Europe is the cradle of the manufacturing industry and has been at the forefront of industrial revolutions and technological innovations. This industry directly employs over 34 million people across all Member States, in supply chains comprising hundreds of thousands of SMEs and larger suppliers. It also indirectly accounts for millions of additional jobs in related sectors.
The European manufacturing industry has a tremendous capacity for research and innovation, boasts a skilled workforce and has earned a global reputation for quality and sustainability. What it now needs is the swift and determined support of the European institutions and the Member States to create more jobs and growth in Europe.
At the beginning of his mandate, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker identified the reindustrialisation of Europe as one of his top priorities and confirmed the objective of increasing the share of industry in the European GDP to 20% by 2020. As we approach the preparation of the next Multiannual Financial Framework, it is vital for the European institutions to act and help the EU remain a competitive global industrial power playing in a fairer world market.
Therefore, in February 2017, an impressive number of European industrial sectors adopted for the first time a Joint Declaration in which they called on the European Commission to adopt a long-term Action Plan to tackle the challenges that the industrial sectors are facing.
Member States and the European Parliament also clearly stated their full support for a strong European industrial strategy via the Competitiveness Council Conclusions on a future EU industrial policy strategy (29 May 2017), the Berlin Joint Declaration of the Friends of Industry (30 June 2017) and the Parliament Resolution on building an ambitious EU industrial strategy (5 July 2017).
As a consequence, we welcome the strong message of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in his annual State of the Union address last 13 September as he stated: “I want to make our industry stronger and more competitive” and “help our industries stay or become the world leader in innovation, digitisation and decarbonisation”.
The Communication on “Investing in a smart, innovative and sustainable Industry – A renewed EU Industrial Policy Strategy”, published by the European Commission on that same day, is a first important step – which we welcome – as it puts industry back to a high position on the political agenda and provides a comprehensive overview of current and upcoming Commission’s initiatives and measures related to industrial competitiveness.
In the aftermath of this Communication, the Signatories of this Joint Paper – representing a wide range of industrial sectors – have come together to analyse the document and react by identifying key objectives and/or missing measures that should be at the heart of any ambitious EU industrial strategy, taking the Communication as a starting point
More than ever, we are ready to step up our cooperation with the European institutions to discuss and implement a long-term European industrial strategy that will help safeguard the world leadership of European manufacturers and jobs in Europe.
To read the complete Joint Paper Click here