Brussels, 27 February – Together with 124 otherassociations representing the European manufacturing industry, EVIA has signeda joint declaration calling on the European Commission to support an ambitiousEU industrial strategy.
Europe is the cradle of the manufacturing industry and has beenat the forefront of industrial revolutions and technological innovations. Theindustry directly employs over 34 million people across all Member States, insupply chains comprising hundreds of thousands of SMEs and larger suppliers. Italso indirectly accounts for millions of additional jobs in related sectors.
The European manufacturing industry has tremendous capacity forresearch and innovation, boasts a skilled workforce and has earned a globalreputation for quality and sustainability. What it now needs is the swift anddetermined support of the European institutions and the Member States to createmore jobs and growth in Europe.
The time has come to raise the alarm about the considerablechallenges that we are all facing. Between 2000 and 2014, the share ofmanufacturing in total EU output fell from 18.8% to 15.3%, while 3.5 millionmanufacturing jobs were lost between 2008 and 2014. Meanwhile, countries aroundthe world are putting industry at the very top of their political agendas. The ‘Makein India’ strategy aims to ensure India is “the next manufacturing destination”and ‘Made in China 2025’ seeks to turn China into the “leading manufacturingpower”. The recent US shift towards ‘America First’ will inevitably have astrong impact on their industrial policy.
At the beginning of his mandate, European Commission PresidentJean-Claude Juncker identified the reindustrialisation of Europe as one of histop priorities and confirmed the objective of increasing the share of industryin the European GDP to 20% by 2020. As we approach the preparation of the nextMultiannual Financial Framework, it is vital for the European Commission to actand help the EU remain a competitive global industrial power playing in afairer world market.
Therefore we, the European manufacturing industry, representinga diverse range of sectors, call on the European Commission to: reaffirm itscommitment to reaching the target of 20% of GDP from industry, with an ambitiousand realistic timeline:
·adopt an Action Plan to tackle the challenges that theindustrial sectors are facing, in the framework of a Communication that wouldinclude concrete steps and milestones
·commit to implement this Action Plan in a timely manner andregularly report on progress
Member States and the EuropeanParliament clearly stated their full support for a strong European industrialstrategy via the European Council Conclusions calling to strengthen andmodernise the EU’s industrial base (15 December 2016) and the ParliamentResolution on the need for a European reindustrialisation policy (5 October2016).
We, the Signatories of this JointDeclaration, are ready to step up our cooperation with the European Commission,the European Parliament and the Competitiveness Council to define and implementthis ambitious and coordinated European industrial strategy that will helpsafeguard the world leadership of European manufacturers and jobs in Europe.