The LeaderSHIP - initiative: the EU's response to shipbuilding's challenges
High Level Meeting on LeaderSHIP Initiative - 20 February 2013
Following the completion of the work of the Coordination Group, a High Level meeting took place in the presence of VP Tajani to endorse the work of the Group and to mark the adoption of the LeaderSHIP 2020 report.
Adopted LeaderSHIP 2020 report [2 MB] .
A revised LeaderSHIP initiative
The LeaderSHIP 2015 initiative has been launched in 2003 with the aim of giving a coordinated response to the challenges faced by the European shipbuilding sector. The main focus has been on knowledge based activities and the need for better return on the substantial investments made by yards in research, development and innovation. However, in view of the negative impact that the present crisis is having on the EU shipbuilding industry, a strong fresh impetus was needed to identify new development opportunities especially in the areas of innovation, greening, application of new technologies and diversification into new emerging markets, such as off-shore wind energy.
Against this background and following intensive discussions with industry and trade union leaders, Mr Tajani, Vice President of the European Commission, proposed at the meeting of the Competitiveness Council on 5 December 2011 to review and update - in close co-operation with all stakeholders - the LeaderSHIP 2015 strategy. The review process was finalised with the endorsement of the LeaderSHIP 2020 strategy by all involved stakeholders on 20 February 2020, in the presence of VP Tajani.
The LeaderSHIP 2020 strategy recommendations range from the wider use of EU instruments to foster new skills, competence and qualifications, to Public Private Partnerships for new maritime research, EIB funding opportunities, regional maritime clusters and smart specialisation strategies in regional policy.
A. LeaderSHIP 2015
The LeaderSHIP 2015 initiative is the EU shipbuilding industry's response to the competitive challenges it is facing. It was designed to address all important issues for the competitiveness of this industry sector. In high-tech industry sectors such as shipbuilding, success is first of all based on knowledge: with regard to knowledge-based economic activities, LeaderSHIP 2015 provided a sector-specific response to the EU's longer term strategy for economic, social and environmental renewal. It aimed at fostering the competitiveness of the EU shipbuilding industry, by providing the tools for this industry to improve research and innovation among other items.
Dedicated chapters for each of the key areas describe the challenges and spell out concrete recommendations. These areas were:
- Establishing a Level Playing Field in World Shipbuilding
- Improving Research, Development and Innovation Investment
- Developing Advanced Financing and Guarantee Schemes
- Promoting Safer and More Environment-Friendly Ships
- A European Approach to Naval Shipbuilding Needs
- Protection of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)
- Securing the Access to a Skilled Workforce
- Building a Sustainable Industry Structure
In 2007 the Commission issued a first progress report on LeaderSHIP 2015 .
Europe's competitive advantage has been and will continue to be based upon its ability to construct the most advanced vessels. And they bear witness to the fact that European shipyards are genuine engineering power-houses. The high-tech nature of the shipbuilding industry is further underlined by the fact that yards, on average, invest more than 10% of their turnover on research, development and innovation.
For a full description of LeaderSHIP and its further development, please click here.
B. The revision of LeaderSHIP 2015
The revised strategy covers a wider scope of industries and products in line with new market trends linked notably to the greening of the sector and new maritime activities such as off shore industries.
Preparatory event: Industry Hearing of 27 February 2012
A first hearing with the industry stakeholders (shipbuilding and maritime equipment industry, trade unions) kicking off the revision process, took place on 27 February. Its main focus was on the rationale and the scope of the revision and its main thematic areas.
1. The Coordination Group
Following the industry hearing, a Coordination Group (CG) was set up. The role of this group, consisting of representatives of member states, regions, industry and trade unions, was to steer the revision process, designate working groups dealing with the main revision areas and decide on the organisation aspects of the review (working methods/practices/timelines etc.) on the basis of the terms of references for the revision process as adopted by the CG. The CG adopted in January 2013 a final version of the report containing suggestions for concrete action. This report was based on the input of the Working Groups to the review process (please see below).
The 1st meeting of the Coordination Group was held in March 30 2012 where the Terms of References for the revision [110 KB] were adopted
The 2nd meeting of the Coordination Group was held on 4 May 2012.
The 3rd meeting of the Coordination Group was held on 25 October 2012.
2. The Working Groups
The CG has designated three groups working on three main revision themes: (i) research and innovation; (ii) employment and skills; (iii) international competitiveness and access to finance. These WGs met in 2012 in order to draft reports with suggestions for actions on their respective working areas.