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Industrial competitiveness

Industrial policy

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Industry must be placed centre stage if Europe is to remain a global economic leader. This is the core message of the Communication on "An integrated industrial policy for the globalisation era" adopted by the European Commission on 28th October 2010 on the initiative of Vice-President Antonio Tajani.

The 2010 Communication "An integrated industrial policy for the globalisation era", a flagship initiative of the Europe 2020 strategy , sets out a strategy that aims to boost growth and jobs by maintaining and supporting a strong, diversified and competitive industrial base in Europe offering well-paid jobs while becoming more resource efficient.

An integrated industrial policy

“Industry is at the heart of Europe and indispensable for finding solutions to the challenges of our society, today and in the future. Europe needs industry and industry needs Europe. We must tap into the full potential of the Single Market, its 500 million consumers and its 20 million entrepreneurs.”

Vice President Antonio Tajani


In this era of intensifying globalisation, the concept of national sectors and industries is obsolete. Coordinated European policy responses are needed. Europe also needs an approach that looks at the whole value chain, from infrastructure and raw materials to after-sales service. Moreover, the transition to a sustainable economy has to be seized as an opportunity to strengthen competitiveness. There will be no sustainability without competitiveness, and there will be no long-lasting competitiveness without sustainability. And there will be none of them without a quantum leap in innovation!

Related policy areas

In short, the concept of an integrated industrial policy means that it encompasses a full range of EU policies such as competition, trade, innovation or energy since they all have an impact on the competitiveness of industry. In addition, the integrated policy puts on equal footing competitiveness and sustainability. Finally, the integrated approach emphasizes the need for cooperation and coordination of efforts between the European Commission and the Member States.

Living up to the ambitions of a strong, diversified and competitive industrial base in Europe requires mutually reinforcing policies. A special emphasis is also given to intellectual property rights whose protection is an important factor of success in the knowledge-based economy and which serve as incentive to invest in product and process innovation.

Recent developments

On 10 October 2012 the Commission adopted an Update of the Industrial Policy flagship initiative – "A Stronger European Industry for Growth and Economic Recovery". It launches a new partnership between the EU, Member States and industry and focuses on four pillars: Investments in innovation, better market conditions, access to finance and capitals, and human capital and skills. More
While fully endorsing the integrated industrial policy approach outlined in the Industrial Policy Communications of 2010 and 2012, a new Communication was adopted on 22 January 2014 as a contribution to the 2014 European Council debate on industrial policy. It calls on Member States to boost post-crisis growth and modernisation. More information on the 2014 Communication.

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