A new year, and a new seven-year European budget period gets underway. It is difficult to overstate the importance of this. With the pandemic and its socio-economic consequences still very much with us, and with the geopolitical landscape shifted, Europe now has a historic opportunity and responsibility to invest the unprecedented funds at its disposal wisely. It is vital that we hit the ground running. 'Time to deliver' goes the motto of the new Portuguese Presidency.
And central to delivering on this shared responsibility is the EU Industrial Strategy. It is no less than "the roadmap for our digital, green and resilient future", as Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton said recently. Over this past year, it has become clear that European industry – and manufacturing in particular – holds the key not only to the green and digital transition but also to achieving what the EU calls 'strategic autonomy'. In recognition of that, an updated Industrial Strategy will soon be published.
We welcome the goal of this update. And we believe it must reinforce a number of critical elements to create the horizontal policy foundations for success. Working together with stakeholders will also be key, which is why we salute the creation of the Industrial Forum. We look forward to playing an active part with our President Rada Rodriguez. It is in that spirit that we will host our first event of 2021, in collaboration with the Commission’s Industry Days, focusing on Global Technology Leadership in Action. It will provide a timely opportunity to hear from the Commission and industrialists about their take and asks on the update of the strategy, together with practical case studies from industry.
I look forward to seeing many of you at this and future events, and to working together in the year ahead. There is much at stake – let’s get to work on delivering Europe’s recovery!