The European Commission has presented a new industrial strategy to help Europe’s industry transition towards climate neutrality and “digital leadership”.
The package of initiatives sets out a range of actions to support all players of European industry.
It includes measures to “modernise and decarbonise energy-intensive industries”, support sustainable and smart mobility industries, to promote energy efficiency, strengthen current carbon leakage tools and secure a sufficient and constant supply of low-carbon energy at competitive prices.
It also looks to enhance Europe’s industrial and strategic autonomy by securing the supply of critical raw materials through an Action Plan on Critical Raw Materials.
This is more important than ever as Europe embarks on its ambitious green and digital transitions in a more unsettled and unpredictable world
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, said: “Europe’s industry is the motor of growth and prosperity in Europe. And it is at its best when it draws on what makes it strong: its people and their ideas, talents, diversity and entrepreneurial spirit.
“This is more important than ever as Europe embarks on its ambitious green and digital transitions in a more unsettled and unpredictable world. Europe’s industry has everything it takes to lead the way and we will do everything we can to support it.”
The Industrial Policy package published today includes the following initiatives:
A new Industrial Strategy
To uphold Europe’s industrial leadership, a new Industrial Strategy will help deliver on three key priorities: maintaining European industry’s global competitiveness and a level playing field, at home and globally, making Europe climate-neutral by 2050 and shaping Europe’s digital future.
The Strategy sets out the key drivers of Europe’s industrial transformation and proposes a comprehensive set of future actions, including:
- An Intellectual Property Action Plan to uphold technological sovereignty, promote global level playing field, better fight intellectual property theft and adapt the legal framework to the green and digital transitions.
- As competition brings the best out of our companies, the ongoing review of EU competition rules, including the ongoing evaluation of merger control and fitness check of State aid guidelines, will ensure that our rules are fit for purpose for an economy that is changing fast, increasingly digital and must become greener and more circular.
- We need fair competition at home and abroad. In addition to making the most of its toolbox of trade defence mechanisms, the Commission will adopt a White Paper by mid-2020 to address distortive effects caused by foreign subsidies in the single market and tackle foreign access to EU public procurement and EU funding. The issue related to foreign subsidies will be addressed in a proposal for a legal instrument in 2021. This will go hand in hand with ongoing work to strengthen global rules on industrial subsidies in the World Trade Organization, and actions to address the lack of reciprocal access for public procurement in third countries.
- Comprehensive measures to modernise and decarbonise energy-intensive industries, support sustainable and smart mobility industries, to promote energy efficiency, strengthen current carbon leakage tools and secure a sufficient and constant supply of low-carbon energy at competitive prices.
- Enhancing Europe’s industrial and strategic autonomy by securing the supply of critical raw materials through an Action Plan on Critical Raw Materials and pharmaceuticals based on a new EU Pharmaceutical Strategy and by supporting the development of strategic digital infrastructures and key enabling technologies.
- A Clean Hydrogen Alliance to accelerate the decarbonisation of industry and maintain industrial leadership, followed by Alliances on Low-Carbon Industries and on Industrial Clouds and Platforms and raw materials.
- Further legislation and guidance on green public procurement.
- A renewed focus on innovation, investment and skills.
Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internal Market, said: “Europe has the strongest industry in the world. Our companies – big and small – provide us with jobs, prosperity and strategic autonomy.
“Managing the green and digital transitions and avoiding external dependencies in a new geopolitical context requires radical change – and it needs to start now.”
Circular Economy Action Plan
The European Commission today published a comprehensive report on the implementation of the Circular Economy Action Plan it adopted in December 2015.
The report presents the main results of implementing the action plan and sketches out open challenges to paving the way towards a climate-neutral, competitive circular economy where pressure on natural and freshwater resources as well as ecosystems is minimised.
The future potential for sustainable growth is huge and Europe is indeed the best place for an environmentally-friendly industry to grow. This success is the result of European stakeholders and decision-makers acting together
First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, responsible for sustainable development, said: “Circular economy is key to putting our economy onto a sustainable path and delivering on the global Sustainable Development Goals.
“This report shows that Europe is leading the way as a trail blazer for the rest of the world. At the same time more remains to be done to ensure that we increase our prosperity within the limits of our planet and close the loop so that there is no waste of our precious resources.”
Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for jobs, growth, investment and competitiveness, said: “This report is very encouraging. It shows that Europe is on the right track in creating investment, jobs and new businesses.
“The future potential for sustainable growth is huge and Europe is indeed the best place for an environmentally-friendly industry to grow. This success is the result of European stakeholders and decision-makers acting together.”