This 2013 study shows that the electrical and electronics engineering industry is one of the most competitive European manufacturing industries. It has performed well in international markets and benefited from the high global growth momentum in the past decade. The industrialisation of countries with emerging economies has been the most important driver for expansion. Today EEI is one of the most important manufacturing industries in the 27 EU countries, and a driver of innovation, a provider of key-enabling technologies (KET) and the largest employer within the EU.
However, the study also shows that the outbreak of the global financial crisis in 2008 caused a breakdown of demand and EEI as well as other manufacturing industries suffered a severe recession. The subsequent upswing cycle was fragile.
Throughout recent years, emerging economies’ manufacturing output has gained shares in global output, whereas the developed world has lost position. Moreover, the European manufacturing sector has remained challenged by the banking and state debt crisis.
The study concludes with asking policymakers to:
- improve framework conditions (supply side economics) to prevent further losses of workplaces to more attractive locations outside the EU
- take measures to reach the EU 20-20-20 targets mainly through demand side policy actions
- take note of the particular importance of clusters for the competitiveness of each of the individual subsectors in the EU EEI, encourage and exploit them.