The European Commission updates the EU Industrial Strategy
On 5 May, the European Commission published its updated EU Industrial Strategy to ensure that its industrial ambition takes full account of the new circumstances following the COVID-19 crisis. Accordingly, the Strategy will help driving the transformation to a more sustainable, digital, resilient, and globally competitive economy. The updated Strategy reiterate the priorities outlined in the previous March 2020 Communication, published one day before the WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic.
By proposing new measures aimed at reinforcing the European single market in light of Europe's recovery, the updated Strategy responds to EU leader's calls to identify and monitor the main indicators of the competitiveness of the EU economy. With the SME dimension at its core, the updated EU Industrial Strategy focuses on the following key areas:
1.) Strengthening single market resilience:
Within this area, the Commission seeks to uphold the four freedoms of movement while strengthening the single market's resilience to disruptions, elements heavily impacted by COVID-19. To this purpose, the Commission will, among others:
- Propose a single market emergency instrument to guarantee more transparency and solidarity and help address critical product shortages by speeding up product availability and reinforcing public procurement cooperation;
- Strengthen market surveillance of products by supporting national authorities to increase capacity and step up the digitalisation of product inspections and data collection;
- Mobilise significant investment to support SMEs.
2.) Dealing with the EU's strategic dependencies:
As part of this focus area, the Commission responds to the need to analyse and address strategic dependencies, both technological and industrial. The European Commission, therefore, among others:
- Carried out a 'bottom-up' analysis based on trade data, which shows challenges and dependencies in the area of advanced technologies;
- Works towards diversifying international supply chains and pursuing international partnerships to increase preparedness;
- Assists new industrial alliances in strategic areas where such alliances are the best tool to accelerate activities that would not develop otherwise;
- Supports Member States' efforts to pool public resources via Important Projects of common European Interest (IPCEIs) in areas where the market alone cannot deliver breakthrough innovation.
3.) Accelerating the twin transitions:
Within this area, the European Commission outlines new measures to support the green and digital transitions, by, for example:
- Co-creating transition pathways in partnership with industry, public authorities, social partners and other stakeholders, where needed;
- Providing a coherent regulatory framework to achieve the objectives of Europe's Digital Decade.
The updated EU Industrial Strategy is accompanied by additional Staff working documents, including the Annual Single Market Report 2021 and an analysis on Europe's strategic dependencies and capacities. We invite you to have a read through the European Commission's press release to learn more about the ambitions of the recently updated Strategy.