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Industry Policy 2030: Turning Challenges Into Opportunities

28 June 2019
by smeunited -- last modified 28 June 2019

The European High-Level Industrial Roundtable presented its final report summarising the recommendations for a renewed European industrial policy until 2030 and beyond.


SMEunited President Ulrike Rabmer-Koller participated as SME representative in the expert group chaired by EC Vice-President Jyrki Katainen and Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska.

"Only a strong, competitive and innovative industry in Europe will be able to turn future challenges into opportunities. This paves the way for a successful European future by 2030 and beyond," underlined SMEunited President Ulrike Rabmer-Koller upon publication of the report. With current geopolitical developments and societal challenges – such as climate change and digital transformation – improving global competitiveness is a key issue for Europe's industry. Successful companies are in a position to tackle these challenges and innovate by investing in new technologies, digitalising their industrial base and moving to a sustainable and low-carbon circular economy.

"Europe therefore needs a future-orientated industrial policy that reconciles economic, environmental and social goals and creates the optimal and internationally competitive framework conditions for companies of all sizes, with special consideration of SMEs," she emphasised. This includes the completion of the single market, a new focus on strategic value chains, and consistent investment in European energy networks and digital infrastructure. Skills development, upskilling and reskilling, as well as stronger European focus on research and development and innovation, are important key drivers enabling this transformation.

In view of increasing protectionist tendencies around the world, Europe must drive an ambitious trade policy, especially in relation to the US and China, and maintain the WTO as the central regulatory force of a multilateral trading system. A reciprocal, gradual opening up of international markets with new, fair and balanced global trade rules is crucial to the innovation and competitiveness of the European industrial sector.

In Europe about 2.1 million enterprises are active in the industrial sector, 99.4% of them are SMEs providing 45% of added value. European SMEs play a crucial role in the industry sector and thus their specific situation must be taken into account providing them with a modern legislative framework without unnecessary administrative burdens, and a facilitating environment ensuring the development of the right skills, financial support, future-proof infrastructure and standardisation.

The High-Level Roundtable was established to advise the European Commission on policy responses designed to make Europe's industry more competitive and fit for the challenges of the future.

The final report and a fact sheet are available online

SMEunited is the association of Crafts and SMEs in Europe with around 70 member organisations from over 30 European countries. SMEunited represents national cross-sectoral Craft and SME federations, European SME branch organisations and associate members. Combined, it represents more than 12 million enterprises with around 55 million employees across Europe. SMEunited is also a recognised employers' organisation and European Social Partner. SMEunited was formally known as UEAPME.

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