The European industrial sector is the backbone of our society in creating jobs, growth and prosperity for our citizens. At the same time, the European industrial structure is undergoing deep transformation responding to societal needs, climate change, and digitalisation. For the industrial sector, these changes hold untapped potential — but also very real challenges — that can be unleashed with the right industrial policy framework. To address these changes, the European Commission is currently reviewing its Industrial Policy Strategy that aims to keep the European economy competitive by revitalising its regions and investing in technologies for the smart, innovative industry of the future. As an as an enabler of all other manufacturing sectors, the European chemical industry plays a pivotal role in the overall economic development across the EU.
Bolstering the European manufacturing sector
As other regions of the world implement ambitious plans to promote local world-leading industrial activities by building up new production facilities and by attracting high investments, it becomes crucial for Europe to adopt an ambitious Industrial Policy supporting manufacturing in Europe. Following the EU’s policy objectives, if European climate and circular economy policies are to create jobs in Europe, it is crucial that the whole value chain enabling those policies is in Europe. Moreover, to ensure Europe’s continued role in the global economy, the European suppliers should be able to compete globally and not just in Europe. As the chemical industry plays a pivotal role in providing the solutions needed to enable the transition to a low-carbon and circular economy, strengthening the European chemical industry strengthens all other European manufacturing sectors, all while contributing to the European economic and societal growth.
For an Industrial Policy Strategy to be successful, Cefic considers it must be mainstreamed across all EU policies and must enable industry to transform, by creating a favourable business environment that stimulates innovation. We have outlined the framework conditions for EU policy that need to be fulfilled, in order to keep the European economy prosperous. In particular EU action on policies should:
- Drive energy and climate policies to be cost-competitive
- Complete the Single Market in networks (Single Electricity Market, rail infrastructure, digital)
- Ensure that industry continues to play a central role in future EU R&D policy and priority-setting
- Ensure integration into the global trading system
Position paper and supporting documents