European Industry Day, Crowne Plaza Hotel & Coven Garden - Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament
Dear Commissioner Bienkowska,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am delighted to be with you industry leaders and industry representatives to share some views about the European Industrial Policy.
As you know, I spent five years as Commissioner and Vice - President for Industry and Entrepreneurships. I have strongly worked for a European Industrial Renaissance.
Industry provides 36 million direct jobs, and contributes to a high standard of living for our citizens.
The good export performance of our industry over the last years has been a key factor to help our economy out of the crisis.
We need a modern industrial policy able to create a business friendly environment to attract investments.
Last year’s resolution of the Parliament and the Commission Communication on EU Industrial Policy strategy are going in the right direction.
All our policies, from trade to competition, from research to energy, digital, education, should work together for an EU modern reindustrialisation.
Industry needs a stable legal environment, less red tape and easy access to raw materials, energy, capitals, skills and to internal and global markets.
We need to continue our efforts to simplify our legislation, especially for the small and medium sized companies.
We have to complete the single market for goods and services, end ensure that it works appropriately.
The goods package presented by the Commission some weeks ago is going in the right direction as well as the work we are doing on standardization.
However, I’m worried to see delocalisation of companies inside EU using public funds.
On the same vein, I support the proposal for a Common Corporate Tax Base in EU and the principle that taxes should be paid where companies have their effective management.
Two days ago, the ECON Committee of the European Parliament voted in this direction with a large majority.
It is necessary to complete the internal market for energy and
invest more to ensure the clean energy transition, taking care of the needs of our energy intensive industries.
We are advancing on the energy package measures and I hope that the related trilogue negotiations will be successful in the coming months.
The age of the internet of things, robotics and artificial intelligence applications are all indicating that we are in the phase of a new industrial revolution.
We should seize the opportunities of the digital transformation to boost industry competiveness, its innovation capacity and fuel sustainable growth and jobs.
To do this, we need to complete our digital single market, invest in infrastructures and digital solutions.
However, a digital platform cannot be considered legibus solutus on taxation, labour rights, transparency, cybersecurity, privacy or data protection.
Our economy needs more high-skilled workers. Stronger investments are necessary on life-long training.
At the same time, millions of the current jobs will be lost due to the technological transformation.
We should help our citizens to face this risk and to re-enter the labour market.
For a modern industry in Europe, I think the work we are doing on Key Enabling Technologies, space, defence, cultural and creative industry is going in the right direction.
Companies need an easy access to finance.
For this, it is necessary to complete the Capital Market Union and the Banking Union. In addition, more EU resources should be dedicated to help our industrial innovation.
The next EU budget should take this priority into account. It should give an answer to the requests of our citizens such as strengthening our real economy to reduce youth unemployment, fight against illegal immigration, security and climate change.
EFSI, COSME and Regional funds as well as the European Investment Bank should further support industrial investments together with the “Industry 4.0” national plans.
This is the only way to help our start-ups growing and provide a good job to our 23 million of young unemployed.
European and global value chain should be further exploited. We need European players able to face global competition.
Our market should remain open, since every one out of seven jobs in Europe depends on our exports. Europe means excellence. We can therefore compete on quality.
The agreement concluded with Canada is a good example of an economic and trade partnership, which will create jobs and help European companies to export.
We can do the same with Japan, Mexico, Chile and Mercosur, where we hope to conclude deals very soon.
But we should ensure a fair trade among companies. We cannot play 11 against 11 in Europe and 9 against 11 with China. For this, I think we have done a good job last year with the new method of calculating anti-dumping duties.
We also see a significant increase in Chinese investment in Europe. This is good news, but we need to insist on reciprocity, and to avoid transfers of sensitive technologies.
To conclude, I’m happy to see that economic growth is coming back to the EU.
However, the level of young unemployment remains very high in several regions. The economic and social gap among our regions are widening. Convergence should re-start.
We need to give a strong response to these challenges, and be closer to our citizens. This is the priority of my mandate.
Our economic governance should be more democratic, transparent and efficient. The European Parliament has been the first EU Institution that made proposals in this direction.
To continue the European dream, we need to work together to offer prosperity to our citizens.
This cannot be achieved without your support.
Many thanks for your attention.