Electrical and Electronic Engineering industries (EEI) are one of Europe’s largest and most competitive manufacturing sectors. They drive innovation and provide key-enabling technologies.
EEI also includes radio and telecommunications industries (R&TTE) as well as wireless communications industries, encompassing all products that use the radio frequency spectrum, e.g. mobile communications equipment, such as mobile phones and the mobile network infrastructure, citizens-band radio, broadcast transmitters, car door openers, wireless routers, maritime radars, sensors, etc.
EEI produces a wide range of products, ranging from consumer products to turbines, trains, power grids and power stations. The industrialisation of emerging economies has been the most important driver of its expansion. Furthermore:
The economic crisis caused a fall in demand for EEI as manufacturing industries suffered a severe recession. Employment levels, labour productivity and costs were affected, although not as adversely as with other sectors.
The future of the European EEI supply chain and its role as a producer of technologies now depends on the high growth potential of key markets being exploited and challenges overcome:
The R&TTE and wireless communications sector faces additional challenges.
In 2000, Europe was the world leader in mobile communications infrastructure, terminals and related high growth areas. However, in recent years, a progressive relocation to Asia (mainly China) for production, product development and research has taken place. The majority of products on the EU market, in particular consumer products are now manufactured by non-EU companies (China, South Korea, Japan or USA).
Strategic management of this sector is essential to improve levels of connectivity between EU citizens, business, and the public sector.
The Commission’s priority is to ensure a well-functioning internal market for this sector. Central to free circulation of products within the internal market is the harmonisation at EU level of requirements addressing objectives of public interest. These include the safety of users, the co-existence of electromagnetic emissions, and the efficient use of radio spectrum.
In particular, the Commission implements and revises, as appropriate, three key pieces of legislation:
More on what the Commission is doing.