Mission Growth: Europe at the Lead of the New Industrial Revolution
- Without a strong industrial base, Europe's economy cannot prosper
- Industrial revolution brings industry back to Europe
- Industry Communication - Lack of confidence triggers lack of investment
- 2012 Report on the Member States industrial competitiveness performance
- The 2012 European Competitiveness Report
- Jeremy Rifkin on the need of an Industrial Policy Communication Update
- TOP10 most burdensome EU legislative acts for SMEs?
- Objectives of Missions for growth
MEMO/13/815: Competitiveness report 2013: no growth and jobs without industry
MEMO/13/816: Industrial competitiveness of EU member states: some progress made, but many challenges still lay ahead
More information on the general Competitiveness report
Monitoring progress in the Member States
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.
- See the press release
- Slides from the technical briefing [938 KB]
- Vice President Tajani's Presentation of the New Industrial Policy Communication [553 KB]
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The set of proposals to boost industry presented on 10 October 2012, consists of the following three documents:
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.
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.
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:
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)
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.
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.
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.
- Jeremy Rifkin's vision [174 KB]
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!".
Missions for Growth have as objectives:
to promote sustainable and inclusive growth in the European Union and the visited countries;
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 under VP Tajani’s responsibility will be signed;
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.
The presence of individual CEOs/entrepreneurs interested in cooperation with the targeted countries will be the key for the success of the missions.
VP Tajani has invited the leading EU business organizations (Business Europe, UEAPME and Eurochambres) to accompany him and to propose entrepreneurs, members of these organizations, as potential candidates for the missions.