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Procedure : 2013/2006(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A7-0464/2013

Texts tabled :

A7-0464/2013

Debates :

PV 14/01/2014 - 16
CRE 14/01/2014 - 16

Votes :

PV 15/01/2014 - 10.16
CRE 15/01/2014 - 10.16

Texts adopted :

P7_TA(2014)0032

Texts adopted
PDF 320kWORD 139k
Wednesday, 15 January 2014 - Strasbourg Final edition
Reindustrialising Europe to promote competitiveness and sustainability
P7_TA(2014)0032A7-0464/2013

European Parliament resolution of 15 January 2014 on reindustrialising Europe to promote competitiveness and sustainability (2013/2006(INI))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Article 173 of Title XVII of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (ex Article 157 of the Treaty establishing the European Community), covering EU industrial policy and referring to, among other things, the competitiveness of the Union’s industry,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 10 October 2012 entitled ‘A Stronger European Industry for Growth and Economic Recovery Industrial Policy Communication Update’ (COM(2012)0582),

–  having regard to Directive 2012/27/EU of the European Parliament and the Council of 25 October 2012 on energy efficiency(1) ,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal of 29 November 2012 for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on a General Union Environment Action Programme to 2020 ‘Living well, within the limits of our planet’ (COM(2012)0710),

–  having regard to the Commission proposal of 30 November 2011 for a regulation establishing a Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises (2014-2020) (COM(2011)0834),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 31 July 2012 entitled ‘Strategy for the sustainable competitiveness of the construction sector and its enterprises’ (COM(2012)0433),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 25 June 2008 entitled ‘Think Small First. A Small Business Act for Europe’ (COM(2008)0394),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 4 November 2008 entitled ‘The raw materials initiative – meeting our critical needs for growth and jobs in Europe’ (COM(2008)0699),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 3 March 2010 entitled ‘Europe 2020. A strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth’ (COM(2010)2020),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 6 October 2010 entitled ‘Europe 2020 Flagship Initiative Innovation Union (COM(2010)0546),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 20 September 2011 entitled ‘Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe’ (COM(2011)0571),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 14 October 2011 entitled ‘Industrial Policy: Reinforcing competitiveness’ (COM(2011)0642),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 15 December 2011 entitled ‘Energy Roadmap 2050’ (COM(2011)0885),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 13 February 2012 entitled ‘Innovating for Sustainable Growth: A Bioeconomy for Europe’ (COM(2012)0060),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 30 May 2012 entitled ‘Action for Stability Growth and Jobs’ (COM(2012)0299),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 26 June 2012 entitled ‘A European strategy for Key Enabling Technologies – A bridge to growth and jobs’ (COM(2012)0341),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 20 March 2013 entitled ‘Green Paper – Long-term financing of the European economy’ (COM(2013)0150),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 27 March 2013 entitled ‘Green Paper – A 2030 framework for climate and energy policies’ (COM(2013)0169),

–  having regard to the Staff Working Document accompanying the Commission communication of 4 November 2008 entitled ‘The raw materials initiative – meeting our critical needs for growth and jobs in Europe’ (COM(2008)0699 – SEC(2008)2741),

–  having regard to Commission Staff Working Document of 26 September 2012 entitled ‘Competitiveness of European high-end industries’ (SWD(2012)0286),

–  having regard to the Commission Working Document of 10 October 2012 accompanying the communication on ‘A Stronger European Industry for Growth and Economic Recovery Industrial Policy Communication Update’ (SWD(2012)0297),

–  having regard to the Commission Working Document of 10 October 2012 entitled ‘European Competitiveness report 2012. Reaping the benefits of Globalisation’ (SWD(2012)0299),

–  having regard to the Commission Working Document of 11 April 2013 entitled ‘Industrial relations in Europe 2012’ (SWD(2013)0126),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 18 June 2013 entitled 'Commission follow-up to the “TOP TEN” Consultation of SMEs on EU Regulation’ (COM(2013)0446),

–  having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee of 17 April 2013 entitled ‘Strategy for the sustainable competitiveness of the construction sector and its enterprises’(2) ,

–  having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee of 20 March 2013 entitled ‘Employee involvement and participation as a pillar of sound business management and balanced approaches to overcoming the crisis’(3) ,

–  having regard to its resolution of 11 March 2010 on investing in the development of low carbon technologies (SET-Plan)(4) ,

–  having regard to its resolution of 7 September 2010 on developing the job potential of a new sustainable economy’(5) ,

–  having regard to its resolution of 25 November 2010 on human rights and social and environmental standards in international trade agreements(6) ,

–  having regard to its resolution of 9 March 2011 on an Industrial Policy for the Globalised Era(7) ,

–  having regard to its resolution of 13 September 2011 on an effective raw materials strategy for Europe(8) ,

–  having regard to its resolution of 24 May 2012 on a resource-efficient Europe(9) ,

–  having regard to its resolution of 14 June 2012 entitled ‘Single Market Act: The Next Steps to Growth’(10) ,

–  having regard to its resolution of 23 October 2012 entitled ‘Small and Medium Size Enterprises (SMEs): competitiveness and business opportunities’(11) ,

–  having regard to its resolution of 21 November 2012 on the environmental impacts of shale gas and shale oil extraction activities,(12)

–  having regard to its resolution of 21 November 2012 on industrial, energy and other aspects of shale gas and oil(13) ,

–  having regard to its resolution of 14 March 2013 on the Energy roadmap 2050, a future with energy(14) ,

–  having regard to its resolution of 15 March 2012 on a roadmap for moving to a competitive low carbon economy in 2050(15) ,

–  having regard to its resolution of 21 May 2013 on current challenges and opportunities for renewable energy in the European internal energy market(16) ,

–  having regard to its resolution of 21 May 2013 on regional strategies for industrial areas in the European Union(17) ,

–  having regard to its resolution of 11 June 2013 on social housing in the European Union(18) ,

–  having regard to its resolution of 2 July 2013 on the contribution of cooperatives to overcoming the crisis(19) ,

–  having regard to its debate of 4 February 2013, following on the Commission statement, on recovery of European industry in the light of current difficulties (2013/2538(RSP)),

–  having regard to the conclusions of the 3208th meeting of the Competitiveness Council of 10 and 11 December 2012 entitled ‘A stronger European industry for growth and economic recovery’,

–  having regard to the report entitled ‘EU industrial structure 2011 - Trends and Performance’ of 2011 conducted on behalf of the Commission,

–  having regard to the report arising from a survey of the EU 2020 initiatives entitled ‘An Industrial Policy for the Globalisation Era’, conducted in April 2013 on behalf of the Committee of the Regions,

–  having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee of 18 June 2013 on ‘A Stronger European Industry for Growth and Economic Recovery. Industrial Policy Communication Update’(20) ,

–  having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions of 11 April 2013 on ‘A stronger European industry for growth and economic recovery’(21) ,

–  having regard to Rule 48 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy and the opinions of the Committee on International Trade, the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection, the Committee on Regional Development and the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (A7-0464/2013),

A.  whereas European industry is going through an unparalleled crisis and also faces a host of drawbacks harmful to its competitiveness;

B.  whereas the figures put forward by the Commission are ambitious but conditional, since they are bound up with a host of factors which are, as yet, not properly identified;

C.  whereas European industry plays a key role and is an important part of the solution to the crisis;

D.  whereas Europe’s industrial competitors have for years developed strong industrial strategies;

E.  whereas the EU needs a strategy to tackle the economic and financial crisis and kick‑start a new economic dynamic;

F.  whereas the Commission is to be commended for embarking on an industrial policy with its communication aiming to organise an industrial turnaround;

G.  whereas Europe’s common future as an industrial location lies in a modernisation offensive which strengthens innovation centres and eliminates the development deficits of industrially and structurally weak regions;

H.  whereas the reduced availability of credit limits investments, obstructing innovation as well as the adoption of new efficient technologies; whereas an industrial policy in Europe therefore requires a robust financial architecture which promotes investments;

I.  whereas the financing conditions in southern Europe are more stringent, requiring tailor‑made financing solutions;

J.  whereas the Member States should be guided by industrial restructuring methods which have proved successful in Europe and elsewhere in the world;

K.  whereas the Commission has pointed out that the EU’s industries may restore their attractiveness due to an expected decrease in global wage differentials;

L.  whereas the creation of better general conditions for a European industrial policy entails the construction and proper functioning of the EU internal market within a social market economy;

M.  whereas Europe’s first priority must be to safeguard the manufacturing sectors and know-how while enabling industry to regain its global competitiveness;

N.  whereas the energy costs for industry and the rising energy price differences between Europe and other industrialised countries (in particular the United States) will play an increasing role if the current trends are not properly addressed;

O.  whereas, in the face of the global challenges, it is essential that energy and resource efficiency be at the basis of the European industrial renewal if European industry intends to maintain its competitiveness in the future;

P.  whereas the EU needs an industry policy approach which combines competitiveness, sustainability and decent work in order to tackle the major societal challenges;

Q.  whereas it is necessary to ensure the coherency of the EU’s energy, climate, environmental, industrial and trade policies, in order to strike a balance between climate and environmental protection policy objectives and those of RISE;

R.  whereas labour productivity has developed much faster in recent decades than resource productivity, while estimates show that labour represents less than 20 % of production costs, with resources representing 40 %;

S.  whereas the EU is also home to immense innovation capacity with six Member States being in the top 10 of the 50 most innovative countries in the world;

T.  whereas industrial policy has a strong social dimension which touches all levels of society;

U.  whereas a European industrial policy requires a strong workforce, while on average only 7 % of the low-skilled workforce has received training;

A ‘Renaissance of Industry for a Sustainable Europe’ (RISE) Strategy: Principles, Goals and Governance

1.  Welcomes the Commission’s focus on industrial policy (IP), as such a focus is essential for economic development and competitiveness, ensuring long-term prosperity and solving the problem of unemployment given that industry creates one in four jobs, providing employment for some 34 million people; underlines that IP must address comparative weaknesses in the EU economy, whether they be a lack of R&D investment, development of energy prices, bureaucratic red tape or difficulty in accessing finance; notes that industry is responsible for 80 % of expenditure in the field of R&D and that nearly 75 % of European exports consist of industrial goods; stresses that industry is responsible for much of the value creation in the economy, with each job in industry creating approximately two additional jobs in the supply and service sectors;

2.  Stresses that the European Union’s future industrial strength and importance lie in a Renaissance of Industry for a Sustainable Europe (RISE) strategy which pursues technological, business, financial, environmental and social innovation towards a third industrial revolution including an efficiency strategy that reindustrialises Europe, strengthens European industry as a whole and acts as a response to rising social challenges; argues that RISE can create new markets, inter alia for new and innovative products and services, business models and creative entrepreneurs and enterprises, new jobs and decent work, bringing an industrial renewal with economic dynamism, confidence and competitiveness; believes that one of the main priorities is to maintain strong manufacturing sectors and know-how and that open markets, the availability of energy and raw materials as well as innovation, energy and resource efficiency are key pillars of such a competitiveness strategy; notes that a reliable future-oriented infrastructure for transport, energy production and distribution as well as telecommunications are also of great importance;

3.  Considers that RISE must be embedded in an ecological and social market economy in accordance with the principles of entrepreneurship, fair competition, the long-term goal of an internalisation of externalities, sound financial policies and environmentally conscious economic framework regulations; states that the European Union’s industrial policy must be coherent with a vision guided by innovation, sustainability and competitiveness which strengthens the manufacturing sectors and know-how as well as the circular economy; notes the crucial role played by industry and companies as promoters of sustainability as well as the importance of transparency in supply chains;

4.  Emphasises that RISE needs a short-term agenda so as to safeguard the manufacturing base and know-how, in order to meet the urgent challenges in some sectors (such as production overcapacity, restructuring and unfair competition) as well as a roadmap and timetable within a long-term framework based on an approach with clear and stable objectives and goals, science-based indicators and a life-cycle and circular economy approach which enables and provides incentives for steering investments into creativity, skills, innovation, new technologies and promotes the modernisation, sustainability and competitiveness of Europe’s industrial base through a value chain-conscious policy that covers undertakings of all sizes, pays due attention to the basic industries and is conducive to maintaining the production chain in Europe; considers that such modernisation should be built on both key industries and new sectors of industry and that it must be geared towards growth in accordance with sustainable development principles;

5.  Stresses that industrial policy incorporates all fields of policy which have an impact on industry; recognises that IP must tackle the major societal and environmental challenges set out in the Europe 2020 strategy and goals as well as targets, including future energy, resource, employment, industrial and climate objectives, and must be effectively integrated into the European Semester process and the national reform programmes in order to establish the requisite preconditions for investment and create good jobs, particularly for young people; calls on the Commission to improve upon its communication regarding its commitments in support of IP in order to restore the confidence of investors, workers and citizens in EU action;

6.  Notes that European industry’s share of aggregate European gross domestic product (GDP) has fallen from 20 % to 15 % in 15 years;

7.  Believes that RISE must pursue ambitious and realistic industrial targets; notes that the headline target of 20 % would necessitate the creation of at least 400 000 new industrial jobs per annum; strongly supports the 20 % target and proposes that it should be seen as a directional goal aligned with the EU’s 20/20/20 goals;

8.  Believes that these targets should reflect the new industrial realities such as the integration of manufacturing and services (manu-services) as well as the shift to a data‑driven economy and value-added production; calls on the Commission, in this connection, to assess and substantiate its work on targets and rethink the classification of industrial sectors;

9.  Stresses that the activities of industrial sectors make it possible to survive crises, not least by engendering a surrounding service economy;

10.  Calls on the Commission to honour its commitment to produce indicators for the monitoring and evaluation of the process of reindustrialisation; stresses that such indicators must be not only quantitative but also qualitative so as to ensure that this process is sustainable and compatible with protection of the environment;

11.  Expects that with proper implementation, RISE could revitalise industry and repatriate manufacturing to the EU, paying attention to supply chain management and also taking into account specific regional and local manufacturing cultures and demand while fostering important emerging sectors necessary for a sustainable economy and society;

12.  Emphasises that RISE will only succeed if underpinned by an adequate, clear and predictable macroeconomic framework, avoiding conflicting policies, and the budgetary resources necessary in order to leverage public and private investment and promote the EU’s global competitiveness; regrets that the current dominant macroeconomic policy in the EU does not provide adequate access to capital for investment and innovation, especially for SMEs and therefore runs counter to an IP; demands, in this context, a smart, sustainable and inclusive European growth strategy and deplores the Council’s cuts to heading 1A of the multiannual financial framework (MFF), in particular to Horizon 2020, COSME and the Connecting Europe Facility; calls on the Member States to strengthen substantially the financial power of those programmes;

13.  Stresses that the creation of own resources for the European budget could have a beneficial effect on reindustrialisation in Europe;

14.  Stresses that the EU’s IP should be clearly defined, given that many different practices and trends currently dominate the field of IP within the EU and the Member States;

15.  Applauds the Commission’s transversal approach to IP and stresses the importance of a holistic approach that is both coherent and coordinated in areas where all other policy fields (such as competition, trade, energy, the environment, innovation, structural funds, the Single Market etc.) take into account the aims of RISE; recalls, in this connection, the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) which proves that successful, integrated and innovative action is possible in the field of IP, and that it generates growth and employment, promotes its own integration and is of a social partnership nature; holds that RISE should be based upon a horizontal rather than a vertical IP concept; believes that – while paying due attention to the basic industries – sector-specific measures should support value chains and activity clusters with a high growth potential and must be connected to sectoral specialisation promoting high-tech and high-value-added strategies as well as innovation, skills, entrepreneurship, employment and creativity; notes, in this regard, the sectoral strategies in the motor vehicle (CARS 2020) and steel (steel action plan) industries and calls upon the Commission to adopt appropriate measures to implement those strategies; calls on the Member States and the Commission also to give sufficient focus to sectors with solid know-how and a high degree of R&D investment and added-value creation including process innovation;

16.  Recommends that the Commission focus on the added value of European industrial output in world production chains on a sector-by-sector basis in order to ascertain how firmly rooted the various industrial sectors are in the Member States and to establish more effectively a common strategy to defend European industrial interests;

17.  Takes the view that the EU needs a smart mix of private industry and public institutions in order to boost the formation of value chains in the EU;

18.  Emphasises that the future cohesion policy will be one of the main EU policies fostering industrial innovation through smart specialisation in order to respond to the challenges associated with sustainable energy, climate change and the efficient use of both material and human resources; takes the view, therefore, that support from the future cohesion policy and the European structural and investment funds is pivotal to the reindustrialisation of the EU and its regions through a genuinely modern industrial policy which has to be inclusive, sustainable, energy-efficient and highly competitive; calls for better coordination and synergies between cohesion policy and Horizon 2020 programmes in order to set up regional innovation incubators and to maximise innovation at regional level;

19.  Agrees with the Commission that IP must have an effective, integrated governance structure including the monitoring of activities; recalls the EP’s recommendation in the Lange report on industry to establish a permanent Commission IP task force of relevant directorates-general that takes into account the input of stakeholders and coordinates and monitors implementation; stresses that Parliament should be regularly informed on IP developments and asks the Commission to report annually to Parliament on the progress of RISE and the extent to which its ambitions are being met with the tools available; proposes that the taskforces for the priority action lines also publish an annual report; calls also on the Commission to study and identify the overcapacity and restructuring challenges facing European industry and particular sectors with the view to putting forward short-term solutions and calls on the Commission to monitor any offshoring of European manufacturing; stresses that RISE needs an alliance of and partnership with stakeholders from industry from different sectors (including SMEs), trade unions, academia and civil society, such as consumer watchdogs and non-governmental organisations; calls on the Commission to make full use of Article 173(2) of the Treaty to advance RISE and marshal its resources more effectively; points to the importance of improving the manner in which the Union communicates its IP to the public and in particular young people, so as to enhance the importance of European industry, its jobs and know-how;

20.  Holds that RISE must be geared towards the creation of an attractive and competitive environment in Europe that kick-starts investment flows throughout the EU and its regions, especially in the south of Europe, to reinvigorate growth, particularly through smart specialisation and the formation of clusters, including transnational and regional clusters as well as such business networks;

21.  Commends Vice-President Tajani’s work in coordinating IP more closely with the Competitiveness Council; acknowledges that an IP for RISE should form a common basis for the EU but stresses that it must take into account the different national and regional circumstances and be coordinated with the IP of the Member States; supports the idea of a stronger Competitiveness Council which, in coordination with the Commission, contributes to the vertical coordination of policies at European, regional and Member State level; notes that, inter alia, smart regulation and reduced red tape are an essential precondition for industrial growth;

22.  Believes that the various levels of territorial unit should be fully involved and take coordinated action in the reindustrialisation process, in identifying priorities, potential and strengths for industry in their territories as well as in stimulating the development of SMEs; points out that SMEs are an asset given that their size and responsiveness allows them to adjust to change, but that they have also been hit hardest by the crisis; calls on the Commission and Member States to introduce specific SME support and assistance programmes and facilitate SMEs in becoming industrial champions in their field; welcomes the work undertaken by the Committee of the Regions as well as the Commission’s work with regard to smart specialisation strategies for the streamlining of EU funding towards the Europe 2020 objectives;

23.  Calls on the Member States, in the event of potential amendments to the Treaties, to establish a common industrial policy with aspirations and instruments comparable to those of the Common Agricultural Policy, which would involve genuine transnational consultation with a view to developing a common strategy endowed with ample funding and market regulation tools similar to those at the disposal of other major trading areas in the world such as, for example, a monetary instrument or state aid rules that are adapted to the needs of our industry while at the same time complying with international law;

24.  Welcomes the Commission’s interest in producers, in particular industrial producers, and not just in consumers;

25.  Deplores the absence in the Commission proposal of any measures against wage dumping and social dumping and concerning employee participation and restructuring;

An Innovation, Efficiency and Sustainable Technology Offensive

26.  Emphasises that a strategy for innovation, efficiency and new technology, including technology for sustainability, together with new business models, creativity and advanced manufacturing has the potential to regenerate and modernise the EU’s industrial base, increasing its regional and global core competitiveness; believes that innovation needs to be promoted across the board, taking into consideration all stakeholders ranging from shop-floor and non-technical innovation to high-tech R&D in research labs; notes, in this context, the importance of involving employees pro-actively in the innovation process stimulating innovative companies that are leaders in economic, social and environmental terms; emphasises the need to create a propitious environment and considers it fundamental to ensure conditions under which businesses can operate and be competitive; considers it necessary to strengthen Europe’s knowledge base, reduce fragmentation by promoting excellence in science and education, create conditions for transforming good ideas into marketable products and increase access to funding by innovative businesses, creating an innovation-friendly environment and eliminating social and geographical inequalities by publicising throughout Europe the benefits of innovation; stresses, in this context, that particular account should be taken of the Commission’s annual report on innovation (‘Innovation Union Scoreboard 2013’), which shows how innovation affects the enhancement of lasting competitiveness and which provides a comparative assessment of the performance of the Member States with regard to research and innovation, and indicates the relative strengths and weaknesses of their research and innovation systems;

27.  Believes that EU research and innovation funds should act as a catalyst and be used in synergy with various European, national and regional instruments as well as funds; recalls the 3 % R&D target with two thirds coming from the private sector; supports the establishment of public-private partnerships (PPPs) under Horizon 2020 and calls on the Commission to ensure sufficient leverage for private sector investment;

28.  Welcomes the 4 % share of funds that will be implemented through a dedicated SME instrument under the Horizon 2020 programme;

29.  Welcomes the Commission’s focus on ecodesign, recyclability with cradle-to-cradle specifications, new sustainability criteria for construction products and processes and resource efficiency in the circular economy concept; calls for legislative proposals and studies on resource efficiency in order to take account of the viability of an investment on the basis of the criteria of effectiveness, profitability and long-term effects; calls on the Commission to further promote ‘life-cycle’ thinking by means of an integrated product policy (IPP) which gives consideration to the whole of a product’s life cycle (cradle‑to‑cradle approach);

30.  Welcomes the Commission’s action lines as well as possible PPPs; is concerned, however, that big data and information and communications technology (ICT) developments are not adequately included; calls on the Commission to integrate these developments properly; considers that broadband services are key to the development of EU industry and could contribute to EU economic growth and employment, and that therefore the promotion of investment in broadband facilities in order to reach high capacity broadband networks and fibre in the access networks should continue to be one of the EU’s priorities; asks the Commission to support cluster-formation across the lines of action, promoting synergies and spillovers between them;

31.  Stresses the key role of ICT in the transition to a sustainable economy, involving areas such as dematerialisation, ecomonitoring, efficiency in transport and logistics, e‑services and health care; welcomes the New European Industrial Strategy for Electronics which aims to double EU chip production to 20 % of global output; insists on the further promotion of the uptake of ICT in traditional industrial sectors and on the development of new digital products and services which contribute to the objectives of sustainable development;

32.  Welcomes the line of action on advanced manufacturing; believes that it would benefit from PPPs such as SPIRE; believes that launching a Knowledge and Innovation Community by 2016 in the field of added-value manufacturing is a priority; calls on the Commission to integrate the experiences of the EPEC (the European PPP Expertise Centre of the EIB) in future PPPs; encourages the Commission also to create synergies in advanced manufacturing between Member States, industry and research institutes; asks the Commission to consider the extent to which the US National Network for Manufacturing Innovation could serve as a model;

33.  Welcomes the line of action on smart grids and believes that it would benefit from extending its scope and adding further proposals; recommends that its work should also include the aspects of an adequate energy infrastructure, energy storage and reserve capacity mentioned by the Commission, such as a high-efficiency electricity grid with interconnectors aiding the completion of the internal market for power and capable of handling renewable power sources such as from offshore wind as well as a high-tech digital infrastructure;

34.  Calls on the Commission to propose a cluster policy and cluster networks in the form of cooperation, particularly in value chains, between connected companies, suppliers, service providers, universities and research centres which also stimulate an organic emergence of clusters in a ‘bottom-up’ manner in response to business and/or research needs; stresses the importance of establishing transnational clusters, particularly in order to integrate structurally weaker regions into the European industrial value chain, on the basis of Union-wide competition encouraging the participation of underrepresented countries/regions and ensuring the know-how transfer across the research communities from all the Member States; believes this to be a crucial aspect to be integrated into regional industrial policies; notes that the Commission should also pay adequate attention to supporting existing clusters; encourages the Commission to establish resource efficiency clusters under the future green action plan for SMEs;

35.  Welcomes the strategy for key enabling technologies where the EU holds strong competitive advantage and the potential to increase it given its strong research base, but believes more effort is required concerning the exploitation of results to deliver this advantage; supports the proposed actions to improve coordination and synergies between policies and instruments including Horizon 2020, the EIB, the EU Structural Funds and other public and private funds; welcomes initiatives enhancing KETs-related cluster-specific actions and increased transregional cooperation; calls on the Commission to avoid establishing closed shops for individual consortia or individual companies; notes that the financing of research infrastructure must be for the benefit and use of multiple actors;

36.  Calls on the Commission to strengthen communication networks along the lines of the smart cities projects, through cooperation between regions, towns and cities and local areas, in order to manage shared services and produce and consume energy efficiently, by promoting energy-saving measures to encourage, for instance, the construction of high‑technology buildings with low energy consumption;

37.  Notes the predominant ‘technology push’ orientation of the Commission research and innovation programmes; believes that there is a general need to strengthen the measures and activities having a market pull which are able to effectively bring solutions into the markets;

38.  Calls on the Commission to link supply-side policy tools with demand-side tools by means of the creation of Innovation Partnerships (such as those on smart cities, active ageing or raw materials) and the development of ‘lead markets’ which aim to promote the market uptake of new products and services living up to societal needs;

39.  Calls on the Commission to develop a strategy which ensures that Europe attracts foreign talent while simultaneously maintaining relations with top European talent abroad; stresses the importance of connecting with EU expatriate communities, encouraging them to use their knowledge and contacts for business opportunities in the EU;

40.  Is of the view that the incentive of sustainable forms of tourism linked to the consumption of local products may be capable of boosting the recovery of agricultural and craft-related activities and the dissemination of microenterprises locally, and could act as a significant economic springboard which could help economic recovery while at the same time ensuring that the environment is properly managed, that cultures and human settlements are protected and that erosion and landslides are prevented;

41.  Views the life sciences as a strategic sector for the Union by virtue of their innovation potential, their role in European industrial production, the number of direct and indirect jobs they create and their export potential;

42.  Believes that in order to develop its industrial policy the EU must make political choices and focus its efforts on strategic sectors meeting society’s challenges while building on European know-how; encourages the Commission, accordingly, to develop a strategic agenda for the European life sciences industry as set out in its communication entitled ‘A Stronger European Industry for Growth and Economic Recovery Industrial Policy Communication Update’;

Completing the internal market and opening external markets for RISE

43.  Stresses that the European Single Market plays a central role as the home market for European industry and that an internal market strategy fostering demand-driven innovation needs to be developed in order to promote the uptake of new technologies, thereby helping to create new markets, business models and industrial sectors; emphasises that this is particularly pertinent when it comes to diffusing R&D results in the market; stresses that predictable rules and standards in the internal market – effectively applied in the Member States – helps provide companies with a stable outlook; calls on the Commission and the Member States to complete urgently the single market for goods, energy, telecommunications, transport, green products (as laid out by the Commission in its initiative) and venture capital as well as to guarantee the free movement of researchers, scientific knowledge and technology; points out that failure to complete the internal market is a barrier to growth and calls on the Commission to carry out a study to assess the impact of the crisis on the internal market and address the cost disparities in the EU which can lead to disadvantages for EU companies compared to third-country competitors; warns that the fragmentation of the internal market could lead to distorted competition between Member States within the EU; calls for the EU to pursue closer cooperation in the areas of employment law and tax incentives; urges the Commission to promote the use of the ‘Made in Europe’ brand to strengthen the single market and products of European origin;

44.  Welcomes the Commission’s intention to develop a horizontal action plan to boost demand for innovative goods and services; calls on the Commission to continue studying the life cycle of products from the raw materials to the recycling stage, with a view to progressing towards efficiency benchmarks for products which take cost-benefit ratios and the innovation potential into account;

45.  Stresses that public procurement should be an innovation driver; points out that public procurement is an integral part of the industrial policies of the Union’s trading partners; believes that state aid guidelines should aim to boost the EU industry’s competitiveness also by taking on board best practices and good examples from the EU’s trading partners, promote European cooperation and be open to innovation-enhancing policy measures; believes that standardisation and ecolabelling, as well as the social responsibility of companies, including for imported goods, have an important role to play in boosting the uptake of new technologies; calls on the Commission to prioritise activities in support of standardisation and interoperability for new emerging products, services and technologies as a pillar for the European internal competition and international trade opportunities;

46.  Acknowledges that market surveillance is a crucial pillar in ensuring product safety and quality within the internal market; welcomes the Product Safety and Market Surveillance Package proposed by the Commission, stressing the important role that the indication of origin can play, not only for consumers but also with a view to a more transparent trade policy both internally and externally; calls on the Commission to harness the power and effectiveness of the internet in its work on market surveillance, allowing people to participate by providing qualified feedback on products; stresses, in this connection, the importance of properly functioning consumer protection in the European Union;

47.  Emphasises that the completion of the digital single market is an important element of the EU’s industrial strategy; reiterates the importance for SMEs of digitalising the internal market and the development of electronic commerce in the internal market; believes that the digital and new information technologies market offers potential for industrial development which has not yet been fully tapped and which Europe is well-placed to exploit; stresses the imperative need to adapt EU ICT standardisation policy to market and policy developments which will lead to the achievement of European policy goals requiring interoperability such as e‑business, e-commerce, e-Freight and intelligent transport systems (ITS), etc.;

48.  Emphasises that the completion of the digital single market should be an important element of the EU’s industrial strategy; stresses that an equivalent regulatory framework should be applied to the online and offline markets in order to ensure fair competition and protect consumers;

49.  Welcomes the Commission’s recognition of a definition of high‑end cultural and creative industries as a sector of the economy which covers the high‑end sections of markets for products and services and reflects specific characteristics such as the cultural and creative dimension of the product or service, the product’s prestige, intellectual property, manufacturing quality, design and innovation, and the way in which products and services are marketed and advertised; calls on the Commission to recognise the specific nature of the highly skilled professions in European industries, which account for a substantial number of jobs in Europe and which are founded on four criteria – creativity, excellence, know-how and career‑long learning;

50.  Welcomes the Commission’s intention to support the competitiveness of the high‑end sector, which accounts for 3 % of GDP in the EU and more than 1.5 million direct and indirect jobs, and calls on it to take measures to address the risk of a skills shortage in the sector in order to safeguard production methods and know-how that are specifically European;

51.  Notes that the European steel industry is working at 50 % capacity and that European steel production has fallen by 25 % since 2008;

52.  Notes that the European automotive sector, which produced 16 million cars in 2007, will not have managed to produce 12 million in 2013;

53.  Considers that, given the current financial, economic and social crisis, public and private investment is essential as part of an overall strategy for sustainable growth; supports, in this connection, the overall reform of the state aid regime, through the application of a more socially and economically based approach and through a greater flexibility of competition rules as laid down in Articles 101 and 102 TFEU; reiterates the importance of taking greater account of the quality and the efficiency of public spending;

54.  Stresses that industrial policy should make full use of the instruments of competition policy in order to create a level playing field and foster competitive markets;

55.  Recommends that the Commission assess the extent to which refusal by a group with worldwide operations to surrender a site that it has decided to close to another group which might take it over or to a public entity for temporary use is permissible under European competition law;

56.  Takes note of the Commission’s investigation into the reform of the internal market for industrial products; calls on the Commission to ensure that the relevant standards are compatible with the market;

57.  Acknowledges the Commission’s smart regulation drive designed to reduce burdens to industry without undermining the effectiveness of legislation, which includes impact assessments, competitiveness proofing, fitness checks and the SME test, in particular with regards to microenterprises and SMEs, and recognises the need for regulatory stability in order to encourage investment; believes that bureaucratic burden and conflicting policies are often a barrier to improving the competitiveness of industrial companies and considers that work to reduce such burdens should be high on the political agenda, and looks forward to proposals from the Commission on this subject with concrete objectives; supports regulatory coherence, a transversal regulatory approach and prioritisation as well as improved competitiveness proofing which should be mandatory and form an integral part under the impact assessment guidelines; calls on Member States to use the SME test and improved competitiveness proofing at national level also; welcomes the efforts made by the Commission to assess the cumulative effect of legislation in the steel sector and calls on the Commission to further develop the methodology as well as identify the other sectors which could benefit from such an approach;

58.  Encourages further exploitation of the potential of the 98/34/EC notification procedure and suggests that the Member States introduce competitiveness proofing in impact assessments conducted at the drafting stages of national legislative processes, in the wider framework of the ‘Single Market Test’ called for in Parliament’s resolution of 7 February 2013 with recommendations to the Commission on the governance of the Single Market;

59.  Calls for the swift implementation of the Small Business Act to support Europe’s SMEs; notes the importance of the Enterprise Europe Network in supporting SMEs in cross-border EU trade; stresses the importance of supporting small businesses and helping to turn them into medium-sized enterprises and SMEs into larger players, so as to also facilitate their global competitiveness; draws attention to the economic benefit of also building ties between companies in some sectors, such as the defence industry, in order to achieve economies of scale and share common industrial projects;

60.  Regards better, less costly and faster access of SMEs to anti-dumping procedures as key to protecting them in a more effective manner from unfair practices by trade partners; calls for the EU to take account of this point when reviewing its trade defence instruments;

61.  Calls on the EU to enhance its industrial production by providing consumers with more accurate information, by making it compulsory to mention the source of EU products and products imported from third countries and by enforcing respect for the geographical indications of European food products in third countries;

62.  Stresses that technological development is a sensitive and vulnerable sector; believes that intellectual property rights (IPRs) are an essential component of a knowledge economy and of a sound industrial policy which can foster innovation and research, and strengthen European industry; welcomes, in this connection, the creation of an EU unitary patent and calls on the Member States to implement it without delay; believes that the procedure which led to its creation should be held up as an example of good practice in the context of the pursuit of closer industrial and internal market integration; is concerned that the current IPR regime does not often fulfil its mission of leading to innovation; believes that increased transparency, innovative management and licensing practices can bring faster market solutions; welcomes, in this context, the work initiated by the Commission; calls on the Commission and the Member States also to strengthen the protection of IPRs, in particular to tackle counterfeiting and industrial espionage; stresses that new governance structures and forums for the protection of IPR at international level are needed; calls on the Commission to draw up a European strategy to protect business secrets;

63.  Stresses the importance of IPR enforcement in the physical and digital environments for growth and job creation in the European industries; welcomes, in this regard, the ongoing reform of the EU trademark system, which has the potential to enhance the protection of trademarks online, offline and in the entire internal market;

64.  Supports the current reform of the system of trademark law which will boost protection for trademarks online, offline and throughout the internal market and in international trade;

65.  Welcomes the recognition of the problem of patent thickets and patent ambushes; supports amending the regulatory system to foster pro-competitive cross-licensing and patent pools arrangements;

66.  Calls on the Commission to propose legislation which will enable European companies to manufacture generic and biosimilar medicines in the EU during the supplementary protection certificate (SPC) period, following the expiry of patent protection, in order to prepare for immediate launch following expiration of the SPC or to export to countries where no patent or SPC is in place; believes that such provisions could help to avoid the outsourcing of production and to foster job creation in the EU, as well as to create a level playing field between European companies and their competitors in third countries;

67.  Stresses that external relations have implications which go beyond the scope of the agreements signed under the auspices of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and that, when developing the external dimension of industrial policy, the EU and the Member States should agree on common positions in order to ensure that there is a level global playing field;

68.  Draws attention to the fact that in her joint communication of 7 February 2013 entitled ‘Cybersecurity Strategy of the European Union: An Open, Safe and Secure Cyberspace’(22) , the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy gave an undertaking to develop and to promote industrial and technological resources for the cybersecurity field;

69.  Stresses the need to improve the competitiveness of European companies on the world market; notes the importance of an EU trade strategy; calls on the Commission, in the light of increased competition from the EU’s trade partners, to reorganise its trade policy to ensure that the Union’s trade and competition policy is compatible with the objectives of European industrial policy and that it does not jeopardise the innovative and competitive potential of European companies; calls on the Commission, together with the VP / HR, to develop a strategy for the inclusion of SME desks at EU missions; notes that these SME desks should take into account the work of chambers of commerce and should integrate lessons learned from the European business centres; calls on the Commission and the Member States to step up their cooperation in support of European companies on external markets; calls on them to give priority in particular to instruments to assist SMEs and to centralise information for SMEs by setting up one-stop shops throughout the EU; calls on the Commission to make the improved competitiveness test part of the assessments of the impact of trade agreements and of their cumulative impact;

70.  Notes that increasingly the environmental costs borne by European industry are prompting European industrialists to invest outside the European industry;

71.  Stresses the importance of environmental and social standards in bilateral trade agreements and multilateral trade relations to establish fair and equitable trade and a global level playing field; calls on the Commission, when signing new trade agreements or revising existing ones, to ensure that operators inside and outside the EU get on an equal footing; stresses that the EU should take real steps to raise the issue of specific distortions which are harmful to European industrial interests, and that it should phase in the principle of reciprocal trade relations, particularly with regard to access to public procurement markets and improve responsiveness, which could help in the opening-up of markets;

72.  Reminds the Commission that the low level of wages and environmental protection is still a very important aspect of international competition and that it is urgently necessary to pursue an upwards alignment of these standards so that the EU can genuinely reindustrialise; calls on the Commission, in this connection, to negotiate binding commitments regarding workers’ rights and environmental protection in FTAs with third countries;

73.  Notes the Commission’s proposal to modernise the EU’s trade defence instruments, which are key elements of industrial policy; hopes that this modernisation can improve their effectiveness; urges the Commission, to this end, not to weaken those instruments, either de jure or de facto, but rather to strengthen them to protect European undertakings of all sizes more effectively, and as speedily as possible, against illegal or unfair commercial practices;

74.  Recalls the need, wherever circumstances so warrant, to use trade defence instruments against countries which fail to comply with international trade rules or the terms of free-trade agreements concluded with the EU, and calls for it to be made easier, faster and less costly for SMEs to gain access to anti-dumping procedures, so as to better enable them to protect themselves against unfair practices;

75.  Draws attention to the key role played by research and innovation in ensuring the competitiveness of European companies on world markets and highlights the need for European companies to become better at anticipating third-country market requirements in order to respond to global demand;

76.  Considers it essential, as part of efforts to revitalise its industry, for the EU to equip itself with the means to:

   pursue a more active anti-dumping policy and take appropriate action in response to, inter alia, the unfair export subsidies put in place by some third countries,
   implement a genuine exchange rate policy which protects European trade interests,
   uphold the principle of ‘fair trade’, which is based on mutual respect for social, environmental, cultural and human rights standards in international trade;

77.  Calls on the Commission to improve considerably its appraisals of trade agreements, in particular the impact assessments carried out, by taking the issue of industrial competitiveness into account and carrying out ex post assessments, as well as analyses of the aggregate effect of all agreements already concluded or under negotiation; stresses the importance of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) undertaking for realising European reindustrialisation, growth and employment objectives, and which has the potential to simplify and increase the export of European industrial products, improve the competitiveness of industry by raising international production standards and reduce the import costs of raw and processed materials for manufacturing companies; advocates that the TTIP, as with other trade agreements, should include a chapter focused on such energy matters as those which could affect the internal market; calls on the Commission, by means of tariff dismantling, to make better market access possible in connection with services and investments, strengthen regulatory cooperation, ensure improved public procurement rules and the protection of intellectual property, and to pursue these objectives actively within competition policy and in connection with energy and commodities; stresses the need for streamlining regulations and reducing regulatory and administrative burdens as intended by the TTIP, to be implemented under the strict consideration and protection of high social and environmental standards and employee rights; underlines the fact that the eventual conclusion of the TTIP will create the prospect of a wide economic space which would in turn strengthen the EU’s relationships and serve as a multiplier for foreign direct investment (FDI) in the EU;

78.  Calls on the Commission to study the US example of allowing trade unions to lodge trade complaints, given that trade distortions can negatively affect industry and therefore workers and to propose similar measures for the EU;

79.  Stresses that Europe’s industrial value chain must be strengthened by future trade agreements, investment agreements and agreements on intellectual property, meaning that an appropriate strategy already needs to be incorporated when the mandate is drawn up;

80.  Calls on the Commission to develop a European export strategy for resources and energy-efficient technologies and corresponding services which includes standardisation diplomacy to ensure that European standards are promoted worldwide;

81.  Points out that standards and technical regulations play a crucial role in ensuring that the EU leads the way in innovative sectors, including green technologies; calls, therefore, on the Commission to strengthen the EU’s capacity to establish standards and international technical rules in innovative sectors; urges the Commission, furthermore, to improve cooperation with key third countries – including the emerging countries – with a view to establishing common standards and technical rules;

Financing an Industrial Renaissance

82.  Acknowledges the fact of bank lending constraints and their negative impact, particularly on SMEs; deplores the fact that such constraints also affect the financing instruments made available by the EU and believes that the Commission should ask the financial intermediaries responsible for the administration of those instruments to submit annual reports; welcomes the Commission Green Paper on long-term financing; highlights the need to strengthen the robustness and credibility of the EU banking sector via Basel III, a banking union and the ESM; stresses the importance of our international partners also implementing the Basel III rules; points out that investments in industry are long-term investments; calls on the Commission and the Member States to improve the legislative and financial framework so as to make it clearer and more predictable and thus encourage investment in industry;

83.  Believes that new alternative and creative financing avenues need to be investigated in particular with regard to private and equity financing; notes that the promotion of financial literacy also plays an important role in this regard and that financial literacy should be integrated into school curricula;

84.  Stresses the importance of financial resources for start-ups and SMEs so that entrepreneurs have the resources to bring innovative ideas to the market;

85.  Welcomes the Commission’s initiative to create joint financial instruments with the EIB and notes that this initiative was approved at the June 2013 European Council meeting; also welcomes the fact that the Commission and the EIB planned to present to the European Council prior to its October 2013 meeting a comprehensive report on their application setting out quantitative objectives, instruments and a timetable;

86.  Calls on the Council, in consultation with the Commission and the EIB, to specify without delay the parameters for these instruments with a view to achieving a significant leverage effect; stresses that these instruments should be operational before the end of 2013;

87.  Welcomes the EIB’s capital increase and its newly published lending guidelines tied to a new emissions performance standard (EPS) of 550 grams of CO2 per kilowatt hour (g/kWh); believes that the EIB could help alleviate the problems linked to the fragmentation of the EU’s financial markets; calls on the EIB to continue looking into the development of new credit models tailored to the needs of industry; calls on the EIB to implement its plan to increase lending activity in the EU by more than 50 % between 2013 and 2015;

88.  Points out that subsidiarity leaves the door open for a wide variety of fiscal policies and lending, as well as subsidy arrangements throughout Europe;

89.  Calls on the Commission to investigate how the asset-backed securities market and alternative financing formulas with proper prudential supervision could be leveraged to facilitate SME financing; notes the role that business development and infrastructure banks can play in investing in bank-issued, structured covered bonds, combining such investment with increased SME lending targets; welcomes the proposal of private-private lending partnerships in which an insurance company and a bank combine to provide short and long-term loans;

90.  Believes that it is important to foster new innovative funding models for SMEs, especially with high growth potential; points to the flourishing of crowd-funding initiatives and e‑platforms for loans in Europe and to the financial and non-financial benefits that this funding brings for SMEs and entrepreneurs such as the provision of start-up funding, product validation, customer feedback, and a stable and committed shareholding structure; calls on the Commission to issue a communication on crowd funding; calls on the Commission to develop an effective regulatory framework for crowd funding on a basis of up to EUR 1 million per project which also addresses the issues regarding investor protection; calls on the Commission to consider making limited funds available to crowd-funding services, as has already been done by certain Member States;

91.  Calls on the Commission to support the creation of local bonds markets for SMEs in order to provide adequate long-term financing, particularly in credit-constrained regions; believes that local bonds markets such as the Stuttgart Stock Exchange could serve as a potential model;

92.  Calls on the Commission to support the development of national investment banks for SMEs and to enable existing ones to expand their operations in other Member States and become involved in funding projects outside their national borders, by drawing up guidelines with a view to overcoming the widespread credit crunch;

93.  Views late payments as a source of instability and lost competitiveness for firms, in particular SMEs; praises those Member States which have fully implemented the late payments directive and calls for its full implementation across the EU; believes that the EU aid and financial instruments that are available are not sufficiently well known to economic operators, in particular SMEs; calls for one-stop shops centralising information for SMEs on the EU funding available to be set up throughout the Union; stresses the importance of setting up networks of intermediary associations of entrepreneurs and with non-profit goals for the purposes of setting up and providing support, mentoring and loans to SMEs, with a view to developing entrepreneurship;

94.  Believes that unfair tax competition between Member States is not adequate for the development of a strong European IP;

95.  Is in favour of better coordination of company tax systems in the EU through the introduction of harmonised tax bases;

96.  Calls on the Commission to produce a non-costed study of competitiveness factors for the various industrial activities conducted within the EU (delivery times, patents, product quality, after-sales service, quality of transport, energy and IT infrastructure networks, etc.), as compared with those in other parts of the world; calls for the Commission to conduct an ongoing analysis of the EU’s macro-economic competitiveness, with particular reference to transport, energy and IT infrastructure networks, and to produce studies on the long-term funding for new or existing infrastructure which is required in order to ensure that the EU remains competitive;

97.  Stresses the importance of venture capital (VC) and business angel networks, in particular for women; calls for the prompt implementation of the women entrepreneurs’ online portal; welcomes EU support for the establishment of networks of business angels and incubators; welcomes in particular the establishment of an equity facility under Horizon 2020 and COSME to support the increase in quantity and quality of VC supply; believes that the European Investment Fund has a crucial role to play in the development of VC markets, in particular for the deployment of new technologies; believes that the distinction for tax purposes between equity and debt should be removed;

98.  Calls on the Commission to study the multiplier effects of leading competence units with reference to their production, value creation and employment networks in the economy as a whole; considers that leading competence units are not necessarily defined by their size but meet a range of criteria, such as international focus, a certain minimum share of the domestic and global market, intensive R&D and cooperation with a large network of undertakings; considers that such a study could above all draw attention to the interdependence of industrial businesses and SMEs, thus invalidating certain stereotypes with regard to the processing industrial base;

Winning the skills and labour force for an Industrial Renaissance

99.  Takes the view that, since the start of the crisis, roughly 5 500 European industrial companies have been restructured, resulting in the loss of some 2.7 million jobs;

100.  Stresses that RISE is an opportunity for stable employment with good jobs and decent pay; emphasises the indispensable partnership with stakeholders, especially social partners, chambers and youth organisations, in the context of integrating the young into the workforce; calls on the Commission and the Member States to intensify social dialogue also within branches of industry and firms; believes that the involvement of social partners at the earliest possible stage in any legislative procedure would be of great benefit; calls also on the Commission to promote the role of the social partners at its level, taking due account of the differences between the various national systems; calls on the social partners to engage in a dialogue at EU level wherever possible;

101.  Notes that RISE will require more and better access to training, lifelong learning, fit-for-the-future vocational training and university education, a strong emphasis on the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, particularly for women, and entrepreneurship support; advocates the inclusion of such topics in school curricula; supports the development of work-linked training and apprenticeship schemes and an adequate social safety net together with a second-chance policy; believes, in this regard, that EU programmes and instruments, such as Horizon 2020 and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), should play an important role;

102.  Considers that support for a qualified workforce gives Europe a great advantage and is a major motor for developing investment in R&D; calls for particular attention be paid to supporting education, with a view to creating research centres at the international forefront of academic excellence;

103.  Believes that workplace innovation, the development of competences, creative and autonomous workers and teamwork are important assets in both the social and economic performance of companies; emphasises that workplace democratisation, including active participation by staff representatives and trade unions, needs to be expanded; calls on the Member States or regional bodies concerned to create a framework for ongoing training, be that an individual right to training or other schemes, which ensures that their skills pool remains ahead of growing demand in the sector and is adaptable to a new market or, in case of redundancy, is transferable to another industrial sector; notes that employers and workers have a shared responsibility regarding life-long learning; notes, furthermore, that information and consultation at the work place is a fundamental right laid down in the Treaty;

104.  Calls on the Commission to work closely with the Member States and the sectoral social partners concerned to draw up medium- and long-term forecasts regarding the skills required by the employment market, for example through the creation of European industry skills councils;

105.  Calls on the Member States to address e-skills shortages at all education levels and through lifelong learning as ICT developments can have, in the long term, a big impact on rising industries in sectors such as energy efficiency, environmental planning, safety objectives and other communications capabilities (for example, efficient and intelligent transport systems, person-to-person, person-to-machine and machine-to-machine communication systems);

106.  Stresses that strength in engineering and information technology improves resilience in employment; calls on the Member States with the support of the Commission to consider setting national targets to increase the number of students studying STEM subjects; believes that the creation of national, regional and European STEM platforms to exchange best practice between regions, universities and industry could be beneficial in setting STEM targets; also considers that, if established, European platforms could be important in providing coordination and cooperation for national platforms at European level; highlights that basic ICT skills should also be fostered in schools and vocational training programmes in this context;

107.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to consider the US model of establishing College-to-Career (C2C) Funds to forge partnerships between industry and universities in order to train young people for jobs in rising industries; notes the plans for establishing ‘University Technical Colleges’ with industry partners, as discussed in the UK;

108.  Stresses the importance of enhancing voluntary mobility among young people, by promoting Erasmus for All and removing existing barriers for cross-border apprenticeships, traineeships and internships, and by strengthening the portability of pensions and labour and social protection rights across the EU; stresses that the ‘Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs’ programme, in particular, should be significantly expanded;

109.  Recommends the mobilisation of all financial and legislative instruments available to promote economic relocation and calls for information centres to be established in order to heighten awareness among entrepreneurs of the advantages to be gained from keeping their operations in Europe or relocating to Europe in terms of shortening supply chains and possibly establishing local manufacturing traditions and increasing efficiency in this sector while creating more jobs at local level; urges for EURES to be exploited as efficiently as possible in order to make use of the skills of young European jobseekers; calls on the Member States to implement the services directive more effectively and eliminate social dumping;

110.  Stresses that education is a basic requirement and that all levels of education, from primary school to university, should be open to everyone;

111.  Stresses the need to reduce the school dropout rate, and emphasises that school leavers need opportunities for training placements, as is the case with the Austrian ‘Training Guarantee’;

112.  Welcomes the decisions to implement the Youth Guarantee and the ambitions behind it as well as the willingness of the Member States to allocate funding to tackle youth unemployment; welcomes the promotion of an Alliance for Apprenticeships; points out that in certain Member States, apprenticeships do not to a sufficient degree form an integral part of employment policy; calls on the Commission to develop common social investment indicators, especially regarding youth unemployment; calls on industry to play an active part in implementing the Youth Guarantee on the respective national levels and to offer quality employment or traineeships to young people where possible, and to create quality internships with decent pay; urges the Member States to make apprenticeship schemes more attractive to companies through a variety of measures;

113.  Highlights that Member States with strong vocational training systems have had relatively robust employment markets during the crisis; invites all Member States to examine and introduce such systems together with the social partners and other relevant stakeholders like chambers; notes the challenge of increasing compatibility between the European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET) with the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS); also highlights the importance of comparability and increased compatibility between the various national vocational training systems so as to facilitate mobility on the labour market within the relevant job categories;

114.  Stresses that schools of secondary technical education and vocational training systems play an essential role, and supports the Commission’s initiatives to promote cross‑border exchanges between Member States;

115.  Believes that enhancing the image of vocational education and training should be done by not only stressing the intrinsic value thereof but also by linking it to a possible transition to university or other higher education; notes that this also necessitates that high-quality vocational education and training qualifications receive an upper-level classification in the national quality frameworks by the Member States; stresses the importance of improving educational skills to improve the quality of development of new manufacturing skills, also by means of EU measures to standardise human resource policies starting from basic training;

116.  Calls on the Member States, in cooperation with the social partners, to devise and implement vocational guidance programmes for young people in science and technology disciplines in order to promote the development of a viable and sustainable economy, and to put in place information and awareness-raising measures in relation to ecological and environmental issues, both through the formal education system and in the framework of measures taken by local and regional authorities;

117.  Believes that further development of the freedom of movement for workers, through the use of instruments such as the mutual recognition of professional qualifications and life-long training, in particular for vulnerable workers, has great potential for mitigating the shortage of skilled labour and for triggering inclusive growth;

118.  Calls on the Member States to launch microcredit facilities for young people in order to promote entrepreneurship;

119.  Expects that the measures and actions taken to promote entrepreneurship at European or national level will apply to all types of enterprises, cooperatives, craft businesses, liberal professions and social economy enterprises;

120.  Underlines that RISE should be guided by the principle of ‘equal pay for equal work’, in order to ensure both gender equality at the workplace and equal terms for employees on different types of contract;

121.  Points out that each year women represent more than half of the higher education graduates in Europe; stresses the positive impact that the skills of qualified women could have on undertakings, particularly for the growth, productivity and competitiveness of European industry; calls, in this connection, on stakeholders in the economic, education and social fields, and on the Commission, to promote and enhance the role of women in industrial sectors in Europe;

122.  Stresses the importance of avoiding the traditional gender imbalance within industry; considers that it is important to break the imbalance so that both women and men are able to participate fully in the labour market, particularly given the demographic challenges facing the EU;

123.  Refers to the important role of female workers in RISE; emphasises that the absence of gender perspectives in industrial policies increases gender inequality; considers it important to break the present gender imbalance so that both women and men are able to participate fully in the labour market, based on the principle of equal pay for equal work; calls on the Commission and the Member States to make sure that female workers are not underrepresented in, or excluded from, training in and projects and programmes on ecological transformation and highlights the need to integrate gender mainstreaming; calls on Member States to implement measures to reconcile work and family life, in order to maximise the opportunities for women to pursue sustained and regular careers;

124.  Notes that the transformation to a low-carbon economy will not only create new jobs in new economic sectors but could also lead to job loss in less sustainable activities; recommends, in this connection, that tools for the timely anticipation of change be established and strengthened in order to guarantee a smooth transition from one job to another;

125.  Calls on the Commission to develop and promote the toolbox for a sustainable company policy (which includes corporate social responsibility, sustainability reporting, actions to promote low-carbon or low-waste production models);

126.  Stresses the importance of corporate social responsibility, a key tool for a company policy which pays attention to the efficient use of natural resources, social aspects regarding relationships with the community and with workers and their representatives, and economic aspects relating to sound company management;

127.  Calls on the Member States, in dialogue with the social partners and relevant stakeholders, to consider policies to make working hours more flexible during economic downturns;

128.  Proposes that the agenda of a future tripartite social summit for growth and employment under Article 152 TFEU include an item on factoring into the cost price the convergence of minimum social standards;

Resource and energy policy for an industrial renaissance

129.  Highlights the fact that resources and energy are at the heart of RISE, given that they are crucial for international competitiveness; stresses that the availability of raw materials is of crucial importance to European industry’s development possibilities and warns that without certain key raw materials, no future development will be possible in most strategic industries in Europe; calls on the Commission and the Member States to take active measures to combat excessive costs in both resources and energy; advocates an integrated affordability-sustainability-accessibility triangle approach for both, which insists on all three dimensions mentioned while aiming to decouple growth from the increased use of resources; emphasises the importance of guaranteeing a competitive and transparent energy market which avoids imbalances between the Member States and ensures easy access to safe, sustainable, affordable and reliable energy; notes the need for a strategy facilitating European energy market integration and the development of energy infrastructures;

130.  Welcomes the European Raw Materials Initiative, the European Innovation Partnership on raw materials and its strategic implementation plan, as well as the Resource Efficiency Roadmap; highlights the need to address resource scarcity for crucial resources such as water and calls on the Commission to continue work on its three-pillar raw materials strategy of international partnerships and trade, supply of raw materials in the EU, and resource efficiency, recycling and re-use; calls on the Commission to include the waste policy goals in the European Semester and in country-by-country recommendations and the national reform programmes; calls on the Commission to further develop sectoral benchmarks for resource efficiency, particularly for public procurement purposes; calls on the Commission to mainstream a 3R strategy (reduce, re‑use, recycle) and to study cautiously proposals calling for the limitation of important raw materials; stresses the importance of a global certification scheme for first-treatment recycling of hazardous waste and for waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) materials; points out that relevant building collection and recycling schemes exist in some Member States; notes that the European extractive industries display some of the highest standards in the world and calls on the Commission to evaluate within two years the proposal to establish a European Geological Institute; calls on the Commission to come up with measures seeking to harmonise rules and licensing procedures for raw materials extraction in the EU; calls on Member States, industry, geological institutes and the Commission to cooperate in mapping the location of raw materials;

131.  Highlights the potential of moving to a more bio-based economy, given that raw materials, such as those from forests, can play a major role in the production of renewable energy and in sustainable industrial production;

132.  Calls for the swift implementation of the energy efficiency directive and the national action plans supported by appropriate financial incentives; calls for the creation of a block exemption for all energy efficiency schemes of which the European Commission has been notified as part of the Member States’ energy efficiency action plans; believes that Member States should set out ambitious strategies in particular to renovate the existing building stock according to established common standards; stresses that financial instruments could further promote an efficiency agenda; calls on the Commission to work towards cost-efficient support criteria for renewable energy; stresses that a reliable, secure and affordable energy supply is essential for the competitiveness of European industry; stresses the importance of clear, long-term climate goals to enable undertakings to invest, particularly in the green industries and urges the Commission to propose a legal and stable framework of medium- and long-term action for European energy and climate policy up to 2030 so as to encourage investment in carbon reduction, energy efficiency and renewable energy;

133.  Notes that only the EU operates an emission allowances scheme and that, apart from the Member States, fewer than half a dozen countries – not even accounting for 15 % of global CO2 emissions, including the EU – are still observing the Kyoto Protocol;

134.  Calls on the Commission to submit an industrial strategy for renewable energies which covers the whole range of research activities, including funding, so as to ensure that the EU’s leading position in the field of renewable energies is maintained;

135.  Considers that European industry, as well as individual consumers, would benefit from modernised energy infrastructure, such as smart grids, which could help maximise indigenous energy potential and fully integrate renewable sources into the power supply;

136.  Calls on the Commission to ensure that there is a stable framework for energy supply in the coming decades, so as to ensure security of investment and thus make possible measures to boost sustainable competitiveness;

137.  Highlights current trends in global energy prices, which are linked to unconventional oil and gas resources in the USA as well as developments in the Middle East, and notes that high energy prices are an important factor affecting the competitiveness of European industries; stresses the need to provide analyses of the factors influencing the price of energy; calls on the Commission to take this into account as done in its impact assessments when making future proposals; emphasises that RISE requires coherence between industrial, energy and climate policies; notes that lower energy prices in the USA have permitted additional industrial investments; refers to Parliament’s resolutions on such investments; highlights the hugely important role of the energy-intensive industries, which produce essential basic materials; stresses that these industries are subject to the risk of carbon leakage and that special precautions are therefore needed to keep it competitive; asks the Commission to come forward with recommendations to prevent the risk of carbon leakage;

138.  Regrets the fact that the Commission did not assert its adherence to the precautionary principle in relation to sectors using technologies which have not demonstrated that they are risk-free;

139.  Highlights that the countries in Europe’s south are paying the highest gas prices in Europe, thus leaving industries, in particular energy-intensive industries, at a competitive disadvantage while also increasing the risk of carbon leakage;

140.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to reconsider the conditions for long‑term energy contracts and review gas contracts based on oil-indexation pricing mechanisms and move towards more hub-based pricing with greater competition in the internal market; calls on the Commission to assist in exploring possibilities of renegotiating those contracts and facilitating a transition to more flexible alternatives; thus advancing the goals of better access to gas for all Member States;

A regional RISE strategy with particular attention to Europe’s south

141.  Advocates a multi-regional industrial policy approach that relaunches sustainable growth in contracting economies and those exposed to significant risks to their industrial base; notes the urgent need to implement measures to support those industrial sectors most affected by the crisis and by international competition; supports a high value-added strategy in the integration of regional economies, especially the southern economies, into global value chains; believes that smart specialisation strategies are particularly relevant in this context and that existing industrial strengths need to be promoted via increased innovation and specialisation; believes that in parallel with smart specialisation strategies, as regards access to finance, an investment strategy for the south is needed;

142.  Stresses that lending has to be improved in the crisis Member States and holds that a microcredit programme funded by the EIB or national development banks could be introduced, which would allow SMEs to process orders;

143.  Notes that a number of regions are affected by their peripheral location and that the lack of adequate and well connected infrastructure affects their capacity to be competitive within the internal market and outside the Union; notes that this is particularly important for certain areas in Europe’s south but that others, such as the east and Europe’s north – where a large share of the Union’s natural resources are situated – also need to be better connected to the rest of the Union; calls on the Commission to promote full European infrastructure integration, especially for the southern economies, in particular in rail, energy and ICT, and stresses the need to gear the Connecting Europe facility to this effect; calls on the European institutions and Member States to guarantee adequate levels of funding and simplified bureaucratic procedures to enhance PPP, project financing and project bonds; deplores the fact that the Iberian Peninsula is not fully integrated in the European rail market and that, together with parts of Southern and Eastern Europe, it is not integrated in the European energy market;

144.  Points out that southern regions possess great potential for the development of the strategic sector of renewable energy sources; calls for measures to stimulate the markets in these regions, including actions to encourage microgeneration by enterprises that wish to produce their own electricity and sell the residual energy on the grid;

145.  Stresses that increased diversity of energy supply and the utilisation of indigenous resources, including renewable energy, can play a significant role in the rejuvenation of the southern economies; notes that the southern countries are highly dependent on energy imports, in some cases from a single supplier;

146.  Stresses the importance of the ICT infrastructure, particularly flexible and mobile solutions, in enabling industry to develop also in peripheral and sparsely populated regions;

147.  Emphasises the importance of best-practice sharing and market replication mechanisms; welcomes proposals to increase cooperation, industrial symbiosis and develop networks of resource efficiency advisory services; believes that industrial symbiosis efforts could help create more value and efficiencies; notes that the United Kingdom’s industrial symbiosis model could serve as a template for other Member States;

148.  Highlights that the transformation of capital enterprises into cooperatives has been successful in some regions effectively ensuring a longer-term approach, anchoring them in the local economy and giving them a stake in local sustainable development; notes that cooperatives represent an important economic reality in the EU, where more than 160 000 cooperative enterprises are owned by 123 million members, including more than 50 000 cooperative enterprises in industry and services, providing jobs for 1.4 million people and contributing on average around 5 % to the GDP of each Member State; believes, in this connection, that the business models adopted by cooperatives should also be taken into account and that their specificities should be taken into consideration in the relevant EU policies;

149.  Believes that the economies of the countries of Europe’s south can benefit from new export markets and are in particular strategically located for markets in the southern Mediterranean, while the countries of eastern Europe can similarly benefit from new export markets in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS); calls for the entrepreneurial spirit to be embraced, and for migrants from Europe’s south and east to create businesses that can access those export markets; calls on the Commission and the Member States to promote business relations between the northern and southern Mediterranean; welcomes also Vice-President Tajani’s missions for growth; takes the view that focusing more closely on regional industrial strengths and clusters could result in greater competitiveness for the structural development of Europe; calls for this to be taken duly into account in future institutional and structural developments in Europe;

150.  Takes the view that focusing more closely on regional industrial strengths and clusters could result in greater competitiveness for the structural development of Europe; calls for this to be taken duly into account in future institutional and structural developments in Europe;

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151.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission.

(1) OJ L 315, 14.11.2012 , p. 1.
(2) OJ C 198, 10.7.2013, p. 45.
(3)OJ C 161, 6.6.2013, p.35.
(4)OJ C 349 E, 22.12.2010, p. 84.
(5)OJ C 308 E, 20.10.2011, p. 6.
(6)OJ C 99 E, 3.4.2012, p.31.
(7)OJ C 199 E, 7.7.2012, p. 131.
(8)OJ C 51 E, 22.2.2013, p. 21.
(9)OJ C 264 E, 13.9.2012, p. 59.
(10)OJ C 332 E, 15.11.2013, p. 72.
(11)Texts adopted, P7_TA(2012)0387.
(12)Texts adopted, P7_TA(2012)0443.
(13)Texts adopted, P7_TA(2012)0444.
(14)Texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0088.
(15)OJ C 251 E, 31.8.2013, p. 75.
(16)Texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0201.
(17)Texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0199.
(18)Texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0246.
(19)Texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0301.
(20)OJ C 327, 12.11.2013, p. 82.
(21)OJ C 139, 17.5.2013, p.11.
(22)JOIN(2013)0001 - 7.2.2013.

Last updated: 30 May 2017Legal notice