Commission tables EU’s Industrial strategy

Valdis Dombrovskis (L) and Thierry Breton (R).

The Commission proposed today a new Industrial Policy package that is giving a clear course for a globally competitive, climate-neutral and digitalised industry. The green and digital transformation requires new products and services, markets and business models, which must be grounded in the European social market economy.

The package of initiatives sets out a series of actions to support all players of European industry, including big and small companies, innovative start-ups, research centres, service providers, suppliers and social partners. A dedicated Strategy for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) aims to reduce red tape and help Europe's numerous SMEs to do business across the single market and beyond, access financing and help lead the way on the digital and green transitions.

The proposed set of initiatives also contains concrete steps to address barriers to a well-functioning single market, Europe's strongest advantage to allow businesses to grow and compete in the Union and beyond.

Saying that Europe's industry is the motor of growth and prosperity in Europe, Ursula von der Leyen, EC President of the European Commission, added that Europe's industry has “everything it takes to lead the way and we will do everything we can to support it.”

 As Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of an 'Economy that works for people' explained, the SME strategy takes a comprehensive view of their needs. For example, we propose to allocate at least €300m to encourage breakthrough innovations in the green sector under the European Innovation Council, he said noting that the Commission is taking steps to reduce red tape and improve market access for SMEs. A new Single Market Enforcement Task-Force between Member States and the Commission will look at where rules have been exaggerated or applied properly.

He also focused on the late payments as a major problem for SMEs. One company out of four goes bankrupt because of late payments, he urged and also specified that the Commission will propose to reinforce the monitoring and enforcement of the Late Payments Directive to help them.  

 Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internal Market, underscored that Europe has the strongest industry in the world. Our companies - big and small - provide us with jobs, prosperity and strategic autonomy and managing the green and digital transitions and avoiding external dependencies in a new geopolitical context requires radical change - and it needs to start now, he said.


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