Procedure : 2017/2732(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0447/2017

Texts tabled :


Debates :

Votes :

PV 05/07/2017 - 8.13
CRE 05/07/2017 - 8.13

Texts adopted :


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See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0440/2017

further to Question for Oral Answer B8-0319/2017

pursuant to Rule 128(5) of the Rules of Procedure

on building an ambitious EU industrial strategy as a strategic priority for growth, employment and innovation in Europe (2017/2732(RSP))

Lieve Wierinck on behalf of the ALDE Group

European Parliament resolution on building an ambitious EU industrial strategy as a strategic priority for growth, employment and innovation in Europe (2017/2732(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Article 173 (Title XVII) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), which concerns EU industrial policy and refers, among other things, to the competitiveness of the Union’s industry,

–  having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 10 October 2012 entitled ‘A stronger European industry for growth and economic recovery’ (COM(2012)0582),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 22 January 2014 entitled ‘For a European industrial renaissance’ (COM(2014)0014),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 2 July 2014 entitled ‘Towards a thriving data-driven economy’ (COM(2014)0442),

–  having regard to the Commission proposal of 7 June 2017 entitled ‘Establishing the European Defence Industrial Programme aiming at supporting the competitiveness and innovative capacity of the EU defence industry’ (COM(2017)0294),

–  having regard to its resolution of 15 January 2014 on reindustrialising Europe to promote competitiveness and sustainability(1),

–  having regard to its resolution of 19 January 2016 entitled ‘Towards a Digital Single Market Act’(2),

–  having regard to the Commission communication entitled ‘Trade for All – Towards a more responsible trade and investment policy’ (COM(2015)0497),

–  having regard to its resolution of 1 June 2017 on digitising European industry(3),

–  having regard to the President Juncker’s Political Guidelines ‘A New Start for Europe: Agenda for Jobs, Growth, Fairness and Democratic Change’,

–  having regard to the European Council conclusions of 15 December 2016,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions on the Industrial Competitiveness Agenda, on the digital transformation of European industry and on the ‘Digital Single Market Technologies and Public Services Modernisation’ package,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 29 May 2017 on a future EU industrial policy strategy,

–  having regard to the question to the Commission on building an ambitious EU industrial strategy as a strategic priority for growth, employment and innovation in Europe (O-000047/2017 – B8-0319/2017),

–  having regard to Rules 128(5) and 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas industry is a key sector for the European Union operating in a highly dynamic global environment involving technological, environmental and societal challenges; whereas European industrial production accounted for 36 % of world production in the 1990s, but today represents only 24 %, and its percentage share continues to decline(4);

B.  whereas concrete actions and incentives have to be pursued in order to reach the EU’s target of 20 % of Union GDP based on industry by 2020(5);

C.  whereas, although 75 % of the value of the digital economy comes from traditional industry, the latter has only integrated digital technologies to a limited extent, with only 1.7 % of European companies making full use of advanced digital technologies and only 14 % of SMEs using the internet as a sales channel; whereas Europe must take advantage of the great potential of the ICT sector in order to digitalise industry and maintain its global competitiveness(6);

D.  whereas competiveness and investment in the EU are key to its industry;

E.  whereas digitalisation in industrial manufacturing will change labour market demand in Europe; whereas, in order to meet this change in demand, digital skills in society as a whole should be increased;

F.  whereas the support strategy for the digitalisation of industry should mobilise EUR 50 billion by 2021 and is essential for the competitiveness of the European economy;

1.  Underlines the need for a holistic approach, including concrete policies and actions to reindustrialise the EU, combining competitiveness and sustainability, job creation and inclusiveness, while taking into account the structural transformation of the industrial sector resulting from digital disruption and the emergence of new business models;

2.  Calls on the Commission to develop, together with the Member States, a Union strategy for a consistent and comprehensive industrial policy aimed at Europe’s reindustrialisation, and based, inter alia, on digitalisation (in particular the integration of smart technologies and robotics into industrial value chains), sustainability, energy efficiency, adequate financial and renewable energy resources ; calls, to this end, for increased convergence among the Member States; believes that the European regulatory framework should allow industries to adapt to the changes concerned and to take anticipatory action in order to contribute to job creation, growth and regional convergence;

3.  Welcomes the Council conclusions of 29 May 2017, in particular the Council’s call on the Commission to draw up a holistic EU industrial policy strategy for the future by spring 2018 at the latest;

4.  Believes that some European industries could benefit from reaching a certain critical mass to face up to international competition;

5.  Recalls the specific nature of certain industrial sectors, which are characterised in particular by the manufacture of equipment with a lifespan of up to 50 years, a high capital intensity, a significant dependence on public procurement and an obligation to comply with very high standards;

6.  Stresses the importance for the EU of supporting the qualitative rise of European products through reindustrialisation processes, notably through research, industry 4.0 and digitalisation, in order to improve competitiveness in Europe;

7.  Recalls the necessity of keeping sufficient financial means for the industry sector in the next multiannual financial framework (MFF), in particular through the specific instruments and funds such as the European Structural and Investment Funds, Horizon 2020, the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) and FP9;

8.  Stresses the importance of the digitalisation of industry for maintaining the EU’s position as a global industrial leader; calls on the Commission to give concrete substance to its ambition of achieving the 20 % of GDP manufacturing target; emphasises, in this light, the reshoring potential of digitalising industry by decreasing production costs;

9.  Recalls that an enabling regulatory framework and the building-up of a state-of-the-art European digital infrastructure are key to stimulating the digitalisation of industry; expects that all relevant stakeholders will be invited to play an active role;

10.  Recalls the need to use resources in a more efficient and responsible way; believes that with this objective and as a driver of innovation, the concept of the circular economy should be promoted throughout the entire value chain and best practices should be spread and exchanged among actors in the private as well as the public spheres;

11.  Calls on the Commission to ensure that industry policies are in keeping with the innovation principle, and that the potential effects on research and innovation will form part of the impact assessment;

12.  Underlines that the efforts to build an ambitious EU industrial strategy should be in line with the energy and climate goals agreed under the Paris Climate Agreement of December 2015;

13.  Underlines the increasing importance of the maritime industry and blue growth technologies, and their potential to become a new area of growth in Europe;

14.  Recalls that special attention should be paid to SMEs, and to strengthening cooperation between established businesses, start-ups and scale-ups, as this could contribute to creating a more sustainable and competitive business model;

15.  Highlights that industrial value chains are increasingly distributed across Europe and that EU coordination is therefore justified and necessary; calls on the Commission to facilitate cross-fertilisation between the different national initiatives in digitalising industry, such as Industrie 4.0 in Germany, Industrie du Futur in France, Smart Industry in The Netherlands and many more; calls for an exchange of best practices in this respect;

16.  Stresses the importance of a future-oriented industrial policy across the EU that will allow the Commission to better anticipate socio-economic developments and ensure the competitiveness of industrial networks, including a more sectoral approach; emphasises the importance of enhancing the attractiveness of the EU industrial sector for stimulating investment;

17.  Stresses that the competitiveness clusters and their specific organisation are a very useful solution for bringing together relevant stakeholders; asks the Commission to support these clusters and their cooperation at European level, ensuring the involvement of SMEs, research centres and universities at regional and local level; calls on the Commission to develop smart specialisation platforms encouraging intersectoral and interdisciplinary links; stresses the need to strengthen interregional cooperation in order to develop transnational opportunities;

18.  Recalls the need for consistency in all policies relating to research and innovation, international trade, the environment and employment; stresses the importance of the Energy Union in the development of European industrial policy;

19.  Stresses that mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and foreign direct investment (FDI) activity by third countries in strategically important EU industries could pose a strategic risk; takes the view that the interests of individual investors should not always prevail over the EU public interest; calls for the Commission to develop a framework with the purpose of assessing third country FDI and M&A activity against strategic EU considerations;

20.  Welcomes the Commission proposal on ‘Establishing the European Defence Industrial Programme aiming at supporting the competitiveness and innovative capacity of the EU defence industry’ in line with the revival of defence cooperation proposed by President Juncker; calls for the implementation of a genuine integrated European defence policy, whose efforts in research and development could eventually lead to an industrial surge;

21.  Recalls the need to promote technical skills in education through well-designed apprentice systems based on both academic learning and on-the-job training in the workplace;

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


OJ C 482, 23.12.2016, p. 89.


Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0009.


Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0240.


Eurostat figures.


Commission Communication of 10 October 2012 on A Stronger European Industry for Growth and Economic Recovery - Industrial Policy Communication Update, COM(2012)0582.


Commission Communication of 6 May 2015 on A Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe, COM(2015)0192.

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