Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs



Industry is the backbone of the European economy. It accounts for 80% of Europe’s exports and private innovations, and provides high-skilled jobs for citizens. Europe has a global competitive advantage on high value-added products and services. Innovation and competitiveness are 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 transformation of EU industry.

What the European Commission does

Industrial policy

The European Commission is investing in EU industry for a modern, clean and fair economy. Our approach to industrial policy is to promote industrial competitiveness through all of our major initiatives. We aim to empower citizens by providing skills for industry, revitalise regions through the development of clusters and the Smart Specialisation Platform, and have the best technologies by supporting the digital transformation of industry and Key Enabling Technologies, and promoting ICT standards.  


Innovation is a key factor in the competitiveness of European industry. The EU implements policies and programmes that support the development of innovation to increase investment in research and development, and to better convert research into improved goods, services, or processes for the market.

Sustainability and circular economy

The Commission aims to ensure coherence between industrial, environmental, climate and energy policy to create an optimal business environment for sustainable growth, job creation and innovation.  To support this, we have established an ambitious agenda to transform EU economy into a circular one, where the value of products and materials is maintained for as long as possible, bringing major economic benefits. The Commission also supports European industry in the move to a low-carbon economy and improves the energy efficiency of products through ecodesign legislation.

Intellectual property

The Commission works to harmonise laws relating to intellectual property rights (IPR) in EU countries to avoid barriers to trade and create efficient EU-wide systems for the protection of such rights. We work with authorities at all levels to strengthen the enforcement of IPR. We aim to help small businesses access and use IPR more effectively. 

Corporate social responsibility

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) refers to companies taking responsibility for their impact on society. The Commission believes that CSR is important for the sustainability, competitiveness, and innovation of EU enterprises and the EU economy.

International activities

We help the internationalisation of EU businesses by ensuring a level playing field for them through bilateral, regional and international dialogues. We also contribute to the process of enlarging the EU


To support policy development and encourage EU countries to increase their competitiveness, the Commission monitors the competitiveness performance of EU countries and EU industries through the Report on Single Market integration and competitiveness in the EU, the EU industrial structure report, the European competitiveness report, the Member States' competitiveness report and the Short-term industrial outlook. It also shares best practices through the exchange of good practice reports.