A Call for Pragmatism

Realities of the Green Transition, the Future of the Transatlantic Community and China’s Growing Influence Require Sober Assessment

10 August 2021

A sit-down with Ivan Hodáč, the founder and president of the Aspen Institute Central Europe, that dives into the future of the automotive industry and the Green Deal in Europe, the EU-US relations under the incumbent Biden administration, the growing impact of China on the continent and the state of democratic security across the Transatlantic community in the next four years.

Earlier this month, Visegrad Insight had the opportunity — when partnering with the Prague European Summit — to meet and discuss candidly about issues related to the green transition and future political relationships for the EU with one of the moderators, Ivan Hodáč. Currently president of the Aspen Institute Central Europe, Ivan Hodáč was the Secretary-General of the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) from 2001 until 2013. He was also a member of a special Advisory Group of experts responsible for advising the European Commission in the negotiation of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the United States (TTIP), and an advisor to the Czech Government on European issues. The Financial Times lists him among the most influential personalities in Brussels politics.

VI: Last week, the European Commission adopted the ‘Fit for 55’ legislative package as part of the EU’s Green Deal to achieve complete carbon neutrality by 2050. Drawing on years of experience in the sector, what sort of impact do you believe the target of limiting emissions to 55 per cent by 2030 will have on Central Europe’s automotive industry?

Ivan Hodáč: It definitely has an impact, 55 per cent is significantly lower emissions. We have to be extremely careful about what we are doing because 55 per cent means that 30-40 per cent of all cars should be electric by 2030.

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Magda Jakubowska

Vice President and Director of Operations at the Res Publica Foundation. One of her flagship projects regarding women empowerment in security, NATO’s campaign: #WomenAreNATO, has garnered considerable international interest.

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