Procedure : 2016/2891(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-1058/2016

Texts tabled :


Debates :

Votes :

PV 05/10/2016 - 8.6
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


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

to wind up the debate on the statements by the Council and the Commission

pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure

on the need for a European reindustrialisation policy in light of the recent Caterpillar and Alstom cases (2016/2891(RSP))

Gérard Deprez, Marielle de Sarnez on behalf of the ALDE Group

European Parliament resolution on the need for a European reindustrialisation policy in light of the recent Caterpillar and Alstom cases (2016/2891(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions, and in particular that of 9 June 2016 on the competitiveness of the European rail supply industry(1),

–  having regard to its resolution of 15 September 2016 on the activities, impact and added value of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund between 2007 and 2014(2),

–  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 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 14 October 2015 entitled ‘Trade for All – Towards a more responsible trade and investment policy’ (COM(2015)0497),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 1309/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 on the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund,

–  having regard to the Commission White Paper ‘Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area – Towards a competitive and resource efficient transport system’ (COM(2011)0144),

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

A.  whereas Caterpillar announced on 2 September 2016 that it would shut down its Belgian headquarters in Gosselies (Wallonia) in April 2017, making 2 000 workers redundant; whereas this decision will impact on the entire Wallonia region, as Caterpillar is the largest employer in the region;

B.  whereas the company stated that the manufacture of construction equipment at the Gosselies site may be relocated to its facility in Grenoble (France) and to other sites outside Europe; whereas component production may be allocated to external suppliers and other Caterpillar facilities, and support functions may be consolidated to other sites;

C.  whereas Caterpillar’s workforce has fallen by 20 %, affecting more than 30 000 jobs, since the end of 2012, and the company has said it plans to close or consolidate up to 20 plants by the end of 2018; whereas for the quarter ending on 30 June 2016 the company reported a profit of USD 550 million, a decline from USD 802 million a year earlier;

D.  whereas in April 2016 Caterpillar lowered its 2016 sales and earnings outlook as steep declines in revenues from its construction, oil and gas and rail business segments reduced its quarterly profits;

E.  whereas Alstom announced on 7 September 2016 that it would move its train production in France from Belfort to Reichshoffen, following a decline in orders;

F.  whereas the company will continue to provide locomotive maintenance and servicing at Belfort, accounting for around 80 of the current 480 jobs; whereas the other 400 employees will be offered the opportunity to transfer to Reichshoffen or to one of Alstom’s 10 other French sites;

G.  having regard to the specificity of the rail sector, in particular in the case of Alstom, characterised by the production of items with a lifespan of up to 50 years, high capital intensity and a significant dependence on public procurement;

H.  whereas these two situations are very different but are unfortunately not isolated cases in Europe, arising as they do from the lack on the part of the European Union and its Member States of a vision for European industry as a whole;

I.  whereas the urgent need is now to deal with job losses for employees but also for all subcontractors, most of them SMEs, for whom multinational companies established in their region constitute their only business partner;

J.  whereas the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) was established to deal with emergency situations by providing a rapid response and short-term assistance to address serious unforeseen difficulties on the labour market involving mass layoffs; recalls that the EGF has also co-funded personalised services for redundant workers, including counselling and guidance, sheltered and support employment and rehabilitation measures, education and training, and job search allowances;

K.  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;

L.  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 digitise industry and maintain its global competitiveness;

M.  whereas energy prices in Europe are higher than in some other economies, mainly because of the insufficient integration of the energy market, which considerably limits the competitiveness of European industry on the world market;

N.  having regard to the responsiveness of the Commission in the Caterpillar case, and the creation of a task force bringing together the various Directorates-General of all the relevant departments to serve as an interlocutor and facilitate the implementation of aid through dedicated funds such as the EGF, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF);

1.  Expresses its solidarity with the dismissed workers, as well as with the subcontractors of these companies and their many workers;

2.  Recalls the potential of the EIB in achieving the objectives of EU policies, particularly in the context of modernisation of the industry; believes EU funds should be dedicated to applied research for advanced manufacturing products, i.e. product development activities including pilot lines, prototypes and demonstrator activities; welcomes the excellent results generated by the EFSI a year after its launch, with EUR 166 billion already raised in investments; supports the initiative of the Commission to increase and extend the funds concerned; urges the Commission, however, to strengthen this instrument so that investments are directed to the sectors that drive growth, such as research, development and innovation;

3.  Notes that the supply chains of the major European manufacturers primarily rely on SMEs, which are often less well organised to deal with this kind of situation and are therefore in a weaker position; calls for a deep reflection on the situation and vulnerability of these enterprises in the EU’s industrial policy and their dependence on outsourcing by large industrial groups;

4.  Calls on the Commission to accelerate and take into account the specificity of SMEs in requests from Member States for financial contributions from the EGF; insists, however, that the EGF is not intended as a substitute for a serious prevention policy or for anticipation of restructuring;

5.  Asks for special attention to be paid to SMEs, and for a strengthening of cooperation between established businesses and young companies, since this could contribute to creating a more sustainable and competitive business model and to the emergence of leaders worldwide;

6.  Recalls that reindustrialisation polices must go hand in hand with labour market policies;

7.  Emphasises that among other factors, labour costs influence the competitiveness of European companies; stresses, in this connection, that the tax burden should be shifted away from labour to other sources of taxation that are less detrimental to employment and growth, while ensuring adequate social protection;

8.  Underlines the importance of a sustained social dialogue, based on mutual trust and shared responsibilities, as the best instrument for finding consensual solutions and common perspectives in the prediction, prevention and management of process restructuring;

9.  Calls for a reform of the EU directive on worker information and consultation in order to improve the social dialogue in the major European enterprise groups and develop the capacities of the European Works Councils;

10.  Stresses the importance of a future-oriented industrial policy across the EU that will allow the Commission to better anticipate these socio-economic situations and ensure the competitiveness of our industrial network; urges the Competitiveness Council to be held on 29 September 2016 to take concrete decisions to reinvigorate European industry as a whole so as to make it sustainable and inclusive;

11.  Welcomes, in this sense, the support strategy for the digitisation of industry, which should mobilise EUR 50 billion by 2021 and is essential for the competitiveness of the European economy, particularly in the automotive, aeronautics, space technology, pharmaceutical and shipbuilding sectors; emphasises that the use of suitable investment instruments in the fields of R&D and infrastructure is essential to support the digitisation of all sectors of industry, including manufacturing, energy, transport and distribution;

12.  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 association 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;

13.  Calls on the Commission to focus on innovation and on the strengthening of value chains for all economic actors; calls for the creation of new tools for analysing European industrial value chains in the context of global competition;

14.  Recalls the need for consistency in all policies relating to research, international trade, the environment and employment; stresses the importance of the Energy Union in the development of European industrial policy; calls on the Council to adopt, as soon as possible, an ambitious position with regard to strengthening the trade defence instruments that can provide the EU with effective tools to respond to dumping from third countries;

15.  Recalls the need to promote technical skills at school through well-designed apprentice systems based on both academic learning and job training in factories;

16.  Calls on the Commission to develop, together with the Member States, a Union strategy for 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 and adequate resources; to this end, calls for increased convergence among Member States in fiscal, social and budget matters so as to facilitate the emergence of joint industrial projects; 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;

17.  Calls for a restructuring of the major European manufacturers to allow the long-term emergence of players with sufficient critical mass to cope with international competition; believes that this development cannot be achieved without a review by the Commission of the application of competition policy, in particular the criteria it uses to define the relevant market;

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


Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0280.


Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0361,

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