The event is the Commission's annual flagship conference on industrial policy that brings together key industry representatives, public authorities and civil society to discuss the future of EU industry against the backdrop of the Commission's 2017 Industrial Policy Strategy. Jyrki Katainen, Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness; Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs; and Margrethe Vestager, Commissioner for Competition, participated in the event, which also welcomed Kristalina Georgieva, interim President of the World Bank, and Li Yong, Director General of United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).
The Juncker Commission is helping Europe's industries stay global leaders in innovation, digitisation and decarbonisation. The Investment Plan has already triggered over €370 billion in investments across the EU. Thanks to the Single Market, EU companies have access to more diverse, higher quality and cheaper inputs and are therefore more competitive globally. The High Level Industrial Roundtable discussed trends and challenges facing European industries by 2030. The Commission unveiled preliminary recommendations of the expert group on strategic value chains. Namely, to prepare coordinated action and investment to strengthen 6 key strategic value chains:
- Connected, clean and autonomous vehicles
- Smart health
- Low-carbon industry
- Hydrogen technologies and systems
- Industrial Internet of Things
This will complement already ongoing initiatives to strengthen the value chains for batteries, microelectronics and high-performance computing.
Vice-President Katainen opened the first meeting of the Circular Plastics Alliance – an initiative launched by the Commission in December 2018 which brings together the producers and users of recycled plastics with the aim of recycling at least 10 million tons of plastic into new products by 2025. To engage young people in this debate, the Young Leaders of Industry Forum met for the first time. In parallel, a series of events are held across 18 EU countries as part of the EU Industry Week.