Promoting a place-based approach to industrial transition, digitisation/Industry 4.0
Introduce a territorial dimension in the EU Industrial Strategy
The CoR is following the EU work on industrial policy since 1995. It has more recently in the period 2018-2020 issued 3 opinions. The CoR has influenced the debate and policy proposals towards a recognition of place-based, territorial approaches to industrial policy. With the adoption of the CoR Opinion on A place-based approach to EU industrial policy, the rapporteur Jeannette Baljeu had the opportunity to advocate for a more "place-based" industrial policy to European institutions, to contribute to the work of the high-level group on the future of European industry, and to address member states at the Informal Competitiveness Council. This approach to a place-based EU industrial policy was followed up in the opinion on A new Industrial –strategy for Europe which the rapporteur Jeannette Baljeu could also present in the Council Working Party on Competitiveness and Growth (Industry). Her intervention led to the acknowlegedement of regional dimension in the conclusions of the COMPET Council of 16 November 2020.
Due to the opinion the view of the CoR was sought-after by the European Commission, e. g. in the launch meeting of the European Raw Materials Alliance or in the Industrial Days
The Opinions were prepared by studies, a territorial impact assessment, expert round-tables and interactive stakeholder consultation meetings.
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
- welcomes the European Commission's Communication on the new Industrial Strategy for Europe and its focus on industrial ecosystems; stresses that these ecosystems are often regional and that these are often linked to other regional ecosystems through supply chains or knowledge exchange networks; underlines that a new Industrial Strategy for Europe should therefore be based on multi-level governance where each level is given clear responsibilities and resources for implementation, and stresses that the support of all stakeholders is necessary to reach the goals of the dual transition to a green and digital industry;
- underlines that the new EU Industrial Strategy therefore needs to reinforce the place-based dimension in order for regions and cities, as the governments closest to citizens and ecosystems, to take ownership of the twin green and digital transitions of their industry;
- underlines the need for a clear monitoring and evaluation system as recommended in the Smart Specialisation Strategies; stresses that this should be carried out at all three levels: EU, Member States and regions should evaluate every two years;
- acknowledges the geopolitical risks of foreign investment and an overdependence on "global" supply and value chains; asks the Commission to enrich the strategy with measures to help cope with the current COVID-19-induced crisis and to prepare for new pandemics in the future to ensure the resilience of Europe's society and economy, for instance by preparing for alternative European supply chains for medical supplies based on low costs and frugal innovations in case of new pandemics or serious epidemics;
- underlines the importance of the involvement of regional governments and regional clusters or networks in alliances, and requests that regional governments, or at least a representative of the Committee of the Regions, be part of the Industrial Forum, especially in analysing the risks and needs of industry when it comes to industrial ecosystems, which, in the opinion of the Committee of the Regions, are made up of "regional" ecosystems for entrepreneurship and innovation.