A welcome push towards a future EU industrial policy strategy

1 June 2017

Manufacturing has long been a central pillar to the European economy, directly employing over 34 million people across the EU, with almost 11 million of those represented by Orgalime in the engineering sectors. Despite the size and potential of the industry, it has been largely overlooked by policy makers in recent years. This is why we joined forces with some 127 other European manufacturing associations for the #Industry4Europe campaign in February 2017, calling on the European Commission to reaffirm its commitment to a target of 20% European GDP to be delivered by industry by 2020. It is our firm belief that to achieve this goal, the Commission needs to put in place an ambitious industrial strategy.  

Following hot on the heels of this coordinated campaign, the Competitiveness Council Conclusions adopted on 29 May have called on the European Commission to develop and to deliver a holistic EU industrial policy strategy – a welcome outcome. Orgalime has been persistent in its message to Brussels and to the Member States to place industry at the core of their economic policy. By adopting and implementing an Action Plan, a tangible impact on industry will be felt, in turn leading to more jobs, growth, competitiveness, and innovation.

This was a positive conclusion as the time for an ambitious EU industrial strategy is long overdue. We also welcome the Council’s message that the Commission should remove unnecessary regulatory barriers and stimulate a growth-friendly regulatory environment for industry. Now, the European Commission must step up to the plate: we are counting on it to act quickly on the Council Conclusions, and draw up both medium- and long-term objectives to deliver a European Industrial Renaissance.