Brussels, 28 October 2010
Industry for Europe - Europe for industry
Industry must be placed centre stage if Europe is to remain a global economic leader. This is the core message of the Communication on "An integrated industrial policy for the globalisation era" adopted by the European Commission today on the initiative of Vice-President Antonio Tajani. The Communication, a flagship initiative of the Europe 2020 strategy, sets out a strategy that aims to boost growth and jobs by maintaining and supporting a strong, diversified and competitive industrial base in Europe offering well-paid jobs while becoming less carbon intensive. It is accompanied by a report on the competiveness performance of individual Member States (see MEMO/10/533) and the annual European Competitiveness Report.
European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani, responsible for industry and entrepreneurship said: “Industry is at the heart of Europe and indispensable for finding solutions to the challenges of our society, today and in the future. Europe needs industry and industry needs Europe. We must tap into the full potential of the Single Market, its 500 million consumers and its 20 million entrepreneurs.”
In this era of intensifying globalisation, the concept of national sectors and industries is obsolete. Coordinated European policy responses are needed. Europe also needs an approach that looks at the whole value chain, from infrastructure and raw materials to after-sales service. Promoting the creation and growth of small and medium-sized enterprises has to be at the core of EU industrial policy. Moreover, the transition to a sustainable economy has to be seized as an opportunity to strengthen competitiveness. Only a European Industrial Policy targeting competitiveness and sustainability can muster the critical mass of change and coordination needed for success. Antonio Tajani added: "There will be no sustainability without competitiveness, and there will be no long-lasting competitiveness without sustainability. And there will be none of them without a quantum leap in innovation!"
Ten key actions for European industrial competitiveness:
Living up to the ambitions of a strong, diversified and competitive industrial base in Europe requires mutually reinforcing policies. This concerns notably the various flagship initiatives developed under the Europe 2020 strategy and strategies such as the one on the EU's Single Market, adopted on 27 October (see IP/10/1390).
Antonio Tajani concludes: "Europe is more than the sum of its parts. We must raise our joint ambitions in the area of industrial policy, step up our actions and strengthen European governance. This is not business as usual."
Europe’s industry is steadily recovering from recent years’ financial and economic crisis and there are reasons to be confident about the ability of industry to overcome challenges linked to a changing global business environment. Nevertheless, industrial production levels still remain more than 10% below their pre-crisis level, despite the recent dynamic recovery by almost 10%. Manufacturing employs a quarter of people in the private sector, and another quarter work in industry-related services. 80% of all research and development activity in the private sector takes place in the manufacturing industry.
MEMO/10/532 :: "An industrial policy for the globalisation era" – Elements of the Commission’s strategy
MEMO/10/533 : Overview of Competitiveness in 27 Member States
The Communication "An industrial policy for the globalisation era" is available at: