To make the political case for how an EU industrial policy strategy can be developed using a territorial or place-based approach, for the role of regional and local authorities in its implementation and for how their role can be supported by EU initiatives.
To highlight how a low carbon and circular economy can be a driver of innovation and new business and employment opportunities in a regional and local context.
The opinion, together with the analytical and political work undertaken during its preparation and the rapporteur's follow up activities, has engaged the support of institutional partners and key stakeholders for the elaboration of a comprehensive, long-term strategy for Europe’s industry aimed at assisting the digital transition and enabling industry to contribute fully to the creation of a climate-neutral and circular economy, and which includes a place-based approach focused on strengthening and connecting regional ecosystems. The Commission's Work Programme 2020 includes a commitment to proposing an Industrial Strategy during the first quarter of 2020.
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
- emphasises the need for a strategic vision for industry rooted in a place-based approach;
- notes that a place-based approach requires well-functioning cooperation networks and clusters; emphasises also that inter-regional cooperation of these is crucial for developing synergies and reaching critical mass in co-investment for deployment of innovation in industrial value chains across Europe;
- underlines that regional and local governments have a key role in actively establishing the necessary inter-regional and cross border collaborations;
- calls for strengthened EU support for regional eco-systems and clusters in the framework of Interregional Innovation Investments;
- considers that a pan-European approach on skills is critical for competitiveness;
- believes that pan-European and inter-regional collaboration has an important role in realising the potential of the circular and carbon neutral economy;
- supports strategic public procurement as a tool to boost innovation but considers that the complexity of the rules often encourages risk aversion by regional and local authorities;
- welcomes the European Council's invitation to the Commission to present, by the end of 2019, a long-term vision with concrete steps for the EU's industrial future.