What does the Net-Zero Industry Act mean for the EU?

Past event Online

Climate, Energy & Natural Resources
05-13-2024 event cover pic


In March 2023, the European Commission proposed the Net-Zero Industry Act (NZIA), as part of the Green Deal Industrial Plan. The Act aims to strengthen the resilience and competitiveness  of net-zero technologies manufactured in the EU, to reduce the EU’s dependence on highly concentrated imports and to make the European energy system more secure and sustainable.

This conversation with Stefano Soro, Head of Unit at the Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW), will consider what the NZIA means for the future of EU manufacturing, economic competitiveness and energy decarbonisation.

This 60-minute discussion will consist of a 10-minute introduction to the topic by Stefano Soro, followed by a moderated discussion among Friends of Europe members. This discussion will be an off-the-record exchange.

‘What the Chief Says’ events are exclusive, small, informal and off-the-record roundtable debates that offer our members the exclusive opportunity to engage directly and get to the heart of a specific policy issue with a senior decision-maker from a European institution or government. These events are geared to be in tune with the interest of our members and are strategically linked to emerging trends within the EU sphere. It allows us to focus on the opportunities and identify the possible challenges in the European Commission’s own agenda and provides the possibility to go into greater depth and discuss the ‘nitty gritty’ of policies affecting Europe in the next years and beyond.

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What the Chief says: What does the Net-Zero Industry Act mean for the EU?


Stefano Soro
Stefano Soro

Head of Unit at the Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW)

Show more information on Stefano Soro

Stefano Soro serves as the Head of the Net Zero Industries, Sustainable and Circular Products Unit at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs. His academic foundation includes a degree in Management and Economics obtained from the Università Bocconi in Milan.

Soro’s career began in the human resources department of a global corporation, leading to his entry into the European Commission in 1994. Over the years, he has held diverse roles across several departments, including Eurostat, the Directorate-General for Enterprise and Industry, the Secretariat-General, and the Directorate-General for Health and Consumers. Notably, he led the unit focusing on non-food consumer safety from 2006 to 2011. Subsequently, between 2012 and 2016, he headed the units overseeing medicinal products and animal nutrition, including veterinary medicines.

In 2017, Stefano transitioned to the Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs as the Head of the Food Industry Unit. Since 2021, he has been leading the efforts in the Net Zero Industries, as well as the Sustainable and Circular Products Unit, reflecting his commitment to advancing sustainability and innovation within the European industry sector.

Photo of Luke O’Callaghan-White
Luke O’Callaghan-White

Programme Manager for Climate, Energy & Sustainability at Friends of Europe

Show more information on Luke O’Callaghan-White

Luke O’Callaghan-White is the Programme Manager for Climate, Energy & Sustainability. Prior to joining Friends of Europe, Luke served as the senior researcher at the Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA), Ireland’s leading international think tank, where he specialised in energy and climate policy. Luke has written widely in this policy space and his publications have been covered in The Irish Times, Irish Examiner and Irish Independent. In 2021, he also served as an ‘expert reviewer’ of the TIMES-Ireland Model, which produced influential energy system pathways for energy supply and demand, in keeping with the Irish Government’s decarbonisation targets. Previously, Luke has also worked a policy analyst at the Canadian Centre for Responsibility to Protect (CCR2P), a Toronto-based research organisation. Luke is a committee member of the Irish Centre for European Law, where he contributes on matters relating to energy law in the European Union. He is also a member of the IIEA’s climate and energy expert working group. Luke holds an MA in Political Science from the University of Toronto and a BA in Political Science and Geography from Trinity College Dublin. Luke speaks English and Irish. 



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