European Green Deal. We firmly believe that we must continue on the path towards decarbonisation and scaling up of green technologies in order to safeguard the competitiveness, resilience, sovereignty and prosperity of the European Union, as well as fighting climate change. There simply is no alternative to high ambition on climate action.

The focus of the 2024-2029 legislative term should be on the implementation and execution of the European Green Deal, on transition financing, and on facilitating the contribution of the private sector to the green transition. While standardised reporting and increased transparency is welcome, the reporting burden for industry should be addressed – we need less reporting and more action on decarbonisation. At the same time, the incoming term is an opportunity to deliver on the digital part of the twin transition. Digitalisation is a critical enabler for the green transition, and one where the legislative framework is lagging behind.

In a global context marked by conflict and protectionism, the EU’s role as a champion of free trade is more important than ever. As well as safeguarding European competitiveness and resilience through a robust Single Market, we must pursue strengthened global partnerships, especially with our partners across the Atlantic and the rest of the free world.

The members of the CEO Alliance will continue to work together for a green and prosperous Europe through dialogue and through joint investments in and decarbonisation and digitalisation of our products and services, infrastructure and value chains in the year ahead.

We look forward to continuing our dialogue with you over the course of 2024, to support the journey towards an even more prosperous, sustainable, digitalised, and resilient Europe.

On behalf of the CEO Alliance,

Börje Ekholm
Chairman of CEO Alliance
CEO of Ericsson

This letter has been sent to the following recipients:

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission
Maroš Šefčovič, Executive Vice-President, European Green Deal, Interinstitutional Relationships and Foresight
Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President, A Europe Fit for the Digital Age
Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President, An Economy that Works for People
Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internal Market
Paolo Gentiloni, Commissioner for Economy
Adina Vălean, Commissioner for Transport
Kadri Simson, Commissioner for Energy
Wopke Hoekstra, Commissioner for Climate Action
Roberta Metsola, President of the European Parliament
Manfred Weber, Chairman of the EPP Group
Iratxe García Pérez, President of the S&D Group
Malik Azmani, President for the interim of the Renew Europe Group
Ryszard Legutko and Nicola Procaccini, Co-Chairmen of the ECR Group
Terry Reintke and Philippe Lamberts, Co-presidents of the Greens/EFA Group

About the CEO Alliance: We are a cross-sector action tank consisting of 10 leading European companies representing key industry sectors, with ~1.6 million employees and ~EUR 560 billion annual revenue. We use our broad platform to make decarbonization of European industry happen. In spite of the challenging times we firmly believe that the only way forward for a competitive, prosperous, resilient and sustainable Europe is an acceleration of the transition to green energy and technology. Further information about our work is available on our website, www.ceo-alliance.eu.

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CEO Alliance New Year Letter 2024Download

CEO Alliance Sherpas gathered for the second in-person Sherpa workshop of the year, which took place in Brussels on 28 November 2023.

Member company representatives provided updates on the status of the joint projects, continued the work on policy, exchanged views with external speakers from two of the largest European political parties, and discussed plans and activities of the Alliance for 2024 and beyond.

With a view on the upcoming European elections in 2024, Sherpas had the pleasure to hear from representatives directly involved in the drafting of the political manifestos of the European People’s Party (EPP) and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party (ALDE). The CEO Alliance took this opportunity to reiterate the key message from the letter it sent to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen ahead of the 2023 State of the Union, namely to not backtrack on the ambition and on what has been achieved in the European Green Deal.

Regarding policy, the group held a constructive session on the upcoming policy paper on digitalization and the Green Deal, which led to identifying macro areas the paper should cover and policy asks it will include. The work will now continue at Sherpa and subject matter expert level, with a view of finalizing the policy paper in the coming weeks. Sherpas agreed on a set of action points, and look forward to reconvening at the winter CEOs meeting, taking place in Malmö and Copenhagen on 2 February 2024.  

About the CEO Alliance: We are a cross-sector action tank consisting of 12 leading European companies representing key industry sectors, with ~1.6 million employees and ~EUR 560 billion annual revenue. We use our broad platform to make decarbonization of European industry happen. In spite of the challenging times we firmly believe that the only way forward for a competitive, prosperous, resilient and sustainable Europe is an acceleration of the transition to green energy and technology. Further information about our work is available on our website, www.ceo-alliance.eu.

As we eagerly anticipate the upcoming State of the Union address, Christian Levin, CEO Alliance Chairman and CEO of Scania and TRATON GROUP, sent a letter on behalf of the CEO Alliance to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, expressing the CEO Alliance’s continued support for the European Commission’s steadfast commitment to the European Green Deal.

In light of the evolving global landscape, we deem it of utmost importance to uphold the momentum established during this Commission’s mandate. In demonstration of our commitment to assisting the Commission in advancing this agenda, we have jointly compiled the below letter.

Our key message to the Commission on the Green Deal is: hold the line. Do not backtrack on the ambition and on what has been achieved. Focus on implementation and execution. We do not need a new plan, it is time to deliver on this one. 

Europe should lead the green and digital transitions, pushing decarbonisation and sustainability forward, while at the same time safeguarding and boosting European competitiveness. New technologies and innovative companies need a supportive regulatory environment to thrive, and too often we see European companies invent, but other regions scaling, commercialising, and ultimately dominating the global market.

We look forward to continue the fruitful collaboration with EU policymakers and Member States in our efforts to contribute to the development of a genuinely green, digitalized and competitive European Union.

Download the letter below to read all the details.

About the CEO Alliance: We are a cross-sector action tank consisting of 12 leading European companies representing key industry sectors, with ~1.6 million employees and ~EUR 560 billion annual revenue. We use our broad platform to make decarbonization of European industry happen. In spite of the challenging times we firmly believe that the only way forward for a competitive, prosperous, resilient and sustainable Europe is an acceleration of the transition to green energy and technology. Further information about our work is available on our website, www.ceo-alliance.eu.

Downloads

CEO Alliance Letter on SOTEU 2023Download