Time for an ambitious EU industrial strategy!
16 February 2017
Manufacturing is the backbone of the European economy. The industry directly employs over 34 million people across the EU – almost 11 million of those in the engineering sectors represented by Orgalime. Add to that the huge volume of indirect employment generated, plus the innovations that help solve our most pressing societal challenges, and there can be no doubt: a strong manufacturing sector is vital to the prosperity and wellbeing of all Europeans.
Yet between 2000 and 2014, there has been a significant drop in the share of manufacturing in total EU output. In response, the European Commission has set the target of 20% European GDP to be delivered by industry by 2020, and Commission President Juncker has made reindustrialisation a top priority. But there is still a long way to go to achieve this goal – and other world regions are hot on Europe’s heels.
So it is time for the EU to step up to the plate and pursue an ambitious industrial strategy. This is why Orgalime has joined forces with 127 other European manufacturing associations to issue a declaration calling on the European Commission to reaffirm its commitment to this 20% target and to adopt and implement an Action Plan to make it a reality.
What we need is action – a commitment at Commission level and support from the European Parliament and at national level to shaping a European framework that enhances opportunities and attracts investment. Crucial to this will be reinforcing and strengthening the EU Internal Market, and supporting a rapid transition to the digitisation of industry and economy. For our industry, this will drive growth in output and employment – both of which have been rising again in the sector in recent times.
Download the joint declaration for more details, and look out for the campaign on Twitter under the hashtag #Industry4Europe.
To read Orgalime’s recommendations on how EU policy makers can help manufacturing drive employment and growth, check out our updated Vision Paper.