Europe has always been the home of industry. Throughout its history, it has proven its ability to lead change. Today, industry in Europe is faced with a need for a transition to sustainability and digitalisation, which increasingly have an impact on all policy areas. The communication COM(2020) 102 final, on
A new industrial strategy for Europe, presented by the European Commission, addresses these challenges. The strategy aims to drive Europe's competitiveness and its strategic autonomy at a time of geopolitical instability and increasing global competition.
The communication sets out to deliver on three key priorities: firstly, maintaining European industry's global competitiveness and a level playing field at home and globally; secondly, making Europe climate-neutral by 2050; and thirdly, shaping Europe's digital future. The strategy examines the key drivers of Europe's industrial transformation and proposes a comprehensive set of future actions.
Although recognising the relevance of the local and regional authorities, the communication does not give them the importance they deserve. This was described in the CoR opinion on
A Place-based Approach (adopted on 26-27 June 2019, rapporteur: Jeanette Baljeu (NL/RE)), where the CoR highlights the important role of the local and regional level in the Industrial Strategy and their vital role in achieving 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 interregional and cross-border cooperation;
- calls for strengthened EU support for regional ecosystems and clusters in the framework of Interregional Innovation Investments;
- believes that pan-European and interregional cooperation has an important role in realising the potential of the circular and carbon neutral economy.
The strategy was published before it became clear that the Covid-19 pandemic would have such adverse effects on industry as a whole; therefore, it does not mention any of the potential impact of the crisis and as such, it might need to be adapted/revised.
The CoR will adopt an opinion on
A new Industrial Strategy for Europe on the basis of the Commission’s A new industrial strategy for Europe document, most probably at its plenary session of 1-2 July 2020, with
Rapporteur Jeanette Baljeu (NL/RE).
Ms Baljeu would like to explore a number of issues together with you through a written consultation that we, the Committee of the Regions, will facilitate. The consultation revolves around the following questions that Ms Baljeu would like you to answer by sending an email to
firstname.lastname@example.org before 14 May 2020.
The rapporteur would like to draw your attention to the following topics on which the New Industrial Strategy for Europe is structured:
- Climate neutrality – the Green Transition
- Digital leadership – The Digital Transition
- Global Competitiveness
The rapporteur has the following questions:
- What should be the focus of the development of European industrial ecosystems, including in the light of the current COVID-19 situation?
- In your opinion, should the EC adapt competition rules and the State aid framework to new technological and global market development? If so, could you give us an example?
- How could the position of Local and Regional Authorities (LRAs) be strengthened through the new Industrial Strategy? What could the role of members of the Committee of the Regions be in this?
- What is needed in your opinion to ensure fair competition globally and within the EU internal market?
- What role should LRAs play in the Pact of Skills in order to ensure an inclusive digital transition of Industry?
- Do you think the European Commission sets the right priorities? What should be emphasised more? What is missing?