“Industry is central to Europe’s future progress and prosperity. It makes up more than 20% of the EU’s economy and employs around 35 million people, with many millions more jobs linked to it at home and abroad. It accounts for 80% of goods exports and is a key reason behind the EU’s position as top global provider and destination for foreign direct investment. Small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) account for over 99% of all European firms –the vast majority of which are family run companies –and are oureconomic and social backbone.” (EU industrial strategy)

The EU relies on Europe’s industry to lead the transitions towards climate neutrality and digital leadership. The aim is for EU industry to become an accelerator and enabler of change, innovation and growth.

In March 2019, the European Council called on the European Commission to present a long-term vision on industrial policy. The Council followed up with conclusions in May 2019, presenting a vision for European industry in 2030. The European Commission published its new industrial strategy in March 2020.

The EU industrial strategy aim at facilitating

  • a globally competitive and world-leading industry
  • an industry that paves the way to climate-neutrality
  • an industry shaping Europe’s digital future
  • a more circular economy.

“In line with Europe’s new growth strategy, which gives back more than it extracts, Europe’sindustry must play a leading role in the ecological transition.This means reducing its carbon and material footprint and embedding circularity across the economy. To do this, we must move away from the age-old model of takingfrom the ground to make products, which we then use and throw away. We need to revolutionisethe way we design, make, use and get rid of thingsby incentivising our industry. This more circular approach will ensure a cleaner and more competitive industry by reducingenvironmental impacts, alleviatingcompetitionfor scarce resourcesandreducing production costs. The business case is as strong as the environmental and moral imperative. Applying circular economy principles in all sectors and industries haspotential to create 700,000new jobs across the EU by 2030, many of which in SMEs.” (EU industrial strategy)