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EU: Integrated industrial policy – Create conditions for manufacturing to thrive

In the face of globalisation and intense international competition, the
European Commission has launched a new industrial policy to create
better framework conditions for manufacturing industries in the coming

The manufacturing industry matters to the EU, it employs over 34
million people, it accounts for three quarters of EU exports and over
80% of EU private sector R&D expenditure. Whether or not a business
succeeds or not ultimately depends on the vitality and strength of the
business itself, but the overall environment can help or harm business
The new EU industrial policy will
complement work at Member State level to support a strong and dynamic
industrial base. It includes seven new initiatives – on
competitiveness, energy and the environment, on intellectual property
rights, on better regulation, on industrial research and innovation, on
market access, on skills, and on managing structural change – which
will benefit a wide range of industry sectors. Seven additional
initiatives are targeted at specific sectors such as pharmaceuticals,
defence and Information and communication technologies.
The approach underlying the new
industrial policy is based on a detailed screening of 27 individual
sectors of manufacturing industry and construction. It builds on the
success of several joint initiatives undertaken by the Commission with,
for example the shipbuilding and car industries. This industrial policy
is an important step in the delivery of the Commission’s new Lisbon
“Partnership for Growth and Jobs”.
More information:
In December 2002, a communication on ’Industrial policy in an Enlarged Europe
laid the foundations that should underpin the Union‘s industrial
policy. Without a competitive industry, it is impossible to achieve
social and environment goals. The Communication recalled how equally
important are the three pillars of sustainable strategy. In addition,
two dimensions were particularly highlighted. Firstly, that all EU
policies need to contribute to competitiveness and it is important to
optimise the synergies between EC policies and industrial
competitiveness. Secondly, while providing the best horizontal
framework conditions for enterprises, horizontal policy has to take
into account the specific needs of industrial sectors.
The Communication ’Fostering structural changes: an industrial policy for an enlarged Europe
(adopted in April 2004) aimed at deepening the guidelines already
outlined by the December 2002 Communication. More specifically, it
identified concrete initiatives to improve the competitiveness of
European industry while accompanying the process of structural changes
in which it is engaged. In addition, this Communication deepened the
analysis of deindustrialisation initiated in the Communication on an Integrated Approach to Competitiveness.
Unit B1 – Development of Industrial Policy
B-1049 Brussels Belgium
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PDF: European Industry.pdf