EU Industrial Policy

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 on 28th October 2010 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 more resource efficient.

On 10 October 2012 the Commission adopted an Update of the Industrial Policy flagship initiative – "A Stronger European Industry for Growth and Economic Recovery".

The Communication, in order to favour a recovery of industrial investments and a reversal of manufacturing's share in EU GDP, launches a new partnership between the EU, Member States and industry and focuses on four pillars:

  • Investments in innovation, with a focus on six priority areas with great potential (advances manufacturing technologies for clean production; key enabling technologies; bio-based products; sustainable industrial and construction policy and raw materials; clean vehicles and vessels; smart grids).
  • Better market conditions, both in the Internal Market, with special reference to goods, entrepreneurship and Intellectual Property Rights protection, and in international markets.
  • Access to finance and capitals, by a better mobilising and targeting of public resources, including from the EIB, and by unlocking private funds.
  • Human capital and skills, to promote job creation and better anticipation of, and investments in, the skills needed to promote industry's competitiveness.

The Communication was accompanied by a Staff Working Document which presented progress made in the implementation of the 2020 flagship initiative and included evidence on the current situation and performance of EU industry that underpins the importance of the four pillars of the Communication.

However, while industrial performance has stabilised thanks to improvement in exports, industry’s share in Europe’s GDP in 2013 has further declined from 15.5% of GDP (2012) to 15.1% getting Europe far from the 20% target defined by EU Commissioner Antonio Tajani in its Communication . This decline could seriously hamper EU growth potential, as 80% of innovation, ¾ of exports and several jobs directly depend on industry.

The industrial Competitiveness reports recently published by the European Commission highlight that one of the root of the crisis is the growing competitiveness gap between European economies. In several member States obstacles still remain, such as high energy prices, administrative burden, late payments, access to finance, innovation capacity, and lack of skills. Moreover, access to the EU and international markets should be improved. Only by overcoming these hurdles can the EU achieve the sort of industrial competitiveness it needs in the 21st century.

EU Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, has finally presented on 22nd January 2014 Communication for a European Industrial Renaissance.

CECE has been active in this context and constantly suggested actions to bring industry back to growth, when it comes to Construction Equipment.
The latest actions carried out by CECE, in cooperation with its sister associations CEMA (agricultural machinery), was the draft and presentation of an Manifesto for a competitive industrial production in Europe.

As global competition is fierce, industry in Europe needs the right framework to grow. We call on the EU  to make industrial competitiveness the center of EU policy making and follow a 10-Point Plan of Action to keep competitive industrial production in Europe and reach the 20% target by 2020 by:

  • Introduce stronger competitiveness-proofing and fitness checks
  • Ensure more coherent EU policy-making
  • Make sure EU legislation boosts industry’s ability to innovate and to remain ahead of competitors
  • Seek greater international policy alignment to avoid technical barriers to trade
  • Reduce the administrative burden of complying with EU legislation
  • Complete the Internal Market
  • Ensure fair competition through better market surveillance
  • Invest massively in infrastructure
  • Deepen partnerships for a skilled workforce
  • Promote free access to foreign markets