A robust strategy for a resilient industry
As European companies continue to battle strong headwinds due to high energy prices, inflation, side effects of lockdowns, supply chain problems, scarcity of raw materials and excessive red tape, it is clear that the European Union needs a robust industrial strategy.
It is fundamental for the success of the Green Deal that European companies (big and small) remain competitive, resilient and more independent in strategic areas like raw materials and key technologies. Such a strategy is complementary to climate policy, and will help us create the jobs of tomorrow in Europe. Without a competitive industry, there will be no Green Deal.
It is very important that we treat green, digital and industrial objectives on an equal footing, as they are all dependent on each other. All these objectives must be brought together in concrete measures for the industrial ecosystems. This is what we would like to see in the update of the EU’s Industrial Strategy.
Russia’s war in Ukraine has had an impact on energy prices. This has massively increased the need for Europe to rebuild its energy system even faster, with a view to reducing the EU’s energy dependence on Russia.
Public spending and incentives should be aligned to the priorities we set up in the industry strategy. While all the ingredients for such an approach are present in the European Commission proposals, we are still missing an overarching strategy that will get us to our 2030 objectives and beyond.
Regulatory and administrative burdens on enterprises and especially on SMEs, should be reduced to the largest extent possible reflecting the ‘one-in-one-out’ principle (for each new law adopted, scrap an old one).
On 5 May 2021, the Commission presented the update of the EU Industrial Strategy. EU industry employs around 35 million people and accounts for around 16 percent of EU economies.
SMEs are fundamental for the EU economy because they constitute 99 percent of all EU businesses. EU rules should make a clear distinction between big companies and SMEs.
For the green and digital transitions, there is a need for clear transition pathways for all 14 industrial ecosystems. These pathways are analysed and explained in the new Industry Strategy. Education, upskilling and reskilling are important in the transition pathways.
There is also a need to strengthen the EU’s research and innovation capacity and to speed up investments in key enabling technologies like semiconductors.