Αθήνα, 10 Μαρτίου 2020
Joint statement welcoming the European Commission’s Industrial Strategy
We, Austria, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Romania and Spain, have long been calling for an ambitious European industrial strategy. Today, we welcome the publication of the European Commission’s Industrial Strategy.
The Commission’s strategy reacts to the diagnosis we have already established together. Europe’s industry is facing technological and climate changes, in the context of a highly globalised world. The only way our industry will be able to compete is by pooling our national strengths. The Covid-19 crisis reminds us of the urgent need to reduce our dependency on non-European suppliers. Our sovereignty is at stake.
While companies should seize the opportunities presented by the technological and climate changes, the European Union and its Member States can shape the right policy environment for companies to innovate. Therefore, we welcome the new European Industrial Strategy which sets the way Europe will strengthen the competitiveness of its industry and master the ongoing industrial transition.
In line with the Commission’s strategy, we advocate for speeding up the decarbonation of the European industry through the European Green Deal by:
– financing green projects, including with EIB’s support and focusing on green technologies and solutions to decarbonate the industry is a step in the right direction, which should be accompanied by adequate resources in the Multiannual Financial Framework ;
– work on a WTO-compatible carbon border mechanism and encourage further action to protect our industry from carbon leakages ;
– adapting the European framework for energy-environment State aid and improving the single market for products and services, for products of the circular economy and for greener public procurement.
We fully support the development of European industrial ecosystems put forward by the European Commission. We welcome the Commission’s commitment to dedicate more European funds to strategic value chains, key technologies and breakthrough innovation. SMEs should be fully involved in such ecosystems and we stand ready to contribute to the reflection on how to foster their role.
We wish to focus on strategic value chains, through Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI) or other instruments, such as the ones already launched on electric batteries or microelectronics, to other major European projects in the area of health, climate or digital that will be key to ensuring our technological sovereignty, for instance for hydrogen energy or artificial intelligence.
We welcome the commitments of the Commission to restore a level playing field with third countries companies by ensuring fair competition globally and within the internal market. We welcome the intention of the Commission to adapt competition and State aid framework to new technological and global market development.
We believe the deepening of the Single Market is a key driver to strenghten our competitiveness, especially for SMEs. We therefore welcome the Commission’s long-term action plan for better implementation and enforcement of single market rules. We welcome the strategic approach of the Commission on business data and the digitisation of the economy.
We are ready to work together with the Commission to implement this common strategy. To that end, the Competitiveness Council, which brings together the ministers for industry, should ensure that the strategy is swiflty implemented and drive large-scale initiatives in coordination with other EU-wide policies.
Margarete Schramböck – Federal Minister for Digital and Economic Affairs – Austria
Emil Karanikolov – Minister of Economy – Bulgaria
Bruno Le Maire- Minister of Economy and Finance – France
Peter Altmaier – Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy – Germany
Adonis-Spyridon Georgiadis – Minister of Development and Investments – Greece
Stefano Patuanelli – Minister of Economic development – Italy
Franz Fayot – Minister of the Economy – Luxembourg
Virgil – Daniel Popescu – Minister of economy, energy and business – Romania
Reyes Maroto – Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism – Spain