The Presidency of Malta prepared draft Council conclusions on a future EU industrial policy strategy which have been discussed at the meetings of the Working Party on Competitiveness and Growth (Industry) on 11 April and 2 May 2017. A broad consensus has been reached.The Permanent Representatives Committee is invited to confirm this broad consensus in view Competitiveness Council on 29 May 2017.
In particular, the following points has been stressed:
- essential role of industry as a major driver for growth, employment and innovation in Europe and its contribution to the Union's prosperity5 , as well as the critical importance of industry for dealing with major transformations in the EU economy, including sustainability, servitisation and digitisation;
- importance of fostering a competitive, forward looking and innovative industrial base in Europe; (the Council) acknowledges that a holistic industrial policy approach based on integrated value chains, inter-clustering linkages and activities is crucial, with a particular focus on SMEs, start-ups, scale-ups and mid-caps; this approach should include, when necessary, sectorial initiatives for sectors facing economic change and high growth potential sectors;
- further streamlining of legislation and removing unnecessary, discriminatory or disproportionate regulatory barriers in order to improve the functioning of the internal market and to stimulate a more growth-friendly regulatory environment for industry;
- (the Council) calls on the Commission to provide a holistic EU industrial policy strategy for the future in time for the European Council meeting in spring 2018; this strategy should present medium to long term strategic objectives for industry and be included in the framework of the Commission's 2018 work programme; it should be accompanied by an action plan including concrete measures, developed in close consultation with Member States and relevant stakeholders.
The full document is available HERE.