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#Industry4Europe: Competitiveness Council endorses vision for industry in Europe




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170221ManufacturinPlant2On 20 February, the Competitiveness Council held a discussion on Europe’s manufacturing sector. Representatives of European companies welcomed Commissioner Bieńkowska’s support for a European vision for industry in Europe.

As part of the debate, Dr. Hariolf Kottmann, president of the Chemicals Industry Council and CEO of Clariant, told European industry ministers that the European Union is on the cusp of losing its hold as a major industrial power, with other global regions growing faster, offering industries cheaper raw materials and feedstock and aggressively promoting their own chemical manufacturing. Europe’s industries urgently need a clear signal from EU lawmakers, with favourable conditions to repatriate investment. This speech builds on a joint industry declaration last week that now counts more than 100 participating industry sectors.

As a result, the Council has now decided to work on Council Conclusions in its May meeting to encourage the European Commission to draft a new industrial policy.

Commissioner Bieńkowska reacted positively, stating: “In a week’s time we hold EU industry Day here in Brussels. The goal of this big conference is to evaluate what has been achieved by mainstreaming industrial competitiveness into EU policy. The time has come to really have a European vision for industry. Smart and innovative industry is extremely important for Europe and we have to be in the avant-garde of developments. We need to keep industry and production here in Europe. We have to keep them as well as services. I cannot say there will be a new proposal but I personally support this idea for an overall vision for European industry.”

Maltese Minister Chris Cardona added: “Industrial competitiveness is one of the main objectives of our presidency. We all know the transaction costs to operate in the European Union is high. We need to focus on areas that the presidency has already mentioned: the chemical industry, digitization of industry, logistics, access to finance, startups and scale-ups and the European defence action plan.”


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