EU ANTITRUST: HOT TOPICS & NEXT STEPS
EU ANTITRUST: HOT TOPICS & NEXT STEPS 2022 Prague, Czechia Building the green and digital future: the challenges for 2022 Margrethe Vestager Executive Vice-President and Commissioner for Competition European Commission Rue de la Loi 130, 1040 Brussels Belgium Ladies and gentlemen, It’s a very great pleasure to be with you today in Prague - and especially to be here at Charles University. In 1348, when this university was founded, Europe was in the grip of one of the worst pandemics in history. It was a dark, uncertain time – not the sort of time, you would have thought, when people would be thinking of the future. But the Emperor Charles IV was doing just that. He wanted to found a lasting home for learning and scholarship, here in his homeland. And almost seven hundred years later, I think it’s fair to say that he succeeded. And at the start of this new year, I think that story can be an inspiration to us all. It can remind us that, even in the most difficult times, you can still plant the seeds of better things, that will last a long time. And now, at the start of 2022, we do find ourselves in difficult times. The pandemic is still with us – and the omicron variant has only made the future seem more uncertain. And a lot of other immediate challenges are demanding our attention – the crisis in Ukraine, for example, or the rise in energy prices. But in spite of the many challenges we face, I feel optimistic when I look ahead to 2022. Because I know it’s a year when we have the chance to set Europe on the path to a greener, more digital, more prosperous future. The main responsibility for planting those seeds of the future will be for European industry– with the help of public authorities that support investment, and legislate to guide the change we need. But the success of a crop isn’t only about what you plant. Even the very best seeds won’t yield their full potential unless the conditions are right – just the right amount of sun, just the right amount of rain. And by keeping competition working well in our economy, we can help to get those conditions right. We can support innovation, by keeping markets open so that companies of all sizes, from all over Europe, can bring in new ideas. We can help to keep supply chains secure and robust, by protecting a wide choice of business suppliers. And we can make sure there’s room in our markets for the best, most efficient and innovative companies to succeed, and grow to compete with the best in the world.
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