The Commission updates the EU Industrial Strategy to ensure that its industrial ambition takes full account of the new circumstances following the COVID-19 crisis and helps to drive the transformation to a more sustainable, digital, resilient and globally competitive economy.
Strengthening Single Market resilience
The Single Market has been severely tested by supply restrictions, border closures and fragmentation following the COVID-19 outbreak. The crisis highlighted the essential need to uphold the free movement of persons, goods, services and capital in the Single Market and the need to work together to strengthen its resilience to disruptions. To this purpose, the Commission will, among others:
- Propose a Single Market Emergency Instrument – a structural solution to ensure the free movement of persons, goods and services in case of future crises. It should guarantee more transparency and solidarity, and help address critical product shortages by speeding up product availability and reinforcing public procurement cooperation;
- Fully enforce the Services Directive to ensure that Member States comply with their existing obligations, including the notification obligation in order to identify and eliminate new potential barriers;
- Strengthen market surveillance of products by supporting national authorities to increase capacity and step up the digitalisation of product inspections and data collection;
- Mobilise significant investment to support SMEs; design and implement Alternative Dispute Resolution schemes to address payments delays to SMEs and provide measures to address solvency risks affecting SMEs.
Dealing with the EU’s strategic dependencies
Openness to trade and investment is a strength and source of growth and resilience for the EU, which is a major importer and exporter. Yet the pandemic also triggered wider awareness of the need to analyse and address strategic dependencies, both technological and industrial. The Commission therefore:
- Carried out a ‘bottom-up’ analysis based on trade data: out of 5,200 products imported in the EU, an initial analysis identifies 137 products (representing 6% of the value of the EU’s total import value of goods) in sensitive ecosystems for which the EU is highly dependent – mainly in the energy intensive industries (such as raw materials) and health ecosystems (such as pharmaceutical ingredients) as well as concerning other products relevant to support the green and digital transformations. 34 products (representing 0.6% of the EU’s total import value of goods) are potentially more vulnerable given their possibly low potential for further diversification and substitution with EU production. The analysis also shows challenges and dependencies in the area of advanced technologies;
- Presents the results of six in-depth reviews on raw materials, batteries, active pharmaceutical ingredients, hydrogen, semiconductors and cloud and edge technologies, providing further insights on the origin of strategic dependencies and their impact;
- Will launch a second stage of reviews of potential dependencies in key areas, including products, services or technologies key to the twin transitions, such as renewables, energy storage and cybersecurity, and develop a monitoring system through the Commission’s Observatory of Critical Technologies;
- Works towards diversifying international supply chains and pursuing international partnerships to increase preparedness;
- Supports new industrial alliances in strategic areas where such alliances are the best tool to accelerate activities that would not develop otherwise. Industrial alliances will be supported where they attract private investors to discuss new business partnerships and models in an open, transparent and competition-compliant manner, and have a potential for innovation and high-value job creation. Alliances provide a platform that is broad and open in principle, and will pay particular attention to inclusiveness for start-ups and SMEs.
- The Commission is preparing the launch of the Alliance on processors and semiconductor technologies and the Alliance for Industrial Data, Edge and Cloud; and considering the preparation of an Alliance on Space Launchers as well as an on Zero Emission Aviation;
- Supports Member States’ efforts to pool public resources via Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEIs) in areas where the market alone cannot deliver breakthrough innovation, with possible support from the EU budget;
- Announces a strategy and possible legislative change for more leadership in standard-setting, including in the area of business services, while working openly with others on areas of mutual interest.
Accelerating the twin transitions
The 2020 Industrial Strategy announced actions to support the green and digital transitions of EU industry, but the pandemic has drastically affected the speed and scale of this transformation. Therefore, the Commission outlines new measures to support the business case for the green and digital transitions, by:
- Co-creating transition pathways in partnership with industry, public authorities, social partners and other stakeholders, where needed, starting with tourism and energy intensive industries. Such pathways could offer a better bottom-up understanding of the scale, cost and conditions of the required action to accompany the twin transitions for the most relevant ecosystems leading to an actionable plan in favour of sustainable competitiveness;
- Providing a coherent regulatory framework to achieve the objectives of Europe’s Digital Decade and the ‘Fit for 55′ ambitions, including by accelerating the rollout of renewable energy sources and by ensuring access to abundant, affordable and decarbonised electricity ;
- Providing SMEs with Sustainability Advisors and supporting data-driven business models to make the most out of the green and digital transitions;
- Investing to upskill and reskill to support the twin transitions.
The ongoing extensive review of the EU competition rules also makes sure that they are fit to support the green and digital transitions to the benefit of Europeans, at a time when the global competitive landscape is also fundamentally
Our Industrial Strategy will boost our recovery.
Today we propose:
📌A Single Market Emergency Instrument for free movement of goods, services & people
📌An in-depth analysis of our dependencies & more diverse supply chains
📌New industrial alliances in strategic areas
— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) May 5, 2021
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