Outlining the main goals
The general objectives of DG Enterprise and Industry are:
- to strengthen the sustainable competitiveness of Europe’s industrial base, including the contribution it makes to societal goals
- to ensure an open internal market for goods
- to support the European presence in space and the development of satellite-based services
The DG places particular emphasis on the need to stimulate entrepreneurship and encourage the growth of SMEs. The Director General is also the European Union’s SME Envoy, tasked with ensuring that all EU policies respect the “think small first” principle.
The DG's 2012 Management Plan [567 KB] presents in detail the DG's main goals for 2012. It shows in detail the planned activities and outputs of the DG for 2012, organized to reflect the annual budget of the European Union. The activities and specific objectives are outlined below in a more synthetic manner.
Competitiveness, industrial policy, innovation and entrepreneurship
The financial and economic crisis that unfolded in 2008 has dramatically changed Europe’s economic outlook for the foreseeable future. The Commission presented in March 2010 its strategy to lead Europe into recovery: "Europe 2020". This strategy outlines measures to support a successful exit from the crisis in the short term, while preparing the ground for a European economy which is sustainable and competitive in the future. Looking at the nature and scope of the challenges which range from global competition, unstable economic and financial systems, climate change and an ageing society, the EU must act collectively to succeed.
Two flagship initiatives of Europe 2020 will guide DG Enterprise and Industry’s actions in 2012. They are described in "An industrial policy for the globalisation era" and "Innovation Union".
The general objective of strengthening Europe’s industrial base means addressing issues of global competitiveness, ensuring access to key raw materials, shifting to a resource-efficient economy, driving forward the innovation needed to achieve these aims, creating the conditions for small and medium-sized enterprises to thrive and fostering a spirit of entrepreneurship which will see more European talent harnessed for wealth creation.
To achieve its competitiveness-related objectives, the DG pursues the following specific objectives, which are multi-annual:
- to promote favourable framework conditions for European industry
- to assist structural change and sustainable development in specific manufacturing sectors and tourism
- to support research and innovative applications in the security sector
- to open up opportunities for European businesses in Third Country markets, in particular for SMEs
- to promote innovation through improved framework conditions and support measures
- to promote a business environment favourable to SMEs and entrepreneurship
- to ease the exchange of experience and information among SMEs and the creation of new business partnerships
- to facilitate access to finance for SMEs
Internal market for goods
Ensuring the smooth functioning of the internal market for goods makes a fundamental contribution to help enterprises survive the economic downturn. The DG works to improve the internal market through new legislative or non-legislative action, whenever new barriers are detected; and it acts to ensure the correct application of Union law. This facilitates the operation and competitiveness of enterprises while providing European citizens with high levels of health, safety, environmental and consumer protection.
To achieve its internal market objective, the DG pursues the following specific objectives, which are multi-annual:
- to regularly review existing internal market legislation and propose new initiatives whenever appropriate to adapt regulation to new technology, to simplify legislation, to reduce the burden of compliance or to remove obsolete regulation
- to ensure the correct application of EU law
- to promote the development and use of innovative European standards
The space sector provides a stimulus to innovation and growth throughout the European economy. It is crucial if the EU wants to remain competitive in areas that require access to critical technologies. The DG supports this sector with a view to generating applications and services that benefit European citizens (e.g. environmental monitoring, satellite-based radio navigation), and to stimulating technology spin-offs that benefit other industrial sectors. Given the size of investments needed to develop this sector, there is a clear added-value of common and coordinated EU-level action.
One particular space-dependent activity with clear growth potential and a catalyst effect on EU industry is space-based navigation. Satellite navigation programmes support aims at providing global satellite-based navigation infrastructures and services, notably the European Satellite Navigation System (Galileo) and the European geostationary navigation overlay system (EGNOS). The Galileo programme is Europe's initiative for a state-of-the-art global satellite navigation system, providing a highly accurate, guaranteed global positioning service under European civilian control. EGNOS aims at providing satellite-based services to improve the performance of the Global Positioning System (GPS) over Europe.
To achieve its space objective, the DG pursues the following specific objectives, which are multi-annual:
- to support research and innovative applications in the space sector
- to develop and provide global satellite-based radio navigation infrastructures and services (Galileo)
- to provide satellite-based services improving the performance of GPS over Europe (EGNOS)
- to promote the operational use of EU earth observation-based services (GMES)