Motion for a resolution - B8-0440/2017Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on building an ambitious EU industrial strategy as a strategic priority for growth, employment and innovation in Europe

28.6.2017 - (2017/2732(RSP))

further to Question for Oral Answer B8-0319/2017
pursuant to Rule 128(5) of the Rules of Procedure

Massimiliano Salini on behalf of the PPE Group

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

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


The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), in particular Articles 9, 151, 152, 153(1) and (2), and 173 thereof,

–  having regard to Title II ‘Freedoms’ and Title IV ‘Solidarity’ of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,

–  having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and to the Treaty on European Union (TEU), in particular to Article 5(3) TEU and to Protocol No 2 on the application of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 23 November 2010 entitled ‘An Agenda for New Skills and Jobs: A European contribution towards full employment’ (COM(2010)0682),

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

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

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

–  having regard to its resolution of 5 October 2016 on the need for a European reindustrialisation policy in light of the recent Caterpillar and Alstom cases[2],

–  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 its resolution of 1 June 2017 on digitising European industry[3],

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

–  having regard to the European Council conclusions of 23 June 2017,

–  having regard to its resolution of 9 June 2016 on the competitiveness of the European rail supply industry[4],

–  having regard to its resolution of 17 December 2014 on the steel sector in the EU: protecting workers and industries[5],

–  having regard to its resolution of 8 September 2015 on family businesses in Europe[6],

–  having regard to its resolution of 13 December 2016 on a coherent EU policy for cultural and creative industries[7],

–  having regard to the Paris agreement, ratified by the European Parliament on 4 October 2016,

–  having regard to its mandate for the Circular Economy Package approved on 14 March 2017,

–  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 European industry is a global leader in many industrial sectors; whereas it accounts for over half of Europe’s exports, around 65 % of investments in research and development, and more than 50 million jobs (through direct and indirect jobs, meaning 20 % of jobs in Europe); whereas, however, the contribution of European industry to the EU’s GDP has decreased from 19 % to less than 15.5 % during the last 20 years;

B.   whereas 65 % of business spending on R&D is by the manufacturing industry, but this figure is declining and the strengthening of our industrial base is therefore the key to keeping and strengthening expertise and know-how in the EU; whereas digital development, a priority of the EFSI, needs a strong industrial base to materialise;

C.  whereas small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which account for 99 % of all European companies and represent the backbone of EU industries, are facing major challenges due to global changes in the economy and financial and administrative barriers;

D.  whereas more than 60 % of all enterprises today are family-run businesses and provide up to 50 % of all private sector jobs in the European Union;

E.  whereas female entrepreneurs represent only 31 % of the EU self-employed population and 30 % of start-up entrepreneurs;

F.  whereas the role of European industry is declining in the global context and EU policy needs to support European industry in order to boost its competitiveness and capacity to invest in Europe; whereas it also faces social and environmental challenges;

G.  whereas the circular economy can have a high positive impact on the reindustrialisation of Europe and on lowering energy consumption and dependence on raw materials from third countries; whereas investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency is a (major) driver for the promotion of industrial products capable of creating virtuous circles, but environmental policy should always consider and support the competitiveness of European industry;

H.  whereas an ambitious innovation policy, supported by adequate financial means, which favours the production of high-quality, innovative, energy-efficient products and promotes sustainable processes will allow the EU to stand on its own in an ever more competitive global context, thus making innovation and investment in R&D, jobs and skill renewal essential for sustainable growth; whereas innovative industry depends strongly on the EU’s research capacity, research progress and collaborative research in particular;

I.  whereas fair trade in industrial products must promote EU standards through modern and comprehensive trade agreements; whereas an integrated and functioning internal market and open and fair trade with third countries is essential for EU industry;

J.  whereas EU financial instruments play a strategic role in fostering competitiveness and preventing investment leakage;

1.  Underlines the essential role of industry as a driver of growth, employment and innovation in Europe; asks the Commission for a clear commitment to reaching the target of at least 20 % of Union GDP being based on industry by 2020 and to assess whether the 2030 climate and energy targets support the EU industry policy for the next decade;

2.  Emphasises the importance of strengthening and modernising the industrial base in Europe; asks the Commission if it is considering adapting the 20 % target and complementing it with the 2030 climate and energy targets in order to lead industrial policy for the next decade;

3.  Highlights the role of SMEs as the backbone of EU industry and reiterates the need to pursue an SME-compatible EU industrial policy that addresses the challenges faced by SMEs on account of their size; recalls the role of start-ups and young entrepreneurship in particular in the most innovative areas; asks the Commission to reduce regulatory burdens for SMEs, start-ups and young entrepreneurs with a view to facilitating innovation and enhancing the competitiveness of EU industry and to promote clusters, digital innovation hubs and business networks;

4.  Is convinced that European industry should be seen as a strategic asset for the competitiveness and sustainability of the EU; stresses that only a strong and resilient industry and a future-oriented industrial policy will allow the EU to face the different challenges that lie ahead, including its investment leakage, global competition, rapid technological progress and the creation of quality employment;

5.  Underlines that, in order to support the Union’s industry in facing the challenges of rapid economic and regulatory changes in today’s globalised world, it is essential to enhance Europe’s industrial attractiveness for European and foreign direct investment;

6.  Highlights the importance of an investment-supportive environment, of a predictable and stable legal framework to attract investments and of the promotion of new business models, to facilitate access to finance;

7.  Recalls the strategic role of the EU financial instruments such as the European Structural and Investment Funds, Horizon 2020 and EFSI; asks the Commission to take this role into account when considering / determining the budget for these instruments;

8.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to use the full scientific and research potential of all EU countries and regions and to create further incentives for better cooperation between research and industry in order to boost collaborative research and speed up the delivery of innovative products, technologies and services for industry;

9.  Highlights the importance of the Energy Union, the Digital Single Market, the Digital Agenda and Europe’s connectivity through adequate, future-proof and efficient infrastructure;

10.  Calls on the Commission to identify the challenges and obstacles that women face in becoming entrepreneurs and to encourage women to become more active in entrepreneurship;

11.  Calls on the Commission to tackle the difficulties faced by family businesses and to improve the development of young entrepreneurship;

12.  Highlights the need to fully exploit the potential circular economy and to ensure that industries constantly develop and disseminate the best available techniques and emerging innovations;

13.  Notes the need to coordinate EU efforts towards reducing resource dependency on third countries by combining a) fair international market access to resources, b) sustainable domestic mining and c) efficiency technology innovations, with EU contributions to multilateral global resource policy governance;

14.  Stresses the need to decrease administrative burdens and compliance costs for businesses, as the promotion of better regulation in a well-functioning open market will support EU reindustrialisation policy and further boost a data-driven economy;

15.  Calls for health to be considered as a driver of economic growth; asks the Commission and the Member States to foster EU medical research, to accompany the digitalisation of health and to retain a competitive health industry in Europe; further insists on the need to organise the common promotion of digital health matters, as the new 5G networks facilitate the sharing of sophisticated medical techniques that are currently only known in some limited areas;

16.  Calls on the Commission to develop a comprehensive, coherent and long-term industrial policy framework for the Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs), and to include the development, effective promotion and protection and adequate funding of CCIs in its strategic goals and overall priorities, in order to boost their competitiveness and enable them to fulfil their potential in terms of creating quality jobs and growth;

17.  Calls for the EU industrial policy to be based on clear targets and indicators – including an industry share of GDP of at least 20 % by 2020, energy and resource efficiency, and climate objectives – and a life-cycle and circular economy approach;

18.  Calls for effective and sustainable financing instruments and measures to help combat carbon leakage risk to be integrated into the EU industrial strategy, and highlights the need to assist industry to develop sustainably in respect of the goals set by the Paris Agreement;

19.  Calls on the Commission to pay special attention to the situation of energy-intensive industries in Europe, which face harsh global competition on account of high energy costs;

20.  Underlines the importance of open markets and of free and fair international trade based on common rules and a level playing field;

21.  Stresses that European industry faces global competition, and therefore calls on the Commission to help enable the restructuring of major European manufacturers in order to allow the emergence of players with sufficient critical mass to cope with international competition, while taking into account European competition law, the situation of workers, the role of the European Globalisation Fund and the strategic relationship between large industries and SMEs, given their role in the field of innovation;

22.  Calls on the Commission to screen investments from third countries in EU strategic infrastructure, key future technologies or other important assets;

23.  Calls on the Commission to pay more attention to the role of foreign-based state-owned enterprises that are supported and subsidised by their governments in ways that the EU single market rules prohibit for EU entities;

24.  Emphasises the need for a consistent WTO-compatible and effective anti-dumping and anti-subsidies strategy for the EU;

25.  Calls on the Commission, with regard to EU competition law, to take into account more adequately the emerging role of major national players in third countries;

26.  Underlines the importance of an EU strategy for the digitalisation of EU industry in order to take full advantage of the benefits of new technologies and to enhance the competitiveness of European companies;

27.  Highlights the role of the automotive industry in Europe on account of its multiplier effect for other sectors and industries, and draws attention to its many related small and medium-sized businesses, its role in research and development and its highly skilled workforce; supports the automotive industry’s continued efforts to develop modern low-carbon vehicles such as electric-powered and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, and connected and self-driving vehicles;

28.  Emphasises the need for coordinated EU efforts to pursue the promotion of new skills as well as retraining, up-skilling and life-long learning, as advocated by the Commission in its Agenda for New Skills and Jobs;

29.  Recalls the important role of EU standardisation and advocates a strong focus on playing a leading role in international standards organisations;

30.  Advocates a comprehensive EU industrial policy approach that gives high priority to strengthening EU value-chains and integrating all EU regions into the network of a revitalised EU industry;

31.  Believes that the European regulatory framework should allow industries to adapt to the changes concerned and to take anticipatory action to contribute to job creation, growth and regional convergence;

32.  Calls on the Commission to adopt by early 2018, together with the Member States, a holistic European industrial policy strategy and an action plan based on the 20 % target, addressing inter alia digitalisation, sustainability, energy efficiency, adequate resources, and deregulation, especially for SMEs;

33.  Invites the Commission to equip this strategy with precise and measurable industrial policy targets, supplementing it with a dashboard of additional indicators such as the level of industrial output, the level of industrial employment and the average annual investment of the manufacturing sector as a percentage of GDP;

34.  Asks the Commission to include in the strategy an assessment of the impact of mainstreaming industrial policy into the EU strategic initiatives, which will help to revise those initiatives in cases where they are to the disadvantage of EU industry and deliver better results;

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