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 years. 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 prospects.
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?Æ.
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
Fax: +32 2 29 21363
Author: EARSC

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