EuPC is one of 90 industry associations to sign a joint declaration in Brussels this week (February 16th 2017) setting out a new ambitious strategy for European industry.
European industry employs over 34 million people across the member states in supply chains comprising thousands of companies and SMEs while indirectly accounting for millions of additional jobs in other sectors. EU industry has the capacity for more world-leading research and innovation and boasts a skilled workforce, a reputation for quality and continually improving sustainability. Now, member states and European associations are being called upon to create more jobs to drive the industry forward and spur growth.
Industry in the EU is facing challenges. Manufacturing in total EU output fell between 2000 and 2015 from 18.8 per cent to 15.3 per cent, while 3.5 million manufacturing jobs were lost between this period. This against a backdrop of growth in emerging markets and with government growth schemes such as Make in India and Made in China 2025 puts Europe's lead as the champion industry innovator in danger.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker's ambition to increase European industry's GDP share to 20 per cent by 2020 has been a top priority since the beginning of his mandate and the importance of seeing this pledge through is critical as the Commission approaches its next Multiannual Financial Framework.
The European manufacturing industry, representing a diverse range of sectors, is calling on the European Commission to reaffirm its commitment to reaching the 20 per cent target, adopt an Action Plan to tackle the challenges that the industrial sectors are facing within a roadmapped framework, and commit to implementing this Action plan in a timely manner with regular progress updates.
Member States and the European Parliament clearly stated their full support for a strong European industrial strategy in December 2016 via the European Council Conclusions calling to strengthen and modernise the EU’s industrial base and the Parliament Resolution on the need for a European reindustrialisation policy (October 2016).
They concluded: "We, the Signatories of this Joint Declaration, are ready to step up our cooperation with the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Competitiveness Council to define and implement this ambitious and coordinated European industrial strategy that will help safeguard the world leadership of European manufacturers and jobs in Europe."