Motion for a resolution - B8-1051/2016Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the need for a European reindustrialisation policy in light of the recent Caterpillar and Alstom cases

28.9.2016 - (2016/2891(RSP))

to wind up the debate on the statements by the Council and the Commission
pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure

Françoise Grossetête, David Casa, Seán Kelly, Pascal Arimont, Georges Bach, Ivo Belet, Deirdre Clune, Lara Comi, Krišjānis Kariņš, Jeroen Lenaers, Verónica Lope Fontagné, Elisabeth Morin-Chartier, Claude Rolin, Massimiliano Salini, Anne Sander, Sven Schulze, Csaba Sógor, Romana Tomc, Tom Vandenkendelaere, Lorenzo Cesa, Antonio Tajani on behalf of the PPE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-1051/2016

Procedure : 2016/2891(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected :  
Texts tabled :
Debates :
Texts adopted :


European Parliament resolution on the need for a European reindustrialisation policy in light of the recent Caterpillar and Alstom cases


The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the announcement of the closure of the Caterpillar factory in Belgium, resulting in the collective dismissal of over 2 000 employees and threatening a further 4 000 to 7 000 jobs within subcontractors and related SMEs in the region, and of the closure of Caterpillar’s Monkstown plant in Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland, which could lead to the loss of up to 250 jobs,

–  having regard to the announcement by Alstom that it will cease train production at its Belfort plant in France and transfer more than 400 jobs to other plants, and to the reduction in jobs due to the restructuring of the ex-Alstom plant in Sesto San Giovanni, Italy,

–  having regard to the fact that since 2012 manufacturers of heavy equipment have been facing a combination of challenging marketplace conditions in key regions and industry sectors,

–  having regard to the growing number of reports of labour-intensive upstream activities being moved out of Europe, a trend which is contributing to a decline in manufacturing and industrial employment in many European countries and having a negative effect on the whole economic and social fabric,

–  having regard to the persisting high unemployment in Europe and changes in production patents,

–  having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the information and consultation of workers is a core feature of our European social model;

B.  whereas the Commission unveiled a new strategy in 2012 promising a ‘new industrial revolution’ that aimed to raise industrial activity to 20% of EU gross domestic product by 2020, compared to just over 15% back then, and returning to pre-economic downturn levels;

C.  whereas, in order to preserve and create jobs, Member States must set the right conditions for EU industry which is faced with fierce global competition in which not all actors respect the same standards and rules;

D.  whereas global and European economic growth remains subdued and is not sufficient to drive improvements in the construction and infrastructure industries, resource industries and energy and transportation sector;

E.  whereas Caterpillar currently expects that sales and revenue for 2016 to be 40% down on 2012, which would mark the first time in the company’s 90-year history that sales and revenue have decreased four years in a row;

F.  whereas major industrial restructuring announcements strike a hard blow to the employees affected, their families and the communities in which companies are located;

1.  Expresses its support to all the workers and families involved and regrets the detrimental effects that such closures have on local economies;

2.  Recalls that Europe is a social market economy whose primary goals are a dynamic labour market, efficient social security systems and sustainable economic growth for our citizens;

3.  Appeals to multinational companies to take into consideration their legal, social and moral obligations towards their workers and the regions in which they operate when exploring ways to increase cost efficiency;

4.  Calls on all relevant authorities to ensure full compliance with national and European regulations on the information and consultation of workers by all parties involved, especially during restructuring;

5.  Stresses, however, that the Caterpillar and Alstom cases are merely unfortunate examples of a much larger problem facing European industry; considers the response thus far to the problems facing EU industry to be insufficient; stresses therefore, in this regard, that EU policies that aim to foster reindustrialisation must take on the principle of urgency in seeking to address the continuing problems as quickly as possible;

6.  Stresses that companies must fulfil their legal obligations under European and national law, prioritising the information and consultation of workers and the opportunity to review alternatives put forward by the social partners;

7.  Insists that Caterpillar’s management take due account of the alternatives that will be proposed by the workers in the framework of the Renault procedure;

8.  Recalls that Caterpillar’s management had already restructured the Gosselies plant in 2013, reducing staff numbers by more than 1 600 workers while asking the remaining workers to make unprecedented effort to sustain the Gosselies site in the long term;

9.  Calls on Member States and the Commission to complete a competitive Single Market that is able to attract and maintain private investment, maintain strong EU value chains and create employment;

10.  Calls on legislators to deliver the right conditions for the European construction equipment industry to succeed through sustained demand at home for construction and infrastructure and improved competitiveness for our industry on the global market;

11.  Recalls that it is the responsibility of policymakers to achieve the Europe 2020 strategy goals of making Europe the most competitive region in the world and to encourage smart, sustainable and inclusive growth;

12.  Calls on the Commission and the European Investment Bank to particularly target those regions that have been most affected by deindustrialisation and to accelerate support for projects in these regions as a matter of urgency;

13.  Calls on the Commission to set up a real long-term European industrial strategy in order to attain the objective of 20% of gross domestic product coming from industry, as laid down in the Europe 2020 strategy;

14.  Stresses the need for the 20% reindustrialisation target to go hand in hand with our climate and energy objectives, and for carbon leakage provisions to be designed in a way that does not force energy-intensive industries to leave Europe and keeps new investment in the EU;

15.  Calls on the Commission to rapidly mobilise all available funds, especially the European Social Fund and the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, in order to reintegrate workers dismissed from Caterpillar Gosselies and Alstom and all their subcontractors back into the labour market as soon as possible and to give them adequate support to acquire new skills where needed;

16.  Welcomes the task force set up by the Commission, which will be an interface between the Belgian authorities and the Commission;

17.  Urges national employment services to enhance cooperation at national and international level in order to improve information channels and better match job offers with demand;

18.  Calls for labour mobility across Europe to be enhanced by increasing employability through improved cross-border recognition of skills and qualifications and the strengthening of language skills;

19.  Considers access to finance in the EU to be one of the key problems hindering industry in terms of competing globally; calls therefore on the Commission and the Member States to ensure better access to finance for EU businesses, in particular for micro-enterprises and SMEs, thus enhancing their capacities for project building, and to provide them with better advisory services and technical support;

20.  Considers the link between research and industry to be crucial for boosting EU industrial competitiveness; calls, in this regard, on the Commission and the Member States to actively promote and encourage the intensification of collaboration between research centres, universities and businesses in order to boost both innovation and economic growth;

21.  Calls for improvements to the research environment through an increase in the RD&I budget, better engagement with industry, and the better interlinking of different EU and national funding programmes;

22.  Welcomes the proposal for a Regulation amending Regulations (EU) No 1316/2013 and (EU) 2015/1017 as regards the extension of the duration of the European Fund for Strategic Investments as well as the introduction of technical enhancements for that Fund and the European Investment Advisory Hub;

23.  Highlights the need for better coordination between education and training curricula and the needs of the changing labour markets; calls therefore on the Commission and the Member States to boost ICT and STEM training and education in order to equip both the current and the future workforce with the relevant e-skills;

24.  Stresses the crucial need for the development of technical skills, particularly in the manufacturing sector, and acknowledges that the strong focus on academic education in recent years has somewhat negated this; calls therefore for the development and expansion of apprenticeship systems, and stresses the need to promote the importance of skilled technical workers;

25.  Urges the Commission to ensure a proactive EU trade policy in line with its industrial objectives; recalls the necessity to reach swift agreement on the ‘international public procurement instrument’ and the revision of the regulations on trade defence instruments; calls on the Commission to ensure a significant improvement in market access for European industries; asks the Commission to take into consideration what social and economic impacts the recognition of market economy status for state-run or other non-market economies could have on the competitiveness of EU industries;

26.  With a view to strengthening competitiveness, calls on the Commission to stick to the approach of being ‘big on the big things and small on the small things’ and to duly respect the principle of proportionality and subsidiarity in order to reap the full benefits of the Single Market, the EU’s growth engine, at zero cost;

27.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the national parliaments.