Let me start by wishing you all the best for the new year. With 2022 dubbed the year of ‘polycrisis’, most of us will not be sad to see it go. But can we expect a fresh start in 2023, given the structural and competitive challenges still facing the EU? I for one am cautiously optimistic. Optimistic, because I firmly believe the enabling technologies being developed across our industries can offer solutions to these challenges. And cautiously so, because whether we can unlock this potential will depend on how Europe responds to three key questions: how we decarbonise, how we scale up our high-tech industries, and how we stand our ground against international competition.
These questions are no doubt also informing the Commission’s new plan to boost European manufacturing, with the first details sketched out by President von der Leyen at Davos this week (see my take here). While the devil will be in the detail, it is encouraging to see the future of manufacturing high on policymakers’ agenda. Fostering investment, while important, is only part of the picture. At least as crucial will be to get the regulatory framework right, starting with the fundamentals of the EU Single Market - a cornerstone of our industries’ growth for decades. 2023 marks the 30th anniversary of this European success story, and is a chance to take a fresh look at strengthening its foundations in the years ahead. The fact that the Swedish Presidency counts the internal market and EU competitiveness among its priorities is a promising start on which we can build our engagement in the coming months.
The year is already off to a running start here at Orgalim. We have been asked to join the Commission’s High-Level Forum on European Standardisation, where we will contribute our industries’ views on keeping the EU standards system fit for purpose for Europe’s industrial transition. And alongside the many ongoing legislative processes, we will continue our work with the Industrial Forum, advising the Commission on how to make the green and digital transitions a reality while strengthening Europe’s competitiveness. 2023 is shaping up to be a pivotal year for the EU - and with the right groundwork, it can also be the year where European industry solidifies its place as a global force to be reckoned with in a new industrial age.
All the best,