The European Commission updated its industrial strategy in May 2021 to ensure our industrial ambition takes account of the new circumstances following the COVID-19 crisis, while ensuring European industry can lead the way in transitioning to a green, digital and resilient economy.
Industry is the backbone of the European economy. Europe’s global competitive advantage in high value-added products and services translates to more than 20% of the EU’s total value-added, with industry directly providing 35 million jobs. Competitiveness is therefore at the heart of the Commission’s agenda and, as we stand on the brink of a new industrial revolution, we are committed to supporting the digital and green transformation of EU industry.
What the European Commission does
We are taking action to maintain European industry’s global competitiveness, reach climate-neutrality by 2050, and make Europe fit for the digital age. Among various actions that help industry take advantage of the twin green and digital transformations, the Commission is
- supporting the transformation of EU energy-intensive industries to enable a climate-neutral, circular economy by 2050
- empowering citizens by providing skills for industry
- promoting advanced technologies
- supporting innovation through policies and programmes
- taking action on intellectual property so companies can better manage and benefit from their non-tangible assets
- developing clusters and pooling European, national and regional resources to aid the revitalisation of regions
- providing platforms for discussion and dialogue, such as the annual EU Industry Days
Industrial alliances bring together a wide range of partners in a given industry or value chain, including public and private actors, and civil society. They can play a role in achieving key EU policy objectives through joint action by all the interested partners. Alliances have already delivered benefit in the area of batteries and circular plastics. Building on this success, the Commission launched the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance and the European Raw Materials Alliance in 2020.
Sustainability and circular economy
For coherence between industrial, environmental, climate and energy policy, we should optimise the business environment for sustainable growth, innovation and job creation. Our ambitious agenda aims to make the EU economy circular, so products and materials can maintain their value for as long as possible, yielding major economic benefits. The Commission also supports European industry in the move to a climate-neutral economy and is improving the energy efficiency of products through ecodesign legislation.
Digital technology is changing people’s lives. The EU’s digital strategy aims to make this transformation work for people and businesses as well as adding to its target of a climate-neutral Europe by 2050. Therefore, the EU’s strategies for artificial intelligence (AI) and data aim to encourage businesses to work with, and develop, these new technologies, while earning citizens’ trust.