EU Ministers of Economy opened a political discussion on the future of industrial policy in Europe, with the aim of preparing a comprehensive and long-term EU industrial strategy with a horizon of 2030. The Ministers met in Sofia on 1 February 2018 in the framework of the informal meeting on Competitiveness.
“We start working together on the topic of industrial policy in particular, as we are at a decisive moment for the future of the continent and of our economy. Over the past year, we have achieved growth everywhere in Europe and we are looking forward to 2018 with more positive expectations,” said the Bulgarian Minister of Economy Emil Karanikolov. He added: “The global changes in recent years, as well as the progress and development of the partners and competitors, call for determination today in order to ensure the future in the next decade and beyond. Today’s meeting is an important one for laying the foundations of a future long-term and comprehensive industrial strategy.”
In view of establishing the future EU industrial strategy, the Ministers discussed the trends and factors that determine the future of the European industry, and common goals and priorities for the new industrial strategy, which will ensure that the European industry is competitive in the changing global environment. Key aspects addressed by the Ministers included digitalisation, value added chains, the integration of European companies and how they can compete most successfully on the global markets, and the role of core and energy-intensive industries for the overall European industry.
By initiating this first discussion the Bulgarian Presidency set the foundations for a future industrial strategy of the European Union. Today’s meeting will be followed by a series of meetings and sessions at political and expert levels, including formal ministerial meetings in Brussels in March to develop a comprehensive and long-term industrial strategy.
The Ministers of Economy of the EU Member States, Ms. Elżbieta Bieńkowskа, Commissioner for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Gonçalo Lobo Xavier, Vice-President of the European Economic and Social Committee, Heinz Lehmann, Member of the European Committee of the Regions, Markus Beyrer, Director General of BusinessEurope, and Marco Mensink, Director General of the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) attended the meeting.