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Mission Growth

Mission Growth: Europe at the Lead of the New Industrial Revolution

Europe's economy cannot survive in a sustainable way without a strong and profoundly reshaped industrial base. New technologies have dramatically changed our life and our economy in the past 20 years. Political systems collapsed, new players emerged on the markets, as well as new materials, new technologies and workers who are better skilled than ever. The wind of change is blowing at a time when Europe is facing a severe economic and social crisis. But this situation and the changes are also an opportunity.

EU industrial structure report 2013: Competing in Global Value Chains

Please find the full report on a dedicated page.

Commission calls for immediate action for a European Industrial Renaissance

The European Commission is urging Member States to recognise the central importance of industry for creating jobs and growth, and of mainstreaming industry-related competitiveness concerns across all policy areas. This is the key message of the communication 'For a European Industrial Renaissance', adopted on 22 January 2014.

The Commission calls on the Council and the Parliament to adopt proposals on energy, transport, space and digital communications networks, as well as to implement and enforce legislation to complete the internal market. Furthermore, industrial modernisation must be pursued by investing in innovation, resource efficiency, new technologies, skills and access to finance, accelerated by the use of dedicated EU funds. The Communication promotes a more business-friendly Europe through actions to simplify the legislative framework and improve the efficiency of public administration at EU, national and regional levels. Other key issues include easier access to third country markets through harmonisation of international standards, open public procurement, patent protection and economic diplomacy.

 

Communication 'A vision for the internal market for products'

In this context, the European Commission has also published the Communication 'A vision for the internal market for products'. This presents a vision to achieve a more integrated internal market based on rationalising the existing regulatory framework. The Commission will also prepare a Regulation on Enforcement to help reinforce the level-playing field for compliant products in the EU. The Enterprise Europe Network will be reinforced to strengthen support for SMEs in the internal market and further develop the assistance given for access to finance and for the innovation management capacity of SMEs.

Without a strong industrial base, Europe's economy cannot prosper

Industrial revolution brings industry back to Europe

European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship: "We cannot continue to let our industry leave Europe. Our figures are crystal clear: European industry can deliver growth and can create employment. Today we tabled the conditions for the sustainable reindustrialisation of Europe, to develop the investments needed in new technologies and to rebuild a climate of confidence and entrepreneurship. By working together and restoring confidence, we can bring back industry to Europe."

Europe needs its real economy now more than ever to underpin the recovery of economic growth and jobs and it needs to reindustrialise for the 21st century. Immediate action should contribute to revert the current downward trend and to promote the re-industrialisation of Europe. Currently industry accounts for about 16% of EU GDP. Therefore, the European Commission has set its goal that industry's share of GDP should be around 20% by 2020.

Europe's industry is well placed to assume this role: Europe is a world-leader in many strategic sectors such as automotive, aeronautics, engineering, space, chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Industry still accounts for 4/5 of Europe's exports and 80% of private sector R&D investment comes from manufacturing. If confidence comes back, and with it new investments, Europe's industry can perform better and start growing again. This is the core message of a Communication tabled by European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani in Brussels on 10 October 2012.

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The set of proposals to boost industry presented on 10 October 2012, consists of the following three documents:

Industry Communication - Lack of confidence triggers lack of investment

The communication is calling for short term focussed investment in key industry sectors with high growth prospects.

Market uncertainty, financing problems, lack of demand and skills shortages triggered lack of confidence which in turn triggered lack of investment and job losses in industry.

Pillars of the reinforced industrial policy are:

Investments in innovation - providing the right framework conditions for investments, to rapidly return to pre-crisis levels, with a focus on six priority areas, with enormous potential for growth and jobs in Europe: advanced manufacturing technologies for clean production, sustainable industrial and construction policy and raw materials, clean vehicles, bio-based products, key enabling technologies, and smart grids. Member States as well should play their part and should prioritise investments in these six areas.

Better market conditions – improvements in the functioning of the Internal Market and opening up international markets. The Commission will concentrate on selected themes where significant improvement can be achieved quickly: improving the Internal Market for goods, fostering entrepreneurship with regards to the digital single market which is expected to grow by 10% a year up to 2016, protecting intellectual property rights and further promoting the internationalisation of EU SMES around the world, reaching 25% (from 13%) in the medium term.

Access to finance and capitals – to improve lending to the real economy by better mobilising and targeting public resources, including those of the EIB – which should allocate between EUR 10 and 15 billion in additional lending for SMEs - and of the Structural Funds, and by unlocking private funds through the elimination of remaining obstacles for venture capital funds and the facilitation of cross-border operations by smaller companies.

Human capital and skills – equipping labour force for industrial transformations, notably by better anticipating skills needs and mismatches. In this area, the Commission will in particular further promote cooperation of employers, workers and relevant authorities through the creation of European Sector Skills Councils and of Knowledge and Sectors Skills Alliances.

More information:

2012 Report on the Member States industrial competitiveness performance

Industrial performance in the EU not balanced: Member States have made good progress in strengthening industry's sustainability, improving support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and reforming public administration. They show a continued shift to a more knowledge-based economy, with increased labour productivity and highly-skilled labour. Member States have engaged in reforms to improve business prospects and strengthen their competitiveness, showing that:

The new industrial performance scoreboard looks at the Member States' industrial performance in five key areas: manufacturing productivity, export performance, innovation and sustainability, the business environment and infrastructure, and finance and investment. Based on the results of these indicators, three main groups emerge:

  • The ‘consistent performers’, whose industries are dominated by technologically advanced firms and whose workforces are highly skilled. This group includes: Germany, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Austria, Ireland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Belgium and France.
  • The group of ‘uneven performers’, who tend to show uneven performance, good in some criteria, but below average in others. This group comprises of Estonia, Slovenia, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece, Malta, Cyprus and Luxembourg.
  • The ‘catching-up’ group, which face significant challenges, as their move towards more knowledge- and skills-oriented industries is hampered by weak innovation capacity and knowledge transfer. This group consists of Bulgaria, Romania, the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Latvia and Lithuania.

More information:

The 2012 European Competitiveness Report

As part of the Europe 2020 Strategy, the annual European Competitiveness Report is designed to contribute to the analysis underpinning the EU's promotion of competitiveness:

  1. EU exports: a powerful driver of recovery

    While the effect of exports is generally very positive, their actual impact, however, differs from one EU country to another. Economies that cumulated significant economic imbalances in the pre-crisis period are undergoing painful adjustments and deleveraging processes. In the way out of the crisis, the drop in domestic demand cannot be fully offset by demand from outside the EU (see 1. below)

  2. Energy efficiency gains are seen in almost all Member States

    The EU leads in reducing the domestic energy content of exports, outperforming the USA and Japan. The EU is also leading the internationalisation and cross-border flows of eco-investment and eco-innovations. Eco-innovating firms are, on the whole, more successful than conventional innovators.

    The report provides new empirical confirmation of the effectiveness and efficiency of the EU's sustainable industrial policy and its importance for the overall competitiveness of European firms.

  3. The EU maintains its lead in inward and outward FDI

    But the EU is losing some of its attractiveness as a Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) destination. This is mainly due to a decline of intra-EU flows. Inflows from outside the EU are dominated by advanced economies (such as the US and Switzerland), but emerging economies are gaining relative weight. EU firms are the most important investors in the world.

    The report finds that the major drivers of FDI inflows have been the European single market, the Euro and, in the case of west-east flows, cost advantages.

More information:

Jeremy Rifkin on the need of an Industrial Policy Communication Update

Jeremy Rifkin Today, Internet technology and renewable energies are beginning to merge to create a new industrial infrastructure for a Third Industrial Revolution (TIR) that will change the way power is distributed in the 21st century. In the coming era, hundreds of millions of people will produce their own green energy in their homes, offices, and factories and share it with each other in an “Energy Internet,”-a distributed smart grid-just like we now generate and share information online.  The establishment of a Third Industrial Revolution industrial infrastructure will create thousands of new businesses and millions of jobs and lay the basis for a sustainable global economy in the 21st century.  The democratization of energy will also bring with it a fundamental reordering of human relationships, impacting the very way we conduct business, govern society, educate our children, and engage in civic life.

TOP10 most burdensome EU legislative acts for SMEs?

Complaints are often aired about the red tape created by European law. We want to cut red tape and we can. However, there is a definite lack of concrete proposals to reduce this burden. With this in mind, the European Commission is calling upon businesses: "Let us know what could be done better - we would like your ideas for reducing red tape!".

Your opinion matters.

Objectives of Missions for growth

Missions for Growth have as objectives:

  1. to promote sustainable and inclusive growth in the European Union and the visited countries;

  2. to help EU companies, including SMEs, to exploit business opportunities in the countries concerned; to this end political agreements as basis for further cooperation in various sectors will be signed;

  3. to promote EU industry in targeted sectors by organizing matchmaking events with local entrepreneurs and by participating in major events that take place in these countries during the visit.

Missions for Growth

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