Brussels, 11 September 2014
Industrial competitiveness: Commission reports underline need for incisive action by EU and Member States
EU manufacturing possesses a number of competitive strengths that should be leveraged to promote economic growth, despite the current difficult economic environment. This is the conclusion of the two reports on industrial competitiveness released by the Commission today. However to ensure that growth does not stall, the EU and Member States urgently need to address a number of areas of concern: investment, access to finance, public administration, access to foreign markets, innovation and energy prices.
European Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship Ferdinando Nelli Feroci, commented: "I appreciate the efforts made by Member States to improve their industrial competitiveness. However, a lot still needs to be done. Tackling lack of investment, limited access to finance, high energy prices and inefficient public administration will put our companies and SMEs in a stronger position to compete in the global market place."
Industrial competitiveness varies widely per Member State
Looking at how well the Member States are doing, and whether they are improving or not, four groups emerge:
The EU has competitive strengths…
Overall, the EU’s competitive strengths in manufacturing remain intact: highly skilled workers, high domestic content of export goods, and comparative advantages linked to complex and high-quality products. EU Member States have also implemented a range of policies to increase competitiveness over the period since the start of the crisis in 2008.
...but some policy areas need ongoing attention
Analysis of the data produced by both reports indicates that the following areas need to be considered for potential policy action
The results of the reports will be used in evidence-based policy-making at EU and national level. They will serve as an input into the discussion of the Competitiveness Council on 25-26 September 2014 and also into the Commission's recommendations on Member States' fiscal and structural reform policies during the European Semester process.
The Commission's industrial competitiveness reports are produced annually in order to provide evidence-based indicators to support policy making at EU and Member State level. The 2014 European Competitiveness Report 'Helping Firms Grow' gives a quantitative assessment of the competitive performance of EU industries and provides empirical answers to important questions in the industrial policy debate. The 2014 Member States’ Competitiveness Report "Reindustrialising Europe", provides an indicator-based assessment of the implementation of industrial policy at EU and national level, with a country by country breakdown.
MEMO/14/527 on the 2014 European Competitiveness Report
MEMO/14/526 on the Member States Competiveness Report