Having started to lead Europe out of the worst downturn since WWII, Europe’s technology industries find themselves bracing for a third wave of the pandemic and the economic hit of renewed lockdowns. No wonder that the Commission's imminent release of the updated industrial strategy that aims to put industry at the heart of the EU's recovery ambitions is so eagerly awaited. As are the unprecedented EU funds being mobilised in support of the recovery. In parallel to building this new strategic foundation, however, a vast range of regulatory files that are deeply affecting our industries are already being rolled out. And this means that the reorientation of the industrial strategy is being seen by our companies in the same frame as the 'nuts and bolts' regulation coming their way. Especially by the countless SMEs we represent that will be disproportionately affected by the compliance burden.
Heeding this predicament, we are calling for continued attention to ensure that these two elements – the strategic and the operational – connect seamlessly. And this past month we have been engaging proactively, as ever, with that emphasis. Orgalim President Rada Rodriguez and I had a constructive exchange with Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager on the role of advanced manufacturing and the digital transformation in the industrial strategy. We also spoke with Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius about the success factors for implementing the Circular Economy Action Plan. The importance of open, free and fair trade for the recovery was underlined, too, at our latest Industrial Strategy in Focus roundtable, in partnership with EU Industry Days, which generated a timely discussion on how to rekindle the EU-US trade relationship.
Much work lies ahead to make sure that words and actions align, and the coming weeks will be critical to that. To mark the release of the updated Industrial Strategy on 27 April, we will host a high-profile opportunity to debate it just two days later, which I invite you all to join. Meanwhile our President continues to participate in the Industrial Forum on our industries' behalf, and all of us here at Orgalim are focused on bringing the collective expertise and insights of our industries to the policy process at every level, to ensure Europe’s technology industries can play their full part in driving the EU’s recovery and its wider green and digital transition.