Heinz Lehmann, rapporteur on the CoR
draft opinion on "A European strategy for
, addressed the Ministers of the 28 Member States
at an informal meeting on 1 February in Sofia.
During the meeting focused on the future of
Industry in Europe the CoR rapporteur emphasised
the importance of a digital transformation, a
well-functioning single market and a close
cooperation with cities and regions as success
factors of a renewed EU industrial policy strategy.
The Bulgarian Presidency, which took over in January,
wants to build on the Council's former work on
industrial policy (
Council conclusions of 30 November
). It invited ministers and key stakeholders to examine
key salient issues with a view to ensuring an ambitious
and forward-looking EU strategy for a strong and
competitive industry in Europe.
We need to upgrade European industry for the
digital age to
ensure its competitiveness in a rapidly changing
global world. All regions – including rural areas –
need to participate in value creation and in
generating and retaining skilled jobs.
A well-functioning single market that provides a
free and fair access to the
European market will help to better integrate local
and regional companies in global value chains,
making them an essential success factor for
", said Heinz Lehmann (DE/EPP), member
of Saxony regional parliament, in his opening
The CoR welcomes the European Commission's proposal for
an annual Industry Day and the a high level industrial
round table but calls for regional and local
authorities but also for other regional stakeholders
such as entrepreneurs, social partners and the civil
society to be actively involved in the debate about key
enabling technologies (KETs).
As healthy regional economies are central to
industrial modernisation we need to support
industrial innovation on the ground. Local and
regional authorities are strong partners in this
endeavour as they have important powers and
competences in policy areas such as research and
innovation, education and skills, export support,
infrastructure and the support for SMEs
", Mr Lehmann added.
During the meeting additional keynote speakers were Elżbieta Bieńkowska; Commissioner for
Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Markus J. Beyrer, Director General of
Business Europe, Goncalo Lobo Xavier,
Vice-President of the European Economic and Social
Committee, and Marco Mensink, Director
General of the European Chemical Industry Council.
In 2010, against the backdrop of the financial and
economic crisis, the European Commission called for "an
integrated industrial policy for the globalisation era
putting competitiveness and sustainability at centre
stage" and set the goal of raising the share of
industry in GDP to 20%; since then, rapid technological
developments, especially as a result of digitalisation,
have confronted European industry with fresh
challenges. Therefore the Council and the
called on the European Commission to draw up a
"holistic EU industrial policy strategy for the future"
In response the European Commission presented a
renewed EU industrial policy strategy
on 13 September 2017. The
on 30 November welcome the Commission Communication but
urge them to go further and develop a comprehensive EU
industrial strategy with a focus on 2030 and beyond.
The CoR has collected the proposals by local and
regional authorities in the
drawn up by Heinz Lehmann. It was
adopted by the CoR commission for economic policy
(ECON) on 23 January 2018, with final adoption planned
during the CoR plenary session on 22-23 March 2018.
Tel. +32 (0)2 282 2366
Mobile +32 (0)494 735 787