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Source: European Parliament

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

on a New Industrial Strategy for Europe

(

2020/2076(INI))

The European Parliament,

 having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), in particular its Articles 9, 151, 152, 153(1) and (2), as well as its Article 173, which concerns EU industrial policy and refers, among other things, to the competitiveness of the Union’s industry,

 having regard to Articles 14, 27 and 30 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,

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

 having regard to Article 3(3) TEU, which refers to the internal market, sustainable development and the social market economy,

 having regard to the European Pillar of Social Rights,

 having regard to the findings of the Digital Economy and Society Index 2020, published on 11 June 2020,

 having regard to the Commission document of 2 June 2020 on the Roadmap of the Pharmaceutical Strategy – timely patient access to affordable medicines,

 having regard to the Commission communication of 27 May 2020 entitled ‘Europe’s moment: Repair and Prepare for the Next Generation’ (COM(2020)0456),

 having regard to the Commission communication of 27 May 2020 entitled ‘Adjusted Commission Work Programme 2020’ (COM(2020)0440),

 having regard to the Commission communication of 19 February 2020 on a European strategy for data (COM(2020)0066),

 having regard to the Commission White Paper of 19 February 2020 on ‘Artificial Intelligence: A European Approach to Excellence and Trust’ (COM(2020)0065),

 having regard to the Commission report of 19 February 2020 on the safety and liability implications of Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things and robotics (COM(2020)0064),

 having regard to its resolution of 15 May 2020 on the new multiannual financial framework, own resources and the recovery plan[1],

 having regard to the Commission’s European Economic Forecast: Spring 2020,

 having regard to the conclusions of 23 April 2020 of the President of the European Council following the video conference of the members of the European Council,

 having regard to its resolution of 17 April 2020 on EU coordinated action to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences[2],

 having regard to the joint communication from the Commission and the High Representative of 8 April 2020 on the global EU response to COVID-19 (JOIN(2020)0011),

 having regard to the conclusions of 17 March 2020 of the President of the European Council following the video conference with members of the European Council on COVID-19,

 having regard to the Commission communication of 13 March 2020 entitled ‘Coordinated economic response to the COVID-19 Outbreak’ (COM(2020)0112),

 having regard to the Commission communication of 11 March 2020 entitled ‘A new Circular Economy Action Plan – For a cleaner and more competitive Europe’ (COM(2020)0098), to the conclusions on ‘More circularity – Transition to a sustainable society’ adopted by the Council at its 3716th meeting held on 4 October 2019 (12791/19), and to the Commission communication of 2 December 2015 entitled ‘Closing the loop – An EU action plan for the Circular Economy’ (COM(2015)0614),

 having regard to the Commission communication of 10 March 2020 entitled ‘A New Industrial Strategy for Europe’ (COM(2020)0102),

 having regard to the Commission communication of 10 March 2020 entitled ‘An SME Strategy for a sustainable and digital Europe’ (COM(2020)0103),

 having regard to the Commission proposal for a regulation of 4 March 2020 establishing the framework for achieving climate neutrality and amending Regulation (EU) 2018/1999 (European Climate Law) (COM(2020)0080),

 having regard to the Commission communication of 19 February 2020 entitled ‘Shaping Europe’s digital future’ (COM(2020)0067),

 having regard to the Commission Work Programme 2020 entitled ‘A Union that strives for more’ (COM(2020)0037),

 having regard to its resolution of 15 January 2020 on the European Green Deal[3],

 having regard to the Commission communication of 14 January 2020 on the Sustainable Europe Investment Plan (COM(2020)0021),

 having regard to the Commission report of 28 November 2019 entitled ‘Masterplan for a Competitive Transformation of EU Energy-Intensive Industries – Enabling a Climate-neutral Circular Economy by 2050’ (report by the High Level Group on Energy-intensive Industries),

 having regard to its resolution of 18 December 2019 on fair taxation in a digitalised and globalised economy: BEPS 2.0[4],

 having regard to the European Council conclusions of 12 December 2019 (EUCO 29/19),

 having regard to the Commission communication of 11 December 2019 on the European Green Deal (COM(2019)0640),

 having regard to the European Council conclusions of 20 June 2019 on ‘A new strategic agenda for the EU 2019-2024’ (EUCO 9/19),

 having regard to the conclusions on ‘A future EU Industrial Policy Strategy’, adopted by the Council at its 3655th meeting held on 29 November 2018 (14832/2018),

 having regard to the Commission communication of 22 May 2018 on ‘A New European Agenda for Culture’ (COM(2018)0267),

 having regard to the Commission communication of 13 September 2017 entitled ‘Investing in a smart, innovative and sustainable Industry – A renewed EU Industrial Policy Strategy’ (COM(2017)0479),

 having regard to its resolution of 5 July 2017 on building an ambitious EU industrial strategy as a strategic priority for growth, employment and innovation in Europe[5],

 having regard to its resolution of 1 June 2017 on digitising European industry[6],

 having regard to the question for an oral answer to the Commission on building an ambitious EU industrial strategy as a strategic priority for growth, employment and innovation in Europe (O-000047/2017),

 having regard to its resolution of 19 January 2016 entitled ‘Towards a Digital Single Market Act’[7],

 having regard to the Commission communication of 19 April 2016 entitled ‘Digitising European Industry – Reaping the full benefits of a Digital Single Market’ (COM(2016)0180),

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

 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[8],

 having regard to the European Council conclusions of 15 December 2016 and 23 June 2017,

 having regard to its resolution of 13 December 2016 on a coherent EU policy for cultural and creative industries[9],

 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 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 its resolution of 15 January 2014 on reindustrialising Europe to promote competitiveness and sustainability[10],

 having regard to the Commission communication of 22 January 2014 entitled ‘For a European Industrial Renaissance’ (COM(2014)0014),

 having regard to the European Council conclusions of 22 May 2013 and of 22 March 2019 (EUCO 1/19),

 having regard to Rule 54 of its Rules of Procedure,

 having regard to the opinions of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, the Committee on International Trade, the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection, the Committee on Regional Development, and the Committee on Legal Affairs,

 having regard to the letter from the Committee on Fisheries,

 having regard to the report of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (A9-0197/2020),

A. whereas the European Union requires a new industrial strategy in line with the goal of climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest that will create the conditions for an innovative, inclusive, resilient, digitalised society and will make a major contribution to the global competitiveness of European industries; whereas this strategy should maintain high levels of employment and high-quality jobs, leaving no-one behind; whereas such a strategy needs to ensure the twin transition to a European industrial base that is modern, digitalised, tapping the full potential of renewables, highly energy- and resource-efficient and climate-neutral; whereas the strategy should also strengthen European global leadership and reduce the Union’s dependency on other parts of the world in strategic value chains by means of diversification and making them more sustainable, avoiding the delocalisation of European industries while preserving an open market;

B. whereas the COVID-19 pandemic and its fallout have created an unprecedented economic downturn in Europe that risks exacerbating inequalities and social tensions in the Union, especially among the most vulnerable citizens;

C. whereas industrial competitiveness and climate policy are mutually reinforcing and innovative and climate-neutral reindustrialisation will create local jobs and ensure the competitiveness of the European economy; whereas such an approach should be applied across all policies related to the green and digital transition;

D. whereas the Union needs to unlock the untapped entrepreneurship potential of particular social groups among whom it needs to be fully developed, including young people, migrants, older people and women; whereas the Union’s industrial strategy could represent an opportunity to foster the entrepreneurial culture of under-represented or disadvantaged groups and to enable them to fully contribute to the digital and green transition;

E. whereas all sectors of the economy, and in particular SMEs, have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the unprecedented economic downturn it has created, with some sectors even coming to a complete standstill; whereas in this context a rapid and just recovery will not be achieved through ‘business as usual’, and any future-oriented industrial strategy should start by addressing industrial recovery and long-term global competitiveness, especially in growth sectors and those sectors hit hardest by COVID‑19 lockdown measures;

F. whereas new debts contracted to survive the economic downturn are likely to leave companies with a more fragile financial structure, leading to sluggish growth and lack of investment capacities in the short, medium and long term for achieving the twin transition to an economy that is both digitalised and climate-neutral, resource-efficient and circular;

G. whereas in these circumstances the Union requires an industrial strategy that has two distinct phases, one focusing on recovery and the other on reconstruction and resilience; whereas the economic recovery should be based on a strong social and environmentally sustainable approach and should support industrial reconstruction towards a successful digital and green transformation, with skilled workforces accompanying these transformations and ensuring a fair and just transition;

H whereas the industrial sector in Europe is highly intertwined and there are strong interrelationships between Member States and different approaches to companies of different sizes; whereas, consequently, a coordinated European policy that ensures that the entire chain of production can benefit, from large enterprises to SMEs, will be more successful in increasing Europe’s global competitiveness and sustainability;

I. whereas the Union should continue to pursue ambitious trade agreements both multilaterally and bilaterally; whereas before the COVID-19 crisis, European industry, while remaining the pillar of the Union’s economy and employing approximately 32 million people, was already at a crossroads, with its contribution to EU GDP having decreased from 23 % to 19 % over the last 20 years; whereas it is currently facing intense international competition and is often affected by increasingly protectionist trade measures from third countries which do not practise high environmental and social standards;

J. whereas the New European Industrial Strategy needs to ensure the twin transition to a European industrial base that is competitive and sustainable; whereas this transformation constitutes an opportunity for Europe to modernise its industrial foundations, maintain and reshore jobs and key industrial production, and build up the skills and capacities that are essential for the global effort to deliver on the objectives set in climate law and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);

K. whereas the strategy needs to provide the necessary regulatory framework to enable the twin transition, as well as the necessary infrastructures and financial resources, and to focus on the ‘energy efficiency first’ principle, energy and resource savings, renewable and zero and low-carbon energy technologies, circularity and non-toxicity;

L. whereas beyond the COVID-19 crisis, climate change and environmental degradation remain among the greatest challenges and require a comprehensive common approach; whereas EU industrial emissions contribute to Europe’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; whereas the decarbonisation of energy-intensive industry remains one of the greatest challenges on the pathway towards achieving climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest; whereas all sectors should contribute to the achievement of the Union’s climate objectives;

M. whereas the COVID-19 crisis has pointed up the crucial role of digital assets, including connectivity and networks, as well as of digital skills, as tools enabling workers and companies to adapt the way they carry out their tasks and operations to the emergency situation; whereas the resilience of the digital infrastructure and the enhancement of the digital skills of the workforce are priority areas in terms of boosting the competitiveness of European enterprises, especially SMEs;

N. whereas the new industrial strategy of the Union should focus on increased connectivity, enhanced digital layers, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), artificial intelligence, digital ledger technologies, hyper-performance computing and quantum computing; whereas the digital sector will also contribute to the European Green Deal and the industrial transition towards climate neutrality, both as a source of technological solutions and optimisation of industrial processes, and by improving the energy efficiency and circular economy performance of the digital sector itself;

O. whereas the Union’s sovereignty and strategic autonomy require an autonomous and competitive industrial base and massive investment in research and innovation, in order to develop leadership in key enabling technologies and innovative solutions and ensure global competitiveness; whereas the Union’s industrial strategy should contain an action plan to strengthen, shorten, make more sustainable and diversify the supply chains of European industries in order to reduce over-reliance on a few markets and increase their resilience; whereas there should also be a strategy for smart reshoring in order to redeploy industries in Europe as well as to increase production and investment and relocate industrial production in sectors of strategic importance for the Union;

1. Considers that the transition towards a socially, economically and environmentally resilient society, strategic leadership and autonomy and a well-functioning single market should be at the very core of all Union strategies; believes, therefore, that it is necessary to deliver a fully functioning and forward-looking legislative and policy framework grounded in understanding the dynamics between the recovery plan, our climate and digital ambitions and an effective industrial strategy that streamlines the different approaches, targets and goals; calls on the Commission to define a comprehensive revised industrial strategy which will provide a clear policy framework and regulatory certainty, and, inter alia:

a) creates the conditions for long-term growth, improves the Union’s innovation-based prosperity and global competitiveness and achieves climate neutrality;

b) mobilises the appropriate financial resources, including measures for recovery;

c) supports and manages the twin green and digital transitions, maintaining and creating high-quality jobs;

d) delivers on the European Green Deal (EGD);

e) secures, makes more sustainable, diversifies and digitalises strategic value chains, also by promoting and supporting rules-based international trade;

f) strengthens the entrepreneurial spirit, creates a business-friendly environment, supports SMEs and encourages the creation and upscaling of companies, including start-ups;

g) improves the Union’s strategic resilience and autonomy, including in raw materials, and enhances technological leadership,

h) creates the conditions for equal development and encourages it across all the Union’s regions, while leaving no-one behind;

2. Calls for an inclusive industrial strategy that involves all industrial ecosystems, SMEs, regions, communities and workers in its development and implementation; is of the opinion that a strong industrial strategy can help bridge potential fractures and make it possible to seize the opportunities created by the twin transitions; is convinced that the Union’s industrial strategy must be able to rely on a strong social pillar and address the social consequences of structural change in a timely manner;

3. Considers it essential to invest in active labour markets and to provide education and training programmes aiming at meeting the needs of the economy; calls on the Commission to put in place a Union policy that matches the number of jobs that may be lost in the traditional industries with the demand for labour in the digital and green transformation industries; encourages the Commission and the Member States, since these new jobs are unlikely to be created in the same regions that would lose traditional industries, or to be taken up by the same workers, to facilitate the economic and social revitalisation of territories risking depopulation and impoverishment, paying particular attention to gender disparities;

4. Considers this twin transition to be a chance for fossil-dominated areas to move towards the frontline of innovation and a system of production that is compatible with the climate neutrality objectives; calls on the Commission, therefore, to ensure that this transition fosters conditions for job creation that are fair and socially just in the spirit of the no-one-left-behind principle, going hand in hand with the full implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights, improvement of social and living standards and good working conditions; underlines in this respect the need for every action accelerating the twin transition to be accompanied by corresponding policies and concrete actions aiming at tackling the negative effects both on regions and on the most vulnerable people;

5. Stresses that, to this end, the focus needs to be put on regional and social cohesion and the anticipation and management of restructuring, tailored to specific characteristics and needs of the local labour market, with the aim of bringing about the economic revitalisation of the affected regions and also aiming at tackling unemployment and promoting the use of public investment, also in essential sectors particularly hit by the pandemic, in order to support high quality jobs throughout the Union; underlines the importance of workers’ participation in the management and governance of companies;

6. Insists on the identification of future skill-sets and on increased investment in human resources, education, targeted training, upskilling and lifelong learning, so as to provide people and regions with future perspectives and income, as well as supplying industry with skilled workers; notes that a competitive industry depends heavily on recruiting and retaining a qualified workforce with crucial skills in the field of sustainability and digital transformation of businesses, and that this should be supported with adequate funding from the Digital Europe Programme and the Single Market Programme;

7. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to act to strengthen the coordination of education policies, with massive public investments in them across Europe; furthermore urges the Commission to set up an expert stakeholder group tasked with predicting future industrial skills gaps and shortages, with the help of AI and digital resources, especially big data’s capabilities;

8. Believes that the new long-term strategy for Europe’s industrial future should contribute to combating the gender pay gap and gender pension gap that still affect the European labour market and European society; calls on the Commission to take the gender dimension into due account in the implementation of the European industrial strategy, in both the recovery and the reconstruction and transformation phases, including the use of gender budgeting tools in the definition of the financial instruments supporting the industrial and economic growth of the Union;

9. Underlines the key role that European industry can play in actively engaging in favour of ambitious environmental, social and economic objectives, including in the area of human rights; considers that for this to materialise, the Union needs to equip itself with an overarching due diligence framework for industry so as to identify, trace, prevent, mitigate and account for environmental and social risks, impacts, abuses and harm, in its domestic and global activities and across supply chains, in order to ensure minimum standards and create a level playing field;

10. Considers that the Union requires an industrial strategy that contributes to industrial recovery from the current economic crisis, attracts investments, facilitates access to capital and stimulates effective competition; believes, therefore, that an updated strategy should take into consideration two main and interlinked phases: one aimed at consolidating jobs, reactivating production and adapting it to a post-COVID ‘new normal’, and a second phase aimed at reconstruction and transformation;

11. Calls on the Commission, in this regard, to bolster relevant existing and future legislation so as to prioritise the green and digital transitions while strengthening long-term competitiveness and societal and economic resilience throughout both phases; furthermore, calls on the Commission to stimulate the Union’s internal demand and long-term growth by attracting more investment, both public and private, in research and innovation, in the development of the new sustainable and digital technologies, including in labour-intensive industries, in new infrastructure networks and projects that are compatible with the European Green Deal goals, in energy and resource efficiency and in the circular economy;

12. Calls on the Commission to prepare a comprehensive report assessing the state of the Union’s economy and the feasibility of carrying out the twin transition, considering the opportunities for industry, including SMEs, to reap the synergies and minimise the risks they may present to each other and to maximise the benefits; asks the Commission, on the basis of its findings, to adapt the strategy published in March 2020 to the current situation and address both phases, while keeping the focus on a green, digital, fair and just transition that reinforces the Union’s sovereignty and its strategic autonomy;

13. Underlines that the Union’s industrial strategy must pursue well-defined aims and, in the interests of full transparency, calls on the Commission to establish clear, explicit and concrete definitions of ‘strategic’, ‘autonomy’, ‘strategic autonomy’, ‘resilience’, ‘strategic resilience’, and other related concepts, so as to ensure that the actions taken with reference to these concepts are specific and aimed towards the EU’s priorities and goals;

14. Considers that traditional insurance instruments are not sufficient to cover the losses from business interruption caused by a pandemic, and that an ambitious EU-wide solution is needed to anticipate and manage the negative effects of a future pandemic or systemic crisis on people, businesses and the economy; calls on the Commission to work towards the creation of a framework involving institutional investors, Member States and the EU, to cover the losses due to business interruption in case of a future pandemic;

15. Welcomes the Commission’s proposal to create a new recovery instrument, namely Next Generation EU (NGEU), of EUR 750 billion; deplores the cuts to future-oriented programmes proposed by the European Council in July 2020, in both the 2021-2027 MFF and the NGEU, and calls for spending from the EU budget on climate change efforts to be increased to at least 30 % of the budget; considers that these cuts will undermine the foundations of a sustainable and resilient recovery for the Union’s industry and will have negative spillover effects on reaching the Union’s 2050 climate neutrality objectives, as well as for social justice and global competitiveness; calls, therefore, for an ambitious and stronger long-term EU budget for 2021-2027 that does not go below the Commission proposal; in this regard, highlights Parliament’s position on the reform of the EU’s own resources system, including the introduction of new resources that are better aligned with and incentivise progress on major EU policy priorities;

16. Welcomes the measures taken by the Union to deal with the COVID-19 crisis, the injection of liquidity by the ECB, the increase in the EIB’s capital for SMEs, and the SURE initiative to help Member States finance short-time working arrangements, maintain employment and protect workers; welcomes, also, the extraordinary financial means under the State Aid Framework for supporting otherwise solvent businesses and workers in countering the pandemic’s economic fallout; calls on the Commission, nonetheless, to ensure that the aid provided in the emergency phase is justified by the consequences of the pandemic and does not lead to a lack of effective competition in the single market, and that no strategic sector is neglected; furthermore, looks forward to a timely revision of the Union’s State aid rules in order to give Member States the necessary flexibility for targeted support in driving industrial decarbonisation and digitalisation, and particularly of the guidelines on State aid for environmental protection and energy; emphasises in this regard that any revision of the State aid rules should be based on an impact assessment of the competitiveness of European industry, should take into account the possible distortions on a global level, and should be fully consistent with the EU’s 2050 climate neutrality and environmental goals as agreed in the EU Climate Law;

17. Underlines that State aid should only be granted to companies facing the immediate economic effects of COVID-19 and that the loosening of State aid rules should be time-limited; in this regard, calls on the Commission to propose a specific State aid regime targeted at supporting the sectors that have suffered the most from the COVID-19 emergency measures, such as the automotive, tourism, aviation, steel and metal industries; calls on the Commission to set common minimum requirements for companies receiving financial assistance, in order to avoid different national criteria giving rise to further discrepancies; underlines that the public aid received should safeguard jobs and be used to align the operations of the companies concerned with the Union’s climate neutrality and environmental objectives;

18. Underlines, in the context of the emergency assistance, the importance of providing support to undertakings that respect applicable collective agreements and are not registered in tax havens;

19. Underlines, furthermore, that any State aid attributed under industrial or any other policy should adhere to the common ‘balancing principle’, in order to ensure a level playing field and avoid all forms of fiscal dumping within the EU and distortions of competition;

20. Calls on the Commission to establish a clear, consistent and accessible approach to market definition in competition cases across different industries; further emphasises the need to ensure sufficient speed, transparency and proportionality in the administrative and procedural framework of EU competition proceedings, and particularly in EU merger control;

21. Encourages the Commission to establish a reporting system on the ways in which foreign protectionism affects the Union’s industry, as well as a regular assessment of the competitiveness of the different sectors of the Union’s industry compared to its main global competitors, and to act rapidly if adjustments of Union rules are necessary;

22. Calls on the Commission, in the light of a profoundly changed global economic context, to review the Union’s antitrust rules, seeking a balance between the need to cope with global-scale competition and the protection of the supply chain and consumers from the potential negative consequences of a more concentrated internal market;

23. Considers that the economic schemes put in place by individual Member States to help SMEs, start-ups and companies to cope with the short-term cash crunch are useful, but might in some cases increase their debt levels; in this context, calls on the Commission to support EU and national programmes incentivising capital increase and to facilitate recovery;

24. Calls on the Commission to revive and renew the spirit of the Small Business Act, through initiatives aimed especially at supporting micro and small businesses, since ‘one size fits all’ measures are often not suitable for microbusinesses and SMEs; believes that SMEs are best served by ad hoc support measures that avoid bureaucratic obstacles and ensure that the necessary liquidity reaches companies through effective and accessible tools and fast, agile and SME-friendly procedures; stresses that many SMEs will not have the liquidity to invest in a sustainable digital transformation;

25. Underlines that EU funding programmes have an impact on increasing the long-term growth level of beneficiary companies, but also stresses that companies, in particular SMEs, face substantial difficulties in accessing EU funding; therefore asks the Commission also to follow the path already experienced of co-financing national provisional tax credit schemes aimed at fostering investments in digital and environmental technologies;

26. Reiterates the importance of ad hoc support measures addressed to SMEs, via sound financial support in the next MFF; encourages the Commission to consider the creation of an SME voucher programme to support SMEs’ efforts, including those to upgrade obsolete equipment, enhance knowledge transfer and identify the most effective uses of technologies, such as industrial AI, and upskill the workforce with the immediately necessary skills to allow remote asset control, production monitoring and employee collaboration, as well as environmentally sustainable business models, circular economy approaches, energy and resource efficiency, areas in which digital know-how is often crucial and allows SMEs to stay competitive;

27. Regrets that there is still a significant gap between large companies and SMEs with regards to the integration of digital technologies in their business operations, as well as a gap between frontrunners and laggards in innovation; highlights the need to increase opportunities for SMEs as regards their capacity to absorb innovative technologies and to reduce digital imbalances in terms of infrastructure in smaller cities and rural and remote areas; in this regard, calls on the Commission to further support the European Digital Innovation Hubs, which thanks to knowledge of local ecosystems represent a potentially effective way to reduce the digital divide;

28. Believes that social economy enterprises should be fully involved in the outcome of the industrial strategy, since they create public value and also contribute to the development of the local communities they are grounded in; calls in this regard on the Commission to take into account the specificities of this category of enterprise in the design of the financial instruments and work programmes, in order to support their access to finance;

29. Underlines that there are specific attributes that make the economically sustainable transition to a climate-neutral and fully digital economy particularly suited to recovery measures that seek to quickly boost consumer demand and employment; highlights that evidence shows that green and digital projects create more jobs, deliver higher short-term returns per euro spent and lead to increased long-term cost savings in comparison with traditional fiscal stimuli, since they are quick to scale up as the technology is readily available (e.g. renewables), they tend to involve SMEs and foster local economies through strong employment effects, rapidly increasing the disposable income of consumers (e.g. energy efficiency), and they are less exposed to external shocks and will thus contribute to a more resilient social and economic recovery;

30. Notes that, in order to help identify investments with high positive environmental and social impacts, the EU taxonomy, where available, sets the framework for the purposes of establishing the degree to which an investment is environmentally sustainable and ensuring no significant harm is done to environmental and social objectives;

31. Considers that the Union requires an innovative industrial strategy that accelerates the digitalisation of our industries and SMEs including traditional ones, enhances the Union’s industrial capacity in critical digital infrastructures and capabilities, and strengthens the digital and data single market; is of the opinion that the Union must support businesses in the automation and digitalisation of their know-how and training and in investing in digital equipment (hardware and software), paying special attention to encouraging women’s participation in the digitalisation process and to the modernisation and improvement of training and skilling systems; underlines the importance of the Digital Europe programme and of accelerating the adoption of enabling and emerging technologies in industries; encourages the creation of digital innovation hubs across the EU;

32. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to invest, inter alia, in the data economy, humancentric artificial intelligence, smart production, the Internet of Things (IoT), mobility, supercomputing, software engineering and technology, the cloud, quantum technology, resilient, affordable and secure high-speed 5G and 6G networks, Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLTs), robotics, batteries and satellite internet; therefore invites the Member States and the Commission, in this respect, to ensure a timely implementation of the relevant key measures recommended in the 5G cybersecurity toolbox, and in particular to apply, where appropriate, the relevant restrictions on high-risk suppliers for key assets defined as critical and sensitive in the Union’s coordinated risk assessments;

33. Underlines the key role of the digital sector in contributing to the transformation of the industrial sector, both as a source of clean technology solutions and in optimising industrial processes and minimising their environmental impact; given the high consumption of energy and resources connected with ICT, asks the Commission to assess the potential environmental impact of the massive development of digital solutions while ensuring European leadership in highly energy-efficient and circular digital technologies and data centres; calls on the Commission to propose concrete avenues for digital solutions to serve the ecological transition and to establish a methodology for monitoring and quantifying the increasing environmental impact of digital technologies;

34. Underlines that data plays a key role in the transformation of European industries, and stresses the importance of smart manufacturing growth and digitalisation; calls on the Commission to implement a single European digital and data environment and to ensure and promote interoperability, as well as access and flow for secure data and software within the Union and across sectors, in companies of all sizes and among public institutions; furthermore, calls on the Commission to ensure European leadership in setting future-oriented standards and creating future-oriented tools and infrastructures to store and process data and pool European data in key sectors, with Union-wide common and interoperable data spaces; in this respect, calls on the Commission to focus particularly on projects aimed at data management and labelling, data format standardisation and data security, to develop and process data on European soil, in particular data from public bodies, to build a better digital taxation system in which profits are taxed and where companies have significant interaction with users, and to further develop European standards and certification on cybersecurity, thus ensuring enhanced competitiveness, promoting disruptive technologies, in particular for critical infrastructures, including by revising the Network and Information Security (NIS) directive and by establishing a cybersecurity competence centre network; calls on the Commission, moreover, to ensure a fair platform for business relations that enables enterprises in the EU, especially SMEs, to use data generated on platforms effectively;

35. Recognises the importance of a European approach for the data economy that is transparent, trustworthy, interoperable and human-centric; calls on the Commission and the Member States to progressively reduce fragmentation in the different national strategies and address imbalances in market power, with the aim of supporting a Union-wide flow of data, interoperability, data management, protection and (re)use;

36. Underlines the need for a European legal framework on AI, robotics and related technologies that addresses ethical principles and fundamental rights in their development, deployment and use, as well as safety and liability questions; highlights that the innovation and competitiveness of Europe’s industry will require a horizontal framework that reflects the values and principles of the Union, in order to provide concrete guidance and legal certainty to citizens and businesses alike, including those outside the Union;

37. Is of the opinion that any legislative action in the context of a revision of the currently applicable intellectual property rights (IPR) framework must be carefully considered as this could have a significant impact on the still fragile and developing EU data economy; considers that there should be no ownership right based on intellectual property for non-personal data used and produced by technologies such as Artificial Intelligence;

38. Calls on the Commission to include in the recovery plan concrete measures to attract industries to Europe, to increase, strengthen and promote the relocation and the diversification of European industries in terms of their strategic importance and, from a climate neutrality point of view, to shorten and diversify supply chains; in this context, highlights the importance of ensuring that the Union produces enough strategic goods, such as medical and healthcare equipment or renewable energy, to be self-sufficient in times of crisis, and encourages the use of incentives to achieve this, such as the requirement of purchasing a higher degree of local (EU/EEA) production from sectors receiving temporary aid;

39. Acknowledges the risk that the COVID-19 crisis will lead to an increase in economic nationalism and protectionism, posing a major challenge to rules-based free trade and global value chains due to the renationalisation of production and the break-up of those chains; to this end, calls on stakeholders to diversify and shorten their supply chains and make them more sustainable in order to reduce vulnerability;

40. Calls on the Commission, in this regard, to stand up for an open and rules-based multilateral trading system which is consistent with global efforts to halt climate change and biodiversity loss and with the EU’s high environmental and social standards, improves access to international markets for EU companies, and prevents strong international actors from abusing their market power; is of the opinion that, in this context, the Union should use competition policy with regard to third-country companies as appropriate, apply trade defence instrument (TDI) measures more assertively so as to systematically tackle unfair dumping and subsidy practices, and strengthen the existing TDI scheme;

41. Calls on the Commission to immediately propose a temporary ban on foreign takeovers of European companies in strategic sectors by state-owned enterprises (SOEs) or companies linked to third-country governments; furthermore calls on the Commission to reflect on reciprocity in market access, to strengthen and scan systematically the Union’s screening framework for foreign direct investment (FDI) in order to protect access to strategic industries, infrastructure, key enabling technologies, and other security and cybersecurity assets, as well as to block hostile takeovers in order to safeguard competitiveness and decrease market distortions in the single market; welcomes, in this regard, the White Paper on levelling the playing field as regards foreign subsidies; calls for the substantial strengthening and the swift adoption of Regulation 654/2014 (the Enforcement Regulation); stresses that this is an important tool to protect the Union’s interests when third countries adopt illegal measures that negatively hit EU businesses;

42. Calls on the Council to continue advancing in the negotiations on the International Procurement Instruments (IPI), which provide for reciprocity and mutual standards; calls on the Commission to propose appropriate legal instruments that address the distortions caused in the single market, including in public procurement procedures; in this context, calls on the Commission to consider giving priority to companies having and maintaining their headquarters, production and employment within the Union; asks the Commission, in the absence of a strong IPI and effective global rules on access to public procurement, to explore the introduction of measures to support European manufacturers, especially SMEs, who are facing an increasing degree of competition from emerging countries which do not comply with common international trade rules and social environmental standards;

43. Is of the opinion that a comprehensive approach to industrial strategy that includes all EU policies can play an important role in economic and ‘industrial’ diplomacy; encourages the Commission to actively use the network of EU Chambers of Commerce in third countries to create new business partnerships;

44. Welcomes the ambition to create lead markets in environmentally sustainable and digital technologies and innovative solutions; considers funding of research and innovation to be essential for innovative industrial projects and digital capabilities, and believes that this should go hand in hand with the current analysis by the Commission of the guidelines for ‘Important Projects of Common European Interest’ (IPCEI); is of the opinion that resilience and strategic autonomy should be considered as defining criteria and that IPCEI should comply with the Union’s climate neutrality and digital goals; calls on the Commission to increase transparency in the implementation of IPCEIs and to ensure the participation of SMEs; furthermore calls on the Commission to speed up European leaders and/or ecosystems in strategic industrial sectors which are capable of competing on a global scale and will contribute to achieving a climate-neutral economy and digital leadership without creating distortions of competition in the Union or eroding trust in market openness and access;

45. Calls on the Commission to continue the work on value chains by ensuring an adequate follow-up to the actions proposed for the six strategic value chains identified by the Strategic Forum on IPCEI, and to create transparent conditions of application for joint projects of IPCEI that would be uniform in all Member States, in order to ensure that they benefit the Union as a whole; calls on the Commission, in the current crisis, to invest in projects that have clear European added value and to simplify administrative processes, extend the criteria for cost eligibility and increase funding;

46. Considers the NGEU initiative to be the pillar of the first phase of the EU’s industrial recovery from COVID-19; calls on the Commission to ensure that the fund is swiftly implemented swiftly, and demands that Parliament be fully involved in the decision-making and implementation process, to ensure democratic accountability and maximise transparency and parliamentary control; demands that, for an effective frontloading of the EUR 750 billion, the NGEU:

a. foresees targets for social, sustainable and digital investments, with a view to minimising detrimental impacts and maximising benefits in the climate, environment and social dimension;

b. has a specific focus on SMEs, which have been hit the hardest by the COVID-19 crisis, and supports their access to finance;

c. is directly managed, where possible, by the Commission in close cooperation with Member States and through European programmes, in order to move forward in a more coordinated way, so as to better impact the global market and maximise transparency and parliamentary control, as well as to avoid internal and external distortion and disruption of the single market;

d. takes into account the specificities of the Member States, which have been hit by the crisis in diverse ways;

e. distributes the financial aid among the different industrial ecosystems, including microbusinesses and SMEs, according to the damage suffered, the social impact, the challenges faced and the amount of national financial support already received through national aid schemes, taking into account the structural interdependencies between the different value chains; takes into account the lessons learnt from the previous public support measures in responding to the 2008-2009 economic and financial crisis and its impact on resilience and long-term economic and social recovery; takes into account that the fund must be conditional on criteria that ensure that funding is not used to pay off old debts or sustain outdated technology and that companies which contribute to long-term growth are supported and have strong potential to revive the economy; takes into account that recovery spending should also be channelled towards high-multiplier, climate- and innovation-friendly sectors that will contribute to the EU’s future economic resilience;

f. supports national fiscal schemes that incentivise private sector equity investment and allow companies to convert part of the loans given by the Fund into equity;

g. allocates dedicated funding to companies, in particular SMEs, microbusinesses and start-ups, which have business plans and operations involving key innovations, technologies and services, including advancing the digital and green transformation, or whose operations are necessary for the strategic autonomy of the Union in critical sectors, with particular reference to enhanced circularity, resource and energy efficiency and savings and a switch to renewables; helps make our supply chains more resilient and less dependent by reshoring, diversifying and strengthening them, while avoiding discrimination against companies going through an emergency that are in need of being accompanied in their transition;

h. dedicates funding to large companies having credible plans to transition to a climate-neutral business model;

i. strengthens the EIB guarantees programme and makes it complementary to national programmes, so that it can function as a valuable addition and strengthen their impact on the ground;

j. gives preference to companies that commit to transparency, ensure visibility of EU funding, put in place systems encouraging the participation of workers in company matters, and comply with their non-financial reporting obligations;

47. Highlights the need to support a sustainable and fair recovery, ensuring citizens’ welfare beyond the COVID-19 crisis; is of the opinion that the Fund should foster the sustainability and competitiveness of European industries, as well as guaranteeing fair and just digital and green industrial transitions;

 48. Considers that in parallel with the current crisis, the Union should prepare and anticipate a second phase of its industrial strategy, ensuring the competitiveness, environmental sustainability and digitalisation of its industries and leading to long-term resilience on a socially responsible basis; recalls that the role of the Member States will be crucial for a successful recovery leveraging the EU’s limited resources, and that industrial policy should become a horizontal task for the Commission;

49. Is of the opinion that the Union requires an industrial strategy that embraces the protection of environmental health and biodiversity and insists on the need to accelerate the climate-neutral transformation of our industry; emphasises that investments must be compatible with the 2050 climate neutrality goals, since otherwise there is a risk of creating stranded assets and lock-in effects in fossil-based and environmentally harmful technologies;

50. Underlines that a truly effective European Industrial Strategy and the related policy need to be built on ambitious climate action and targets on the basis of the Climate Law, providing a roadmap to shape the industry of the future with all sectors contributing to reach the objective of climate neutrality as early as possible and at the latest by 2050;

51. Stresses the need to align the new Industrial Strategy with the target of a climate-neutral economy by 2050, while at the same time stressing that Europe’s climate policies must be evidence-based;

52. Underlines that there is significant potential in domestic and global markets for zero and low emission technologies, renewables, and sustainable products, processes and services, throughout the entire value chain from raw materials to energy-intensive industries, manufacturing and the industrial services sector; considers, moreover, that the Climate Law will greatly contribute to streamlining the efforts towards the achievement of climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest, laying down the 2030 and 2050 climate targets in Union legislation; believes that a more holistic and systematic policy framework is also required in order to ensure policy coherence across all Union policies as well as long-term investor certainty and regulatory predictability and a coherent, transparent and inclusive governance approach in all policy areas, paving the way towards a clear and predictable strategy for European industries;

53. Welcomes the proposed Industrial Forum; calls on the Commission to move forward with its establishment and to create within this framework a dialogue with a balanced representation of all relevant scientific experts, organisations and stakeholders, including civil society, consumers’ organisations and trade unions, to continuously monitor and regularly report on the progress of the individual industrial sectors at EU level towards the climate neutrality objectives to be achieved by 2050 at the latest, and to advise the Commission on the contribution and consistency of investments with the EU environmental and climate objectives, in line with the Governance of the Energy Union regulation;

54. Considers that all sectors should contribute to the achievement of the Union’s climate objectives and, in this regard, underlines the importance for the Commission to develop sector-specific strategies setting out the actions needed to reach these objectives and ensuring policy coherence; urges the swift phasing-out of fossil fuels and the need to establish an highly efficient and climate-neutral energy system at globally competitive prices for industries; highlights the role that clean, sustainable and affordable energy and raw materials play in the transition towards highly energy-efficient and climate- neutral economies; stresses the need to ensure that the use of energy sources such as natural gas is only of a transitional nature, considering the objective of achieving climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest; underlines that further integration of the EU energy market will play an important part in enhancing the affordability and security of energy supply; underlines in this regard the need to accelerate the development and integration of renewable capacities in the energy mix and to facilitate the deployment of hydrogen production based on renewables, as a potential breakthrough technology for hard-to-abate sectors; welcomes the launch of a Clean Hydrogen Alliance and a low-carbon industries alliance; stresses the need to accelerate research on large-scale hydrogen and green fuel production, decarbonisation technologies such as infrastructure for carbon capture and storage in industrial processes, bioenergy plants and manufacturing facilities, with a view to the energy transition, also exploring the potential use of geothermal source of energy; reiterates that this requires large-scale availability of affordable and clean energy and supporting infrastructures, in line with the decarbonisation needs of energy-intensive industries;

55. Calls on the EU institutions, the Member States, the regions, industry and all other relevant players to work together to improve European energy efficiency, to create lead markets in climate-relevant technologies and innovations in the Union, and to prioritise investments in energy infrastructures; calls on the Commission to ensure that better use is made of the EIB, as the Union’s ‘Climate Bank’, to enhance sustainable financing to the public and private sectors and to assist companies in the decarbonisation process;

56. Stresses that the large-scale deployment of cost-competitive renewable energy capacities is required in all sectors of the economy; recognises the Union holds 40 % of renewable energy patents globally, and stresses that it should remain a leader in breakthrough renewable technologies; stresses in this respect that the need to develop a robust industrial policy for renewables that encompasses both supply-side and demand-side policies and enables renewable sector integration is critical to ensure Europe’s long-term security of energy supply, technology leadership and strategic autonomy; urges the Commission to acknowledge renewable energy technologies as a key Strategic Value Chain and an industrial ecosystem that is eligible for financing from the Strategic Investment Facility, as well as being adequately represented in the upcoming Industrial Forum; stresses the need to prepare support measures for the development of renewable energy technologies in Europe and to ensure a level playing field for Union and extra-Union manufacturers;

57. Highlights that if European industry is to be competitive it has to be backed by an efficient, sustainable and fully interconnected transport, digital and energy infrastructure network; calls for a long-term investment policy for equipping and renovating infrastructure and for reducing the administrative barriers which hinder the rapid development of the trans-European networks; calls for more funding for the Connecting Europe Facility in its three sectors, in order to boost investment in infrastructures, interconnections, digitalisation and smart grids, compatible with the European Green Deal goals; furthermore stresses the need to expedite Projects of Common Interest (PCI), and to revise the Trans-European Energy Networks (TEN-E) Regulation as soon as possible;

58. Highlights the potential of the circular and zero-pollution economy in modernising the Union’s economy, reducing its energy and resource consumption, prioritising waste prevention, providing incentives for innovation, and transforming whole industrial sectors and their value chains, products, production processes and business models, thereby fostering the dematerialisation and detoxification of the Union’s economy and making Europe less dependent on primary materials while incentivising innovation, including the creation of markets for zero, low-carbon and renewable solutions substituting fossil-fuel based products and materials, and the development of new eco-designed technologies and solutions to prevent environmental impacts; highlights the strong synergies between climate action and the circular economy, in particular in energy- and resource-intensive and renovation industries, and stresses that sectors have different decarbonisation paths and starting points; underlines the potential of the circular bioeconomy and forest-based industry in promoting a competitive and sustainable industry;

59. Recalls that the European climate and energy policy will require high volumes of metals and minerals for its strategic technologies; expresses concern that Europe is highly reliant on other areas of world for its supply of many of these metals and minerals, and is gradually losing its global share even for the materials where it does have industrial capacity; stresses that Europe’s autonomy in strategic sectors cannot be achieved without a competitive and sustainable EU ecosystem for base, precious and critical materials from primary and secondary sources; underlines in this respect the significance of the Circular Economy Action Plan, but stresses that Europe needs to boost its capacity for all stages of the raw materials value chain, namely mining, recycling, and smelting, refining and transformation; is of the opinion that the scope of the Critical Raw Materials Action Plan and Alliance should not be limited to critical raw materials and should be aimed at the development of an integrated ecosystem for the whole range of materials, metals, and minerals required for industrial transition;

60. Calls on the Commission to develop a European export and import strategy for renewable and resource- and energy-efficient technologies;

61. Underlines the potential of sector coupling and interconnecting energy-consuming sectors such as buildings and transport, and welcomes in this respect the Commission communication on energy system integration;

62. Calls for a substantial funding stream for energy renovations of buildings to foster the planned ‘renovation wave’ initiative through the necessary financial means under the Recovery Plan; stresses that in the context of the upcoming proposal on the ‘renovation wave’ and Member States’ obligation to set out long-term strategies to achieve a highly energy-efficient and decarbonised building stock, the ‘energy efficiency first’ principle should be fully prioritised and should thereby accelerate deep renovations and the replacement of inefficient heating and cooling systems based on fossil fuels; underlines that integrated deep renovation programmes covering entire municipalities or districts can be deployed at a lower cost and at higher speed, benefiting consumers and reducing energy costs;

63. Points out the fact that process heating and cooling remain among the most significant uses of energy in the industrial sector; therefore underlines that to accelerate the reduction effort regarding greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in industry, the energy efficiency potential of industrial heating and cooling needs to be fully tapped, with increased use of renewables based on electrification, heat-pumps, better use of industrial clusters, and symbioses offering significant reduction potential in many sectors;

64. Highlights the potential of Green Mobility to create new jobs, boost European industry, and support investments aimed at expanding sustainable transport infrastructure which would make it possible to achieve a multiplier effect through placing orders addressed to a wide spectrum of entities – contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and their subcontractors – and reduce emissions from the transport sector; underlines the need to accelerate the implementation of the European Battery Alliance, in order to unlock the potential of its strategic value chain, increase the possibilities for innovative locally produced batteries and the recycling of metal in Europe, create Union added value, contributing to the competitiveness of the Union’s automotive industry, and facilitate the transition to a decarbonised electrical system; calls for more investment in high-speed trains and the renovation of inter-city rail networks, as well as in zero and low- emission public transport; stresses the need to promote Green Mobility by investing in better infrastructure such as more widespread charging stations; is of the opinion that a higher density of charging stations will allow the market for electric vehicles (EVs) to expand significantly and faster, having a positive impact on our environmental and carbon footprint; calls, therefore, on the Commission to submit a large-scale strategy for the rollout of fast EV-charging infrastructure in order to secure uptake of EVs by consumers, giving them certainty as regards the technology’s potential and access to a close-knit network of compatible charging infrastructures, and to support European-based car manufacturing;

65. Believes that for a successful energy transition, Europe will need a significant amount of affordable zero/low carbon and renewable energy, also originating from third countries and using support infrastructures; calls for strategic initiatives inside the EU and for energy policy to become a focus of the Union’s foreign and neighbourhood policy, including financial support for renewable-based hydrogen and green power alliances; is of the opinion that those alliances should also be part of trade agreements; stresses the importance of strong alliances to address the scarcity and sustainable sourcing of resources and raw materials;

66. Recalls the 2019 EU Masterplan for a competitive transformation of energy-intensive industries which manages the transition while keeping European industries competitive, and calls on the Commission to implement its recommendation to help replace imports from third countries not sufficiently meeting environmental standards and incentivise higher levels of climate ambition from the EU’s global trading partners;

67. Calls for a revision of the EU emissions trading scheme (ETS) in line with the climate targets and a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) to contribute to a smart reshoring of manufacturing and shorter value chains; highlights the potentially important role of a CBAM in avoiding carbon leakage;

68. Points out that over half of global GDP depends on nature and the services it provides, with several sectors highly reliant on nature; notes that more than 90 % of biodiversity loss and water stress come from resource extraction and processing; emphasises that the European industrial policy should be in line with the objectives of the 2030 Biodiversity strategy;

69. Stresses that on the basis of the One Health approach the preservation of natural ecosystems is fundamental for ensuring humanity’s bare necessities such as potable water, clean air and fertile soils; calls for the swift development of robust indicators to assess the impacts on biodiversity and to ensure the progressive reduction of pollution as outlined in the EU Biodiversity Strategy;

70. Points out that industry is still a major contributor to environmental pollution with releases of pollutants to air, water and soil; underlines the role of the Industrial Emissions Directive in setting up obligations for large installations to minimise releases of pollutants; looks forward to the upcoming zero pollution action plan for air, water and soil and the revision of the Industrial Emissions Directive, which should lead to a significant reduction of industrial pollution;

71. Stresses the importance of the regional dimension of industrial policy, since economic disparities between regions are persistent and risk becoming deeper with the impact of the coronavirus crisis; stresses that in order to prevent and mitigate the decline of regions, regional redevelopment plans have to make progress on sustainable transformation strategies and combine economic revitalisation programmes with active labour market programmes; calls on the Commission to work closely with the Member States in order to draw up medium- and long-term forecasts regarding the skills required by the employment market;

72. Highlights, in this context, the importance of the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIFs) in supporting quality job creation with decent wages, business competitiveness, sustainable economic development, and the modernisation and improvement of education and training and healthcare systems;

73. Highlights the need to support a fair, inclusive and just transition and the need to address social and economic inequalities beyond reskilling and creating new jobs in new economic sectors, so as to ensure that no one is left behind and that no worker is excluded from the job market; believes that a well-designed Just Transition Mechanism (JTM), including a Just Transition Fund, will be an important tool for facilitating the twin transition and reaching ambitious climate neutrality targets; insists that to guarantee a more inclusive transition and address its social impact, all local stakeholders, including civil society and community representatives, should be included in the design and implementation phase of the territorial Just Transition Plans; underlines that sustainable technology investments have a key role to play in this regard by supporting the long-term economic development of regional economies; stresses that robust financing of the JTM, including through significant additional budgetary resources, would be a key element for the successful implementation of the European Green Deal;

74. Believes that interregional cooperation aimed at sustainable and digital transformation, as in the Smart Specialisation strategies, needs to be strengthened in order to stimulate regional ecosystems; therefore asks the Commission to support the development of tools which can provide a clear roadmap for regions with a tailor-made approach to secure industrial leadership;

75. Considers that industrial transformation requires a significant boost in research and development efforts and the integration of new knowledge and innovation into existing markets, as well as their use in the creation of new ones; underlines that innovation is one of the engines of leading industrial ecosystems and that this should be reflected in strengthened support for innovation and entrepreneurship capacity at every stage of the innovation cycle; underlines the need to increase spending on research, in particular high-quality public research and development and innovation as key elements to achieve the twin transitions, improve the Union’s strategic autonomy and increase long-term competitiveness; in this regard, calls on the Member States to uphold their commitment to invest 3 % of their GDP in research and development, in order to maintain the Union’s leading role among global competitors; regrets the current lack of innovative capacity in SMEs due to a shortfall in the necessary risk capital, the costs and complexities of administrative procedures, and a shortage of adequate skills and lack of access to information;

76. Underlines the need to increase the budget for programmes underpinning the Union’s industrial transformation, and recalls, therefore, Parliament’s position in favour of increasing the budget for Horizon Europe to EUR 120 billion and ensuring the programme’s consistency with the Union’s climate neutrality targets, and supporting InvestEU and Digital Europe through appropriate funding instruments for the market development of breakthrough technologies and innovations, also fostering synergies between regional, national, European and private financial sources; calls for effective support for the European Innovation Council (EIC) and the European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT) and for the strengthening of their missions; insists that a substantial share of the funds available for SMEs under Horizon Europe should be implemented through the EIC and the collaborative parts of the programme, with the aim of creating new solutions and fostering innovation, both incremental and disruptive; supports the establishment of European partnerships under Horizon Europe to leverage private-sector investment to promote the transfer of knowledge, technologies and innovation from research centres and universities to the industrial process, taking advantage of the industrial ecosystems scheme and in order to support the recovery and green and digital transition; calls on the Commission, in addition, to ensure that these partnerships will be transparent and inclusive throughout their implementation, in particular as regards their strategic research agenda and annual work programmes; stresses that they should also exclude all conflicts of interest and should guarantee true added value for society;

77. Believes further, in this regard, that a better-prepared and more resilient society is key in dealing with disruptive events on a European or global scale and giving comprehensive policy responses, and that coordinated R&D investments are key in this respect; to this end, calls on the Commission to support creating a dedicated instrument for Pandemic Preparedness and Societal Resilience, since this measure would create the conditions for better coordination at EU level, identify priority areas, and launch actions that require high-quality medical research and coordinated R&I investments;

78. Highlights the importance of a research-based pharmaceutical industry as an essential contributor to safeguarding quality manufacturing and supply of affordable medicines to reach all patients in need, strengthening the Union’s innovation, resilience, accessibility and responsiveness and helping address future challenges; reiterates the need to put in place a medicine shortage risk mitigation plan to manage any vulnerabilities and risks for the supply chain for critical medicines, ensure future innovation to address outstanding unmet needs, and support the resilience, responsiveness and readiness of healthcare systems to address future challenges including pandemics;

79. Underlines the role of key enabling technologies in building technological and innovative capacities throughout the Union; calls on the Commission to tailor Horizon Europe and its industrial strategy to the development, scaling-up and commercialisation of breakthrough technologies and innovations in the Union so as to bridge the gap between innovation and market deployment, by providing risk financing for early-stage technology and demonstration projects and developing early value chains in order to support in the first place commercial-scale, market-uptake, zero and low-emissions, renewable, energy- and resource-efficient and circular technologies and products, processes, services and business models, as well as supporting the development of research infrastructure, also with the aim of reducing the existing gaps between Member States; encourages the Commission and the Member States to develop one-stop shops with streamlined information on financing possibilities for industrial demonstration projects for breakthrough technologies;

80. Calls on the Commission to examine measures to counter the potential loss of knowledge and innovation during the current crisis, including through instruments to support companies temporarily sharing knowledge workers with public research institutions and universities so as to enable public-private research on public priorities, and to preserve employment and innovation capacity in times of crisis;

81. Calls on the Commission to develop, together with Member States, potential tax incentives to boost R&D investments, which have decreased heavily due to the COVID‑19 crisis;

82. Calls on the Commission to continue supporting the ability of European companies to innovate on the basis of a comprehensive intellectual property (IP) regime, enhancing flexibility in licensing, so as to maintain effective protection for their R&D investments, to secure fair returns and, at the same time, to continue developing open technology standards that support competition and choice as well as the participation of EU industry in the development of key technologies;

83. Acknowledges that a strong and balanced framework of IP rights is a crucial factor underpinning European competitiveness, with a view to combating industrial espionage and counterfeiting, and therefore calls on the Commission to preserve and strengthen this framework; stresses the need to ensure parity with the US and China in life-science IP incentives in order for Europe to remain an attractive location for R&D investment and industrial development; calls on the Commission to maintain and develop Europe’s world-class IP system by promoting strong IP protection, incentives and reward mechanisms for R&D to attract investment in the development of future innovation for the benefit of society; welcomes the announcement of an Intellectual Property Action Plan that could facilitate a European contribution to standards development; supports sustainable production and jobs and improving the attractiveness and reputation of EU high-quality production worldwide; invites the Commission to encourage the transfer of crucial environmental and climate technologies to developing countries by granting open licenses for such technologies;

84. Calls on the Commission to implement as soon as possible the European Unitary Patent, as provided for by the agreement on a unified patent jurisdiction of 19 February 2013;

85. Underlines the importance of a comprehensive and effective overall governance for the industrial transformation that ensures consistency with the relevant EU legislation and strategies, in particular the objectives of the European Green Deal, which is crucial to its success; welcomes the identification of 14 ecosystems by the Commission and the inclusive approach of bringing together all actors operating in a value chain, in order to promote European leadership in strategic sectors and competitiveness on the global stage; underlines the need to ensure that SMEs will thrive within each ecosystem; points out the need for ensuring transparency in the industrial ecosystems identified, in particular as regards the criteria that need to be met for being considered part of an ecosystem, the exact breakdown per type of actor in each identified ecosystem, and information on outcomes and topics discussed, recalling also the role of the Industrial Forum and the Alliances in relation to these ecosystems; stresses that civil society, consumer organisations and trade unions should have adequate participation in the definition of both the overarching and the sectoral industrial strategies and priorities; stresses that ecosystems should include all links to the value chains, including SMEs, and emphasises that SMEs play an integral part in the creation of industry alliances and their production chains; highlights the need for adequate financial instruments for the alliances;

86. Is of the opinion that ecosystems will be key components of the next industrial revolution, leveraging advanced and smart manufacturing and providing affordable, clean, sustainable and secure energy, as well as the necessary energy infrastructure, transformative manufacturing and service provision methods; calls for an analysis of the ecosystems to assess the needs of each sector for its transition and to help establish a transition plan; believes, moreover, that supporting collaboration among industry, academia, SMEs, start-ups and scale-ups, trade unions, civil society, end-user organisations and all other stakeholders will be key to solving market failures and bridging the gap between the idea and its realisation while ensuring the protection of workers, including in areas not yet covered by industrial interests but with high societal added value; calls for a governance of these ecosystems that integrates all relevant stakeholders from the industrial sectors which are key to achieving the green and digital transition; is of the opinion that ecosystems should play a role in the definition of solutions and measures to be adopted in order to implement the European industrial strategy and to support robust European value chains that are crucial for the twin green and digital transitions;

87. Highlights that investment in key value chains will play a crucial role towards preserving our future strategic autonomy; believes that it is necessary to prioritise investment in industrial sectors that are of vital importance to our strategic autonomy, such as security, defence, climate-relevant technologies, food sovereignty and health; reiterates, in particular, the importance of the pharmaceutical industry in ensuring future innovation to address outstanding unmet needs, and in supporting the resilience, responsiveness and readiness of healthcare systems to address future challenges including pandemics;

88. Underlines the importance of the renewable energy industry as a strategic sector in order to strengthen the competitive advantage of the EU, achieve long-term resilience and ensure energy security, while enhancing industrial strength; furthermore, highlights the contribution of the renewables sector to the creation of new local jobs and business opportunities, in particular for SMEs, and to boosting the manufacturing of equipment, as well as to reducing energy costs and improving cost competitiveness;

89. Highlights that the automotive sector has been greatly affected by the COVID-19 crisis, forcing companies and workers to adapt quickly to the changes in supply and to new health and safety requirements, in addition to the transformation process that the sector was already undergoing before the pandemic; is of the opinion that the transition to smart and cleaner mobility is essential as we evolve towards a climate-neutral, digital and more resilient economy, and that this should also be considered as an opportunity to generate green growth and clean jobs based on the global competitive advantage of European industry in vehicle technologies; calls on the Commission to set priorities related to research and innovation, digitalisation and support for start-ups and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, including in the automotive sector;

90. Stresses that the tourism sector has also been highly affected by the COVID-19 crisis, and calls on the Commission to set priorities related to helping and promoting the recovery of the sector, considering its contribution to EU GDP and the Union’s competitiveness; invites the Commission to promote cooperation between Member States and regions to create possibilities for new investments and further innovations, in order to achieve a European tourism ecosystem that is sustainable, innovative and resilient and protects the rights of workers and consumers;

91. Highlights the potential of the cultural and creative sectors in driving innovation, acting as catalysts for change in other sectors and stimulating invention and progress; notes that innovative economic sectors increasingly depend on creativity to maintain their competitive advantage; notes, moreover, that with the emergence of progressively more complex, creative and intertwined business models, the cultural and creative sectors are increasingly becoming a decisive component of almost every product and service; therefore believes that Europe should build on its creative and cultural assets, and calls on the Commission and the Member States to pay sufficient attention to the cultural and creative sectors in the development of a comprehensive, coherent and long-term industrial policy framework, including access to finance and funding programmes;

92. Highlights the importance of Union space policy, especially in terms of improving European industrial space capacities and unlocking the potential of synergies with other key sectors and policies, in particular so as to develop cutting-edge technologies and accompany the industrial transformation;

93. Notes the contribution of the chemicals industry to many strategic value chains and to producing carbon-neutral, resource-efficient and circular technologies and solutions; calls for a sustainable chemicals policy, aligned with the Industrial Strategy;

94. Calls on the European Environment Agency to produce a report, together with the European Chemicals Agency, on chemicals in the environment in Europe; believes this report should assess the systemic character of hazardous chemicals within Europe’s production and consumption systems, their use in products and occurrence in Europe’s environment, and the harm caused to human health and ecosystems;

95. Underlines the centrality of a well-functioning and competitive pharmaceutical and medical devices sector to ensuring sustainable access to medicines for patients and guaranteeing a high level of healthcare for EU patients; believes the Commission should facilitate the dialogue with the Member States and all the relevant stakeholders by creating a pharmaceutical forum, supervised by the European Medical Agency (EMA), in order to enable a comprehensive discussion on issues concerning, inter alia, pharmaceutical sustainability and the introduction of new technologies into health systems; stresses that this forum should take into account the different national approaches to pricing and reimbursement, as well as healthcare investment and organisation;

96. Considers public procurement to be a crucial driver of industrial transformation; calls on the Commission to study how to fully use the leverage of public expenditure and investments to achieve policy objectives, including by strengthening sustainability and making public procurement central to the Union’s economic recovery plan by prioritising and fostering demand for eco-innovative, cost-effective and sustainable goods and services, as well as by enabling relocation in key strategic sectors, such as health-related products, agriculture and renewable technologies, fostering shorter and more sustainable supply chains; calls on the Commission and the public authorities to analyse the conditions for making mandatory in public procurement sustainability based on environmental, social and ethical criteria, including carbon footprint, recycling content and working conditions throughout the whole life-cycle, as well as to increase awareness and make better use of the existing schemes for promoting green services; insists that SMEs should have a fair chance to participate in public procurement; calls  on contracting authorities to systematically use an approach based on the best price-quality ratio over the lifetime of products and services; encourages them to use the provision (Article 85 of the Utilities Directive) which enables them to reject bids where the proportion of the products originating in third countries exceeds 50 % of the total value of the products constituting the tender;

97. Acknowledges the contribution of standardisation to the single European market and to increased economic, societal and environmental welfare, including the health and safety of consumers and workers; underlines the need to develop, assess and use harmonised standards to support industries manufacturing products in ways that are efficient, safe, circular, sustainable and repeatable and ensure high quality;

98. Calls on the Commission to adopt a strong Key Performance Indicator (KPI) system to analyse the ex-ante impact of Union regulations and instruments and possible investments needed, and to monitor progress and results taking into account the SME dimension; underlines that the KPI system should be based on objectives that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-oriented;

99. Calls on the Commission to strengthen its impact assessment practise and ensure that, before presenting new proposals for legislation or adopting new measures, it carries out a detailed impact assessment of the potential compliance costs, the impact on employment, and the burdens and potential benefits for European citizens, sectors, and companies, including SMEs; believes that the evaluation of Union legislation and measures should have a stronger focus on implementation in the Member States and should analyse what happens when Union legislation is implemented and interpreted in a way that creates unnecessary and unexpected regulatory hurdles for SMEs and larger companies alike; invites the Commission to support regulatory coherence and to acknowledge a smart regulation drive designed to reduce bureaucratic burdens without undermining the effectiveness of legislation or lowering social and environmental standards, especially when traditional industry has to adapt because of regulatory decisions; believes that measures for digitalisation and decarbonisation should be designed in such a way as to present opportunities for companies, including SMEs, and minimise the burden on the affected sector;

100. Expects the industrial strategy not to create unnecessary regulatory burdens for companies, especially SMEs, and to apply the one-in-one-out rule aiming at identifying, whenever new provisions introduce compliance costs, existing provisions that need to be repealed or revised, thereby ensuring that compliance costs in a given sector do not increase, without prejudice to the co-legislator prerogatives; considers that such a proposal must be evidence-based, be widely consulted on, ensure the effectiveness of legislation and of social and environmental standards, and show the clear benefits of European action; believes that the EU needs to reinforce its principles of ‘big on big things, small on small things’, in order to better ensure proportionality;

101. Stresses that the public administration should play a key role in ensuring a business-friendly economic environment and reducing the administrative burden on enterprises while ensuring full application of the Union’s ethical, social, environmental and transparency standards and rules on workers’ safety; believes that e-government tools, digital innovation policies and the enhancement of digital skills should be promoted within the public sector and among its employees; calls on the Commission to ensure the exchange of national and regional best practices in the field, with specific reference to the public management of economic competitiveness;

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

 

EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

Preamble

This report on EU industrial policy comes at a time of crisis for the global economy. The economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak has dealt a symmetric shock to both supply and demand of a magnitude not seen since the Second World War. The financial health of European companies has taken a sharp turn for the worse, casting doubts on their capacity to invest.

The first pandemic of the modern era has struck just as the Union was preparing to switch into a higher gear on two epoch-defining transitions requiring huge public and private investment: the digital and environmental transitions. That is why this report proposes an industrial strategy with two distinct phases: the first aimed at industrial recovery, and the second at reconstruction and transformation. The productive ecosystems currently being mapped by the Commission should lie at the heart of any future industrial policy initiatives, guiding project selection and priority-setting, and acting as the common thread running through initiatives in the fields of research, education and investment.

EU industrial policy is often vague and theoretical, combining statements of principle with a failure to provide sufficient resources, overregulation and unwieldy bureaucracy. That is why this report focuses on the tools and practical steps to be taken, rather than on declarations of intent. If Europe’s industrial policy is to be effective it must be matched by a budget of the necessary size, with additional resources coming from national budgets and the issue of Eurobonds. What we need now is action – not more empty words. We can ill afford further false starts.

International context – A more assertive Union

We know that both phases will play out within a far tougher and far more complex system of international economic relations than that of the past 30 years: a system that is more closed, more protectionist, and where aggressive tactics have become commonplace and there is a clear rift between market-economy countries and those in which state capitalism is still the prevailing system. Therefore, while remaining strongly committed to the principle of free trade and multilateralism, the EU needs to equip itself with more effective trade defence instruments and a proper framework for screening foreign investments. It will also need to think about supply security, and so consider, for example, incentivising the reshoring of strategic industrial sectors. At the same time, any plan to decarbonise European industries must be accompanied by a carbon border tax to prevent carbon leakage. Negotiations on free trade agreements must, then, reflect the changed nature of international relations and the EU’s environmental targets. Market counterparts will be selected more rigorously and sustainability clauses will be made far tougher going forward.

Phase 1 – Recovery

Preserving the single market should be one of the pillars of EU action in the first phase. The single market will emerge from the COVID-19 crisis more fragmented and more imbalanced. The partial suspension of State aid rules has put countries with greater financial firepower at an advantage. We need to move swiftly to replace national support schemes for businesses and workers with Commission-managed EU programmes. This should be the primary aim of the Recovery Fund: to focus on the hardest hit Member States that have made less support available.

Another fundamental component of the recovery strategy should be measures to recapitalise companies. In view of the worsened debt-equity ratio, we should deploy powerful fiscal support and take direct stakes in larger companies, subject to clear exit clauses and neutrality on governance matters. The recovery fund should target specific companies when allocating these resources.

The productive ecosystems dealt the harshest blows by the pandemic, such as the tourism and aviation industries, should be granted greater, non-repayable support and benefit longer from the special State aid scheme.

Phase 2 – Reconstruction and Transformation

Europe’s economy will need the impetus provided by a substantial programme of public investment to get back on its feet. It is therefore absolutely vital that the stability pact rules remain suspended, at least for investments aimed at digitalising and greening the economy.

Even before the crisis, it was already apparent that the funds available for the European Green Deal would not be enough to see us through the transition. That is why the Recovery Fund should evolve into a Reconstruction and Transformation Fund. Projects and programmes will be redesigned to steer them more precisely towards achieving digital and environmental goals. Let us be clear: without extensive EU support delivered through a robust budget and an RF acting as an RaTF, buoyed by greater freedom for the Member States to invest, we stand no chance of achieving climate neutrality by 2050. Alongside the RaT Fund, all EU programmes, starting with Horizon Europe, will be enhanced and linked up with national plans. The rules on State aid and mergers should be reviewed in depth in order to, respectively, expedite the industrial transition by mobilising more financial resources and foster the birth of European champions, and provision should be made for appropriate monitoring tools to protect the single market and supply chains.

We must not underestimate the sheer scale, breadth and depth of the changes required of us. As an example, let’s take a look at the steel industry, which is essential for all mechanical and automotive manufacturing. Decarbonising this industry will require: 1) strong incentives to replace machinery and technology; 2) subsidies to support the currently uncompetitive price of gas for use in steel production; 3) a carbon border tax to keep out low-cost polluting imports. Clearly, only a holistic and cost-intensive approach can help us reduce our emissions without inflicting damage on EU industry.

Instruments and methods – A more efficient industrial policy

The report suggests a few changes to the way in which industrial policy operates going forward. First of all, an impact analysis should be carried out before the green light is given to any new rules. During the recovery, it would be inconceivable to burden our crisis-stricken industries with standards requiring costly adjustments. In the second phase, however, sufficient funds will be made available to support the transition.

A further methodological recommendation made in the report concerns the adoption of a system of key performance indicators to analyse the effectiveness of the instruments the EU has deployed.

Finally, the use of co-financed national tax credit schemes is recommended, as an alternative to traditional tender-based incentives, to stimulate investment and research. This option, which should be extended to all EU instruments and funds, ensures greater accessibility for SMEs and increased spending efficiency, with fewer bureaucratic hurdles and lower disbursement costs.

MINORITY POSITION

By

– Marc Botenga (shadow rapporteur and author of the Minority Opinion)

– Marisa Matias

– Cornelia Ernst

– Manuel Bompard

– Sandra Pereira

– Sira Rego

 

Industrial strategy can allow society to decide democratically on what to produce where at what conditions, making industry a formidable asset for people and planet. Conversely, it can leave these decisions to the market and amount to little more than a massive transfer of public subsidies, funding the profits and priorities of private corporations.

This report makes the wrong choice. It pays lip service to social and climate imperatives, but systematically prioritizes competitiveness and the needs of multinational corporations. It refuses to make public subsidies conditional on safeguarding quality jobs or suspending dividends. Additional tax credits are offered without corporations having to pay their fair share of taxes. Almost ironically, the report recalls that companies not registered in tax havens also deserve support.

Green subsidies come without binding emission reduction targets. The permissive EU-classification for sustainable activities (taxonomy) is hardly mentioned, with no strict compliance required, while fossil gas is accepted.

Questioning merger and antitrust restrictions, the report promotes a ‘more concentrated internal market,’ hence reinforcing regional disparities and SME-dependence on dominant multinationals. Even in strategic sectors, the report sees no role for a public manufacturing sector, nor for ambitious public social and climate planning. Workers and climate deserve better.

 

 

OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON THE ENVIRONMENT, PUBLIC HEALTH AND FOOD SAFETY (17.9.2020)

for the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy

on a new industrial strategy for Europe

(2020/2076(INI))

Rapporteur for opinion (*): Danilo Oscar Lancini

 

(*) Associated committee – Rule 57 of the Rules of Procedure

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety calls on the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

A. whereas the EU industrial sector should be supported in the post-COVID-19 recovery in a way that leads to a transition to a resilient, sustainable, zero-pollution, circular, climate-neutral, digitalised and competitive industry, with all sectors contributing to the objective of achieving climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest and to the protection of the environment;

B. whereas industry is key to Europe’s future progress and prosperity; whereas it accounts for over 20 % of the EU economy, employing around 35 million people; whereas a strong industrial base is essential for the success of the green transition;

C. whereas European industries are currently highly dependent on the industrial capacity and raw materials of third countries; whereas the COVID-19 pandemic has illustrated the effects of the loss of major strategic industrial sites in the production of medicines and medical equipment in several Member States, leading to disruptions in value chains and showing the vulnerabilities in key European strategic industrial sectors, and the need to preserve such capacities within the single market;

D. whereas the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the increased risk involved in attempts to acquire healthcare capacities via foreign direct investment and the need to preserve and enhance the sharing of such valuable capacities within the single market;

E. whereas the EU recovery programme will release the unprecedented sum of EUR 1.85 trillion to invest in digitalisation and a green recovery for EU industry, jobs and growth;

F. whereas the post-COVID-19 recovery provides an opportunity to truly embed sustainability in industrial production and to accelerate the green transition;

G. whereas the new European industrial strategy should be an enabler of a just green transition; whereas getting the industrial strategy right should, as an integral part of the European Green Deal, boost jobs and economic opportunities, safeguard our climate and environment for future generations and become an era-defining policy that should help rebuild the European economy in a sustainable way;

H. whereas it is necessary for the industrial strategy to pave the way for the twin digital and green transitions of European industry while preserving Europe’s competitiveness, prosperity and jobs, and to support European industry in becoming more resilient, environmentally sustainable, globally competitive and digitalised; whereas the industrial strategy is not solely about enabling the transition of energy-intensive industries, but also about creating a broader sustainable industrial base, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which are an important part of the European economy;

I. whereas the competitiveness of European industry has been negatively impacted by unfair international competition and global distortions; whereas companies outside the EU are often subject to less strict climate and environmental regulations and have lower labour costs in their respective countries; whereas this has facilitated the relocation of European industry, which in turn has led to environmental and social harms;

J. whereas the Union should exert considerable influence on global climate and environmental action via its internal market and green diplomacy, as well as by demonstrating climate and environmental leadership, while also supporting the development of future-proof industries and high standards of social protection;

K. whereas the example of the EU shows that economic growth and climate protection are not mutually exclusive, as the EU’s emissions are 23 % below the 1990 level, while its GDP has increased by 61 %;

L. whereas EU industry has started the transition, but still accounts for 20 % of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions; whereas it takes 25 years to transform an industrial sector and all its related value chains;

M. whereas digital technologies change the image of industry, creating new business models, allowing it to be more productive, offering workers new skills and supporting the decarbonisation of the economy;

N. whereas the Member States have agreed, pursuant to Article 151 of the TFEU, on the need to promote improved working conditions and an improved standard of living for workers, so as to make possible their harmonisation while the improvement is being maintained;

O. whereas tax competition and differences in tax rules between Member States can lead to asymmetries within the single market and aggressive tax planning by multinationals, thereby depriving economies where the real value is generated of resources needed for the transition;

1. Calls on the Commission to assess the impact of COVID-19 on European industry and put forward a future-oriented, coordinated response to facilitate an industrial recovery that will lead the twin digital and green transitions to climate-neutrality, circularity and zero pollution while ensuring competitiveness and resilience, in line with the European Green Deal;

2. Stresses that all sectors and industrial value chains, and, in particular, the energy-intensive ones, will have a key role to play in achieving the objectives of the European Green Deal not only through the reduction of their carbon footprints, but also through accelerating the transition by providing affordable and clean technology solutions, by developing and creating value chains for economically viable, sustainable products and processes, and by developing new sustainable business models;

3. Calls on the Member States to support the creation of an ambitious Recovery Plan with the Next Generation EU in the context of a stronger multiannual financial framework (MFF) and the creation of new own resources; emphasises that the use of the recovery funds should be fully in line with the Union’s climate and environmental legislation and drive forward the green transition;

4. Stresses the importance of the Recovery and Resilience Facility and the Strategic Investment Facility to support investments and incentivise key European industries to help strengthen and build European strategic value chains, and believes they could be complemented by a strategic supply chain diversification fund to reduce overreliance on single suppliers and actively support companies in diversifying production in strategic sectors; calls on the Commission to rapidly present concrete legislative proposals to ensure an effective level playing field and protect key industries against unfair competition from state-owned or state-subsidised investors from third countries;

5. Calls on the Commission to focus the Next Generation EU programmes and instruments on the recovery of the sectors most affected by the coronavirus crisis, both in economic and labour terms;

6. Welcomes the fact that the EU Recovery Plan aims to mobilise investment in sustainable climate-neutral industry; particularly welcomes the doubling of investment in clean hydrogen technology, as clean hydrogen can contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, to the recovery of the EU economy and to paving the way for climate neutrality by supporting hard-to-decarbonise sectors, in particular energy-intensive industry sectors; acknowledges the launch of the Clean Hydrogen Alliance; notes the potential for EU leadership in clean hydrogen; considers that the development of clean hydrogen production and research into its multiple potentials must be a priority of the European industrial strategy; calls for strategic investments to stimulate the production and use of clean hydrogen, in the creation of an enabling network of infrastructure and in research and innovation;

7. Underlines the significance of recognising the relationship between the Recovery Plan, the EU’s climate and digital ambitions and an effective industrial strategy;

8. Stresses that the EU should strengthen its industrial and technological capacities by means of investments in key clean technologies in order to increase open strategic autonomy and resilience, ensuring sustainability, competitiveness and a high level of socio-economic well-being of its people and a reduction in inequalities, without leaving anyone behind, and which are consistent with, and contribute to, the twin digital and green transitions;

9. Welcomes the establishment of the mechanism for a just transition, which seeks to ensure that workers and communities that are facing challenges deriving from the transition towards a climate-neutral economy are supported, and that companies can invest in sustainable production technologies; highlights the importance of ensuring ambitious funding for the Just Transition Fund, which should contribute in particular to the creation of sustainable jobs and the upskilling and reskilling of workers; in this regard, calls on the Commission and the Member States to recognise the necessity of vocational education and training in order to facilitate and promote the upskilling and reskilling of the workers concerned, thereby increasing their employability and capacity to adapt to new jobs; stresses that a just transition and a reduction in inequalities should be mainstreamed in social, economic and environmental policies at all levels;

10. Urges the Commission to significantly strengthen support for innovation to achieve a carbon-neutral industry, for the uptake of breakthrough technologies, and for sustainable business front runners, by means of a technologically neutral approach, while avoiding and removing unnecessary regulatory burdens, in particular for SMEs; calls on the Commission, in this regard, to implement without delay the actions and funding opportunities announced in the industrial strategy; stresses that the EU institutions, the Member States, regions, industry and all other relevant actors should work together to create lead markets in the field of clean technologies and ensure that European industry is a global front runner;

11. Considers that industrial research and innovation (R&I) will be fundamental to meet the ambitious EU 2030 targets for sustainable (economic, environmental and social) development and fulfil the long-term climate and energy targets;

12. Notes the importance of more R&I to solve the climate crisis; calls on the Commission to improve conditions for businesses and industry to strengthen their competitiveness in this regard;

13. Emphasises that investments in green technologies, sustainable solutions and new opportunities for companies can turn the Green Deal into a new growth strategy from which innovative SMEs can benefit;

14. Reminds the Commission to take the various industrial ecosystems into account, with the aim of tailoring the focus of each programme in the industrial strategy, taking into consideration the needs of those regions with a lower level of technological development;

15. Welcomes the Commission’s initiative of expanding the Digital Innovation Hubs to all European regions to allow SMEs to integrate digital innovations, thereby creating volunteering and training opportunities in the field of digital technologies;

16. Underlines that EU policies should be coherent and coordinated across sectors, aim to reduce overlaps and promote synergies; emphasises the importance of climate and environmental mainstreaming in all policy sectors; calls on the Commission and the Member States to ensure the correct implementation and full enforcement of existing legislation; considers that access to EU funding should be facilitated, in particular for SMEs, in the transition towards a resilient, green and digital economy;

17. Acknowledges that a coherent, predictable and fair framework of intellectual property rights under the forthcoming pharmaceutical strategy is an important factor in preserving European competitiveness; calls for the effective enforcement of this framework, to uphold technological autonomy, incentivise investments and promote sustainable innovative solutions, while keeping the interests of consumers and patients at its core;

18. Underlines that a truly effective European industrial strategy and policy needs to be built on ambitious climate action and targets on the basis of the Climate Law, providing a roadmap to shape the industry of the future, with all sectors contributing to reaching the objective of climate neutrality as early as possible, and by 2050 at the latest;

19. Stresses the need to align the new industrial strategy with the target of a climate-neutral economy by 2050, while at the same time stressing that Europe’s climate policies must be evidence-based;

20. Stresses the importance of combining actions to lower emissions with economic growth, increased competitiveness and improving the welfare of European citizens;

21. Maintains that the industrial strategy must also identify ways in which SMEs can contribute to greenhouse gas emission reductions and environmental protection in the EU, complementing the efforts and policies already in place, and providing additional tools in order to enable them to keep up with and contribute to the green transition of industry to a climate-neutral economy;

22. Stresses that a global level playing field is needed; calls for a revision of the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) in line with the climate targets and a carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) to contribute to a smart reshoring of manufacturing and shorter value chains; highlights the potentially important role of a CBAM in avoiding carbon leakage;

23. Reiterates its strong support for the goal outlined in the Commission’s Green Deal regarding the introduction of a CBAM; calls on the Commission to bring this reform forward as part of the Commission Work Programme for 2020;

24. Calls on the Commission to formalise a process through which low-carbon technologies are made available and affordable for developing countries;

25. Calls for free trade agreements (FTAs) to foster consistency between trade, climate and environmental protection, customs, market surveillance and industrial policies in line with the objectives of the European Green Deal; calls further for the establishment of enforceable trade and sustainable development chapters in all trade agreements; underlines the importance of further promoting the reciprocity of the EU’s high social, environmental and safety standards through trade agreements and a more resilient customs and market surveillance policy; insists that customs controls throughout the EU follow the same standards, in coordination with the Member States and in full compliance with the principle of subsidiarity;

26. Calls for mandatory and ambitious climate chapters in FTAs; reiterates the importance of the future due diligence law;

27. Calls on the Commission to meticulously assess the impact of European import dependency on third countries, especially in relation to countries where the state has a significant presence on the market, and to include measures to cope with any disruption to global value chains, specifically by means of increased EU coordination and strategic global partnerships;

28. Recalls that according to the industrial strategy, applying circular economy principles in all sectors and industries has the potential to create 700 000 new jobs across the EU by 2030, many of which would be in SMEs; highlights the potential of the circular economy in reducing energy and resource consumption, and in increasing capacity and a reliable supply of recycled materials that are critical for green energy and digital technologies; believes that the EU industrial strategy must go hand in hand with the circular economy and the circular economy action plan, and ensure the transition of the European economy to a non-toxic circular economy; calls for additional support to research and development programmes aimed at fostering the transition towards a safe and sustainable circular economy, promoting both innovative solutions and the scale-up of existing technologies in strategic sectors;

29. Highlights that in order to improve the circularity of the economy, demand-side measures such as the promotion of sustainable consumption and increasing the use of green public procurement are only one side of the coin, and that significant efforts will have to be made to increase resource efficiency and circularity in production processes; calls on the Commission to set clear targets and legislative frameworks to this effect; welcomes in this regard the announcement of a sustainable product policy framework and the establishment of mandatory recycled content requirements;

30. Calls on the Commission to set up ambitious sector-specific targets for improving resource efficiency, starting from the most resource-intensive sectors; considers that roadmaps that would guide the transition of the different sectors towards circularity should also be established and prepared in cooperation with industry associations, companies, trade unions, civil society and academia; underlines the importance of having in place a clear monitoring framework that provides comprehensive and publicly available information on the progress made;

31. Underlines the potential of the circular bioeconomy and the forest-based industry in promoting a competitive and sustainable industry; encourages Member States to promote investments and public procurement in renewable and recyclable bio-based products;

32. Emphasises the importance of resource and energy efficiency to lessen dependency on ore and fossil fuel imports; underlines that waste reduction will not only decrease pollution, but also save precious resources;

33. Underlines the necessity of waste reduction in the industrial sector; calls on the Commission to introduce mandatory targets for the re-use of industrial packaging materials; calls for the harmonisation of packaging within business sectors and Member States in order to facilitate deposit schemes;

34. Welcomes the Commission’s announcement of a chemicals strategy for sustainability in order to work towards zero pollution in a toxic-free environment; stresses that the European chemicals industry is one of the key industries for the economic well-being of the Union, although it lacks sustainability in the fields of energy consumption and environmental impact; emphasises the importance of achieving energy efficiency, circularity and zero pollution, especially in this sector;

35. Notes the contribution of the chemicals industry to many strategic value chains and to producing carbon-neutral, resource-efficient and circular technologies and solutions; calls for a sustainable chemicals policy, aligned with the industrial strategy;

36. Underlines that the European industrial strategy should be fully aligned with the upcoming chemicals strategy for sustainability on the basis of the elimination of hazardous substances and substitution to safer alternatives, with a particular emphasis on reducing and preventing exposure to chemicals such as endocrine disruptors, in order to protect human health and the environment;

37. Stresses the need to foster innovation in the chemicals industry and acknowledges that it is able to provide multiple low-carbon solutions; stresses that promoting innovation and minimising the exposure of humans and the environment to hazardous chemicals are key elements in the transition from a linear to a circular and sustainable chemicals industry, which would give a major competitive advantage to this pivotal sector for the European economy;

38. Calls on the European Environment Agency (EEA) to produce a report, together with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), on chemicals in the environment in Europe; considers that the report should assess the systemic nature of hazardous chemicals within Europe’s production and consumption systems, their use in products, occurrence in Europe’s environment and the harm caused to human health and ecosystems;

39. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to preserve a vibrant research-based pharmaceutical industry in the interests of citizens and patients within the framework of a public health policy; insists that the measures proposed in the Commission’s upcoming pharmaceutical strategy should be aligned with the industrial strategy and focused on ensuring that Europe remains an innovator and world leader in the manufacturing of medicines and active ingredients with the objective of ensuring fair access for patients; calls on the Commission to develop a pharmaceutical strategy that will provide the right policy tools to foster the development of innovative medicines for the benefit of patients, ensure a stable and effective regulatory framework and take full advantage of the potential of the digital transformation of healthcare;

40. Stresses the importance of the Union maintaining a secure supply of critical materials and minerals, pharmaceutical ingredients, medicines and medical equipment; calls for the strengthening of European value chains to reduce dependence on third countries in key strategic areas; calls on the Commission and the Member States to take action to ensure the security of supply of medical products, reduce the EU’s dependence on third countries and support local pharmaceutical manufacturing for medicines of major therapeutic interest, giving priority to medicinal products of health and strategic importance in close cooperation with the Member States; recalls that all public funding must be conditioned to the full transparency and traceability of investments, to supply obligations on the European market, and to facilitate the best outcome for patients including in terms of accessibility and affordability of manufactured medicines; stresses that the strategy should encourage the industry to have a diversified supply chain and a medicine shortage risk mitigation plan to cope with any vulnerabilities and risks to its supply chain; calls on the Commission to propose ways to guarantee that the industry’s supply chain network becomes more resilient, and to put in place a medicine shortage risk mitigation plan to manage any potential vulnerabilities and risks to the supply chain for critical medicines; calls on the Commission and the Member States to screen foreign direct investments in medicine manufacturing plants as part of Europe’s critical health infrastructure;

41. Calls on the Commission to increase its involvement in supporting critical health infrastructure protection in Member States and to start applying the European Programme for Critical Infrastructure Protection (EPCIP) to the health infrastructure sector;

42. Underlines the centrality of a properly functioning and competitive pharmaceutical and medical devices sector to ensure sustainable access to medicines and guarantee a high level of healthcare for EU patients; believes that the Commission should facilitate dialogue with the Member States and all the relevant stakeholders by creating a pharmaceutical forum, supervised by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), in order to enable a comprehensive discussion on issues concerning, inter alia, pharmaceutical sustainability and the introduction of new technologies into health systems; stresses that this forum should take into account the different national approaches to pricing and reimbursement, as well as healthcare investment and organisation, in order to secure existing production investments in Europe, ensuring long-term sustainability, competitiveness and security of supply; calls on the Commission to support the Member States by specifically developing ad hoc EU Guidelines on the sustainable procurement of medicines under the current EU public procurement rules, looking at criteria beyond the lowest price only, notably by implementing the so-called most economically advantageous tender (MEAT) criteria, such as ensuring long-term sustainability, competition, security of supply and stimulating investments in research and manufacturing;

43. Supports, in the context of the current health crisis and potential future crises, the promotion of EU companies, incentivising production within the EU, lowering EU dependency on third countries, increasing manufacturing capacity for the production of certain products, notably sanitising gel, ventilators and protective equipment, as well as pooling and coordinating digital manufacturing capabilities, such as 3D printing, which can contribute to manufacturing necessary equipment;

44. Underlines the need to review and revise the EU public procurement rules in order to ensure a true level playing field for EU companies, especially those producing sustainable products or services, such as in the field of public transport;

45. Reiterates the importance of sustainable transport as part of the industrial supply chain and calls for the inclusion of external costs in the price of products; stresses that the sustainable and smart mobility industries have both the potential and the responsibility to drive the digital and environmental transitions, to support Europe’s industrial competitiveness and to improve connectivity, in particular in the automotive, aerospace, rail and ship-building industries; calls on the Commission and Member States to increase investments in zero-emission mobility and resilient and secure transport infrastructures, in particular high-speed networks, and to further support the development of sustainable alternative fuels;

46. Underlines the importance of green mobility in creating new jobs, boosting European industry and reducing emissions from the transport sector; calls for a large-scale strategy and increased investments for the rollout of a wide electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure network of fast, reliable and compatible charging stations for EVs;

47. Notes the role played by battery technologies in the decarbonisation of mobility and energy systems; welcomes the European Battery Alliance and the strategic action plan on batteries; calls for the promotion and stimulation of battery production in Europe, as well as for the creation of a coherent and supportive regulatory framework for sustainable batteries, in line with the principles of circular economy, the wider EU decarbonisation objectives and the need to reduce dependence on raw and critical materials and metals from third countries;

48. Underlines the importance of developing sustainable battery value chains for current and future electro-mobility needs; stresses that the new regulatory framework for batteries should fully incorporate sustainability requirements such as targets for reuse and recycling, and sustainable and socially responsible sourcing of raw materials; calls on the Commission and the Member States to foster investments in a competitive and sustainable battery manufacturing sector, providing a framework which includes secure access to raw materials, support for technological innovation, and consistent rules on battery production in line with the requirements of the circular economy;

49. Highlights that the industry should fully contribute to the protection of biodiversity and the environment; points out that over half of global GDP depends on nature and the services it provides, with several sectors highly reliant on nature; notes that more than 90 % of biodiversity loss and water stress comes from resource extraction and processing; emphasises that the European industrial policy should be in line with the objectives of the 2030 biodiversity strategy and respect the precautionary and polluter-pays principles;

50. Stresses that, based on the One Health approach, the preservation of natural eco-systems is fundamental for ensuring humanity’s access to bare necessities such as drinking water, clean air and fertile soils; calls for the swift development of robust indicators to assess the impacts on biodiversity and to ensure the progressive reduction of pollution as outlined in the EU biodiversity strategy;

51. Points out that industry is still a major contributor to environmental pollution with releases of pollutants into the air, water and soil; underlines the role of the Industrial Emissions Directive in setting up obligations for large installations to minimise releases of pollutants; looks forward to the upcoming zero-pollution action plan for air, water and soil, and the revision of the Industrial Emissions Directive that should lead to a significant reduction in industrial pollution;

52. Welcomes the Commission’s intention to adopt a more strategic approach towards the renewable energy industries; considers that these industries should be fully supported given their key role in decarbonising the energy systems and achieving climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest; highlights also the importance of following the energy-efficiency first principle to reduce energy demand;

53. Notes that ‘energy efficiency first’ is one of the key principles of the Energy Union, intended to ensure secure, sustainable, competitive and affordable energy supply in the EU; highlights that the renovation wave provides a great opportunity for the EU’s buildings and energy sector, and calls on the Member States to accelerate investments in building renovation; notes the important role national, regional and local actors can play in facilitating and coordinating renovation initiatives;

54. Recalls that renewable energy technologies are of strategic importance for a successful transition towards climate neutrality; calls for a robust industrial strategy for the deployment and expansion of renewable energy capacity in order to ensure Europe’s long-term security of energy supply, competitiveness, technology leadership and job creation;

55. Stresses that the development of renewable energy and of the digital economy will require increasingly large amounts of rare earths, rare metals and critical and base metals; points out that the mining required for this development consumes large amounts of water, and that this may compete with the needs of local populations, particularly in regions subject to water stress; stresses that mining activities in countries outside the EU may result in acute pollution affecting the quality of the water, air and earth and leading to deforestation and a loss of biodiversity; points out that mining activities mainly take place in developing countries, where labour standards are far less protective than in the EU, and that as a result, working conditions in mining operations endanger the health and lives of the miners; stresses that the pollution caused by mining has a direct impact on the means of subsistence of local people and may, in the long term, drive them to move away; points out that local people suffer indirect consequences from the contamination of the water, air and earth, with a major impact on their health;

56. Highlights that the environment and the economy are the basis of an inclusive society that enables us to deal with current and future challenges and grasp the opportunities that arise;

57. Considers that the European Union needs a process of reindustrialisation and modernisation of its industrial base, strengthening of the internal market and the creation of a competitive framework for industry, including an effective strategy for SMEs, in order to boost Europe’s competitiveness and global leadership;

58. Calls on the Commission to strengthen and promote the relocation and diversification of European industries in strategic sectors, such as renewable energy production and pharmaceuticals, that are not already resilient;

59. Considers that the relocation of European industry should act as a stimulus to invigorate the less-developed European regions, including regions with low populations and those with dispersed populations, as mentioned in Article 174 of the TFEU; stresses that such an approach would promote their economic growth and create many jobs that, ultimately, would make it possible for them to retain their populations;

60. Stresses that the industrial strategy should be based on evidence and the latest scientific research; emphasises the importance of input from European industry and businesses when developing the industrial strategy;

61. Stresses that the European industrial strategy should also ensure that clear, comprehensive and easily accessible information is made available on the status of European industry, in particular all of the information relevant to understanding the health and environmental impacts of industrial production;

62. Underlines that it is essential for there to be a better balance of men and women in industrial sectors, more specifically by encouraging women to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics, consider a career in technology and invest in digital skills, thereby improving the gender balance with respect to setting up and managing enterprises;

63. Supports the Commission in its objective of designing a new EU industrial strategy in an effort to achieve a more competitive and resilient industry when contending with global shocks;

64. Believes that the European Union should strive to draw up a tailor-made industrial strategy, which will be a stable pillar for Europe in the future, especially after the unprecedented economic crises caused by the COVID-19 pandemic;

65. Believes that the industrial strategy has to provide a variety of applicable instruments, tailor-made for each sector or ecosystem and coordinated with the Member States, that make European policies and instruments more efficient.

 

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

11.9.2020

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

64

9

8

Members present for the final vote

Nikos Androulakis, Bartosz Arłukowicz, Margrete Auken, Simona Baldassarre, Marek Paweł Balt, Traian Băsescu, Aurelia Beigneux, Monika Beňová, Sergio Berlato, Alexander Bernhuber, Simona Bonafè, Delara Burkhardt, Pascal Canfin, Sara Cerdas, Mohammed Chahim, Tudor Ciuhodaru, Nathalie Colin-Oesterlé, Miriam Dalli, Esther de Lange, Christian Doleschal, Marco Dreosto, Bas Eickhout, Eleonora Evi, Agnès Evren, Fredrick Federley, Pietro Fiocchi, Andreas Glück, Jytte Guteland, Martin Hojsík, Pär Holmgren, Jan Huitema, Yannick Jadot, Adam Jarubas, Petros Kokkalis, Athanasios Konstantinou, Joanna Kopcińska, Ryszard Antoni Legutko, Peter Liese, Sylvia Limmer, Javi López, César Luena, Fulvio Martusciello, Liudas Mažylis, Tilly Metz, Silvia Modig, Dolors Montserrat, Alessandra Moretti, Dan-Ștefan Motreanu, Ville Niinistö, Ljudmila Novak, Jutta Paulus, Stanislav Polčák, Jessica Polfjärd, Luisa Regimenti, Frédérique Ries, María Soraya Rodríguez Ramos, Rob Rooken, Silvia Sardone, Christine Schneider, Günther Sidl, Ivan Vilibor Sinčić, Linea Søgaard-Lidell, Nicolae Ştefănuță, Nils Torvalds, Edina Tóth, Véronique Trillet-Lenoir, Alexandr Vondra, Mick Wallace, Pernille Weiss, Michal Wiezik, Tiemo Wölken, Anna Zalewska

Substitutes present for the final vote

Michael Bloss, Manuel Bompard, Laura Huhtasaari, Christel Schaldemose, Inese Vaidere

 

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

64

+

PPE

Bartosz Arłukowicz, Alexander Bernhuber, Traian Băsescu, Nathalie Colin‑Oesterlé, Christian Doleschal, Agnès Evren, Adam Jarubas, Peter Liese, Fulvio Martusciello, Liudas Mažylis, Dolors Montserrat, Dan‑Ștefan Motreanu, Ljudmila Novak, Jessica Polfjärd, Stanislav Polčák, Christine Schneider, Edina Tóth, Inese Vaidere, Pernille Weiss, Michal Wiezik, Esther de Lange

S&D

Nikos Androulakis, Marek Paweł Balt, Monika Beňová, Simona Bonafè, Delara Burkhardt, Sara Cerdas, Mohammed Chahim, Tudor Ciuhodaru, Miriam Dalli, Johan Danielsson, Jytte Guteland, César Luena, Javi López, Alessandra Moretti, Christel Schaldemose, Günther Sidl, Tiemo Wölken

Renew

Pascal Canfin, Fredrick Federley, Andreas Glück, Martin Hojsík, Jan Huitema, Frédérique Ries, María Soraya Rodríguez Ramos, Linea Søgaard‑Lidell, Nils Torvalds, Véronique Trillet‑Lenoir, Nicolae Ştefănuță

ID

Simona Baldassarre, Marco Dreosto, Luisa Regimenti, Silvia Sardone

Verts/ALE

Margrete Auken, Michael Bloss, Bas Eickhout, Pär Holmgren, Yannick Jadot, Tilly Metz, Ville Niinistö, Jutta Paulus

NI

Eleonora Evi, Athanasios Konstantinou, Ivan Vilibor Sinčić

 

9

ID

Laura Huhtasaari, Sylvia Limmer

ECR

Sergio Berlato, Pietro Fiocchi, Joanna Kopcińska, Ryszard Antoni Legutko, Rob Rooken, Alexandr Vondra, Anna Zalewska

 

8

0

ID

Aurelia Beigneux, Catherine Griset, Joëlle Mélin

GUE/NGL

Malin Björk, Manuel Bompard, Petros Kokkalis, Silvia Modig, Mick Wallace

 

Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

 : against

0 : abstention

 

 

 

 

OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL TRADE (26.6.2020)

for the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy

on A New Industrial Strategy for Europe

(2020/2076(INI))

Rapporteur for opinion: Markus Buchheit

 

 

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on International Trade calls on the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1. Welcomes the New Industrial Strategy for Europe, especially its focus on ensuring fair competition and a level playing field globally and on the tools to make EU industry fit to address today’s and tomorrow’s challenges worldwide, in line with the European Green Deal; calls on the Commission to adopt a strong holistic approach in implementing the strategy; emphasises that social rights, digitalisation, transport, trade and environmental policies are interlinked within European industry;

2. Takes note that the EU has been falling behind in global competitiveness and that world trade is expected to fall between 13 % and 32 % and EU GDP by at least 7.5 % in 2020 owing to the effects of COVID-19, with any estimates of expected recovery in 2021 still being uncertain; stresses, therefore, that with a rapidly declining global economy, a reindustrialisation of Europe is needed, paying particular attention to the recovery of the employment market; calls on the EU to gather its forces to save companies and jobs to that end; underlines the importance of adapting the EU industrial strategy to the new economic scenario after the COVID-19 outbreak, considering its adverse effects on EU competitiveness, in order to ensure less dependence on external supply for European industry; calls for strengthened measures to support the financing of SMEs, to encourage innovation by SMEs and to find a solution for the current disruption of their global value chains caused by the COVID-19 outbreak;

3. Calls for a massive and consistent EU industrial strategy, aligned with the European Green Deal, to transform our economies and strengthen their resilience through the pooling of strategic investments in order to support SMEs and improve job opportunities and skills; further encourages the Commission to strengthen and improve its initiatives to support European SMEs in overcoming barriers that prevent their access to international markets, through negotiating dedicated chapters in trade agreements and supporting the national and regional export agencies in their efforts to allow SMEs to take best advantage of such agreements; highlights in this sense the importance of effective communication and awareness-raising campaigns, through the effective implementation of the SME strategy; requests the Commission to reduce the administrative and regulatory burden in order for SMEs to fully benefit from market access; stresses the need to further improve the business environment in the EU by facilitating easier access to finance, in particular with the current disruption of global value chains; also stresses that legal certainty, evidence-based policy, impact assessments and cost efficiency must be ensured before introducing new EU rules; reminds the Commission of the ‘one-in-one-out’ principle; welcomes the Commission’s objective of launching early in 2020 a dedicated rules of origin self-assessment tool for SMEs on the future Access2Market platform, to help companies assess whether a product can benefit from preferences under a given EU trade agreement, thus facilitating SMEs’ utilisation of preferences under such agreements; believes that support is needed for those SMEs which invest in climate neutrality while keeping their competitiveness;

4. Stresses the need for a strong commitment on the part of the Member States to the future of European industry, with the EU as a world leader in low-carbon, sustainable technologies while avoiding carbon leakage; asks the Commission to present a proposal for a carbon border adjustment mechanism, and stresses the need for it to be fully WTO-compatible, also taking into account the results of a proper impact assessment; underlines that our climate ambition must not lead to the deindustrialisation of the EU but to sustainable innovative solutions being made more competitive and circular economy opportunities increased; underlines that our industries are asked to contribute actively to the European Green Deal’s objectives, by investing in climate neutrality and complying with new standards while also being confronted with competitors from third countries that are less ambitious on emissions reduction; stresses that European companies, in particular SMEs, risk being kept at a competitive disadvantage while trying to remain competitive and thrive on export markets; calls on the Commission to support SMEs that are already focusing on green technologies and innovations in exporting their goods and services to third countries in order to implement green technologies there and create a level playing field;

5. Calls on the Commission to focus on securing supply within Europe, by establishing strategic stocks and appropriate stockpiling and reducing reliance on few countries while focusing on smart reshoring in core industry sectors such as technology and telecommunications, medical products, pharmaceuticals and strategic raw materials; emphasises the need to support research, digitalisation and robotisation by means of grants in order to remain competitive on the global markets; stresses that reshoring production and focusing on domestic productivity as the only means to address shortages of strategic goods will not resolve such shortages, especially in times of crisis; believes that the EU should play a leading role in multilateral fora and institutions to ensure that supply shortages can be mitigated in the future, since they can only be addressed through strengthened multilateral cooperation; welcomes, in this regard, the creation of a strategic investment facility proposed in the recovery package, and believes it could be complemented by a strategic supply chain diversification fund, so as to reduce over-reliance on single suppliers and actively support companies in diversifying production in strategic sectors; considers that the EU Industrial Strategy could be complemented by regulations regarding other aspects of supply chains, including due diligence and environmental and labour law with strong social safeguards, in order to create a comprehensive approach;

6. Notes that the COVID-19 crisis has pointed up the need for digital solutions and trade and business models; underlines the importance of the ongoing plurilateral WTO negotiations on e-commerce, including cross-border data flows; calls for a comprehensive and ambitious set of rules guaranteeing European data protection standards;

7. Recognises the significant potential impact of the next industrial revolution and automation on international trade; notes that with the anticipated optimisation of production the international supply chain will be restructured, which will have a significant impact on the labour market and, consequently, an adverse effect on future job creation and the market as a whole; calls on the Commission to integrate strong social safeguards in its policy;

8. Underlines that industry counts for 80 % of European goods exports and employs around 35 million people; calls on the Commission to take into account the significant added value industry brings to the European employment market and to social rights, and its crucial role as a factor of prosperity and competitiveness;

9. Insists that the EU industrial strategy must be inclusive and transparent, encompassing all actors operating along the entire value chain, from the smallest start-ups to the largest companies, from academia to research and from service providers to suppliers, but also trade unions and consumer organisations;

10. Calls on the Commission to ensure a rules-based multilateral system fit for a stronger EU in the world, with open and fair trade consistent with global efforts to halt climate change and biodiversity loss while aiming at sustainable economic recovery; stresses that fair and free trade should be supported by a fully operational WTO; requests the Commission to work with the other WTO members to implement an ambitious reform, to continue engaging to find a long-term multilateral solution to overcome the current deadlock over the Appellate Body, to ensure open and fair trade with an enforceable dispute settlement system and a true level playing field for trading companies, and to fully incorporate social and environmental standards; urges the Commission to negotiate new rules to fight trade-distorting practices, including non-market policies and practices, overcapacity created by state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and industrial subsidies, and policies and practices related to forced technology transfer; welcomes the ongoing plurilateral negotiations within the WTO on key areas of trade in services and investment facilitation; calls for the continuation of the current zero tariff rating of pharmaceutical products within the WTO, and supports an expansion of the ‘zero-for-zero’ initiative to include more products and countries;

11. Underlines its determination to establish a relationship as close as possible with the United Kingdom, a country that will remain a partner, ally and friend inside Europe; encourages the Commission to seize the momentum caused by the UK’s withdrawal to streamline our EU policies, cut red tape and enhance competitiveness for European companies and SMEs; stresses that the FTA should aim to allow the closest possible market access and trade facilitation in order to minimise trade disruption, underpinned by level playing field provisions ensuring high standards for social, labour and environmental protection as well as competition and State aid policies; reiterates its call on the Commission to achieve a new and comprehensive UK-EU strategic partnership agreement that goes well beyond trade, in line with the Political Declaration of October 2019;

12. Calls on the Commission to work towards an effective and operational procurement regime that increases leverage to negotiate reciprocity and market opening; calls on the Council to resume the talks and find a swift agreement on the International Procurement Instrument; emphasises the need for an instrument that targets discriminatory practices against EU businesses in third-country procurement markets; calls for the inclusion of a global catalogue of essential emergency products to avoid abuses by third-country providers in international trade during a global catastrophe;

13. Welcomes the review of the Union’s international trade and investment policy, and calls on the Commission to assess the EU trade toolbox in order to tackle global market distortions; calls for the reinforcement of trade defence instruments, notably safeguards, in order to make them more efficient and better adapted in order to defend European industry and tackle market distortions effectively; calls for particular attention to be paid to strategic metals and the steel sector in order to guarantee effective competition; rejects unjustifiable protectionist measures leading to disruption of the global economy, as well as unjustified state aid in third countries, which has lowered production factor costs in ways that are not in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement or the SDGs;

14. Calls on the Commission to urgently amend the EU Steel Safeguard, taking into account the current COVID-19 context, in order to defend the steel sector against persistent global overcapacity and unfair trading practices and guarantee effective competition;

15. Urges the Commission to ensure the effective enforcement of intellectual property rights while encouraging innovation, ensuring access to medicine and protecting public health, and to tackle the trade in counterfeit and pirated goods throughout the international supply chain, in cooperation with all relevant actors, as key objectives of the intellectual property action plan; calls on the Commission to promote and ensure the protection of geographical indications (GIs) at both international and bilateral level, and to invite the Commission to debate on GIs for non-agricultural products that could support innovation, sustainable production and jobs in the EU, improving the attractiveness and reputation of our quality products worldwide; underlines that the flexibilities provided for in the TRIPS agreement should be used to address potential supply shortages for medicines;

16. Calls on the Member States to swiftly implement all provisions of the regulation on the screening of foreign direct investment; highlights the importance of better coordination between Member State activities, with a focus on coherence, effectiveness and transparency; calls on the Commission to closely monitor and provide necessary assistance in the implementation of this regulation, in order to protect access to strategic industries, infrastructure, key enabling technologies or any other assets, in the interests of security and cybersecurity and in order to safeguard competitiveness in the single European market; welcomes the White Paper on levelling the playing field as regards foreign subsidies, and calls on the Commission to come forward with a legislative proposal in order to prevent hostile takeovers by third-country companies that are heavily subsidised by their governments and address the distortive effects caused within the single market; calls for the swift adoption of Regulation 654/2014 (the Enforcement Regulation).

 

 

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

25.6.2020

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

31

1

4

Members present for the final vote

Barry Andrews, Anna-Michelle Asimakopoulou, Tiziana Beghin, Geert Bourgeois, Saskia Bricmont, Jordi Cañas, Anna Cavazzini, Miroslav Číž, Arnaud Danjean, Paolo De Castro, Emmanouil Fragkos, Enikő Győri, Roman Haider, Christophe Hansen, Heidi Hautala, Danuta Maria Hübner, Herve Juvin, Danilo Oscar Lancini, Bernd Lange, Gabriel Mato, Maxette Pirbakas, Carles Puigdemont i Casamajó, Samira Rafaela, Inma Rodríguez-Piñero, Massimiliano Salini, Helmut Scholz, Sven Simon, Kathleen Van Brempt, Jörgen Warborn, Iuliu Winkler

Substitutes present for the final vote

Reinhard Bütikofer, Marco Campomenosi, Nicola Danti, Svenja Hahn, Sandra Kalniete, Urmas Paet

 

 

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

1. A New Industrial Strategy for Europe 2020/2076(INI) – Rapporteur: Markus Büchheit (ID) – Adoption of draft opinion

1.1. Final vote

31

+

ECR

Geert Bourgeois, Emmanouil Fragkos

ID

Marco Campomenosi, Roman Haider, Herve Juvin, Danilo Oscar Lancini, Maxette Pirbakas

NI

Tiziana Beghin, Carles Puigdemont i Casamajó

PPE

Anna Michelle Asimakopoulou, Sandra Kalniete, Arnaud Danjean, Enikő Győri, Christophe Hansen, Danuta Maria Hübner, Gabriel Mato, Massimiliano Salini, Sven Simon, Jörgen Warborn, Iuliu Winkler

RENEW

Barry Andrews, Jordi Cañas, Svenja Hahn, Samira Rafaela, Urmas Paet, Nicola Danti

S&D

Miroslav Číž, Paolo De Castro, Bernd Lange, Inma Rodríguez Piñero, Kathleen Van Brempt

 

1

GUE/NGL

Helmut Scholz

 

4

0

VERTS/ALE

Saskia Bricmont, Anna Cavazzini, Reinhard Bütikofer, Heidi Hautala

 

Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

 : against

0 : abstention

 

OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON EMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL AFFAIRS (16.7.2020)

for the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy

on a New Industrial Strategy for Europe

(2020/2076(INI))

Rapporteur for opinion: Jordi Cañas

 

 

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Employment and Social Affairs calls on the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

A. whereas today EU industry employs around 35 million people, accounts for over 80 % of exports and has a dominant role in placing direct foreign investments; whereas 99 % of EU businesses are SMEs, representing around 50 % of EU GDP and employing more than 100 million workers; whereas the new industrial strategy should be based on industrial ecosystems encompassing all actors in industrial value chains, from large enterprises, SMES and microenterprises to workers and consumers;

B. whereas women and persons with disabilities still remain under‑represented across industrial sectors, occupations and management levels and are more often employed in low value-added industrial sectors or sub-sectors, despite the fact that 40.1 % of women have completed tertiary education and that, in 2019, 86.2 % of women in the 20-24 year age group had completed at least upper secondary education compared with 81 % of men[11];

C. whereas Europe needs a socially and environmentally sustainable industrial strategy which prioritises equal opportunities and social cohesion; whereas the new EU industrial strategy must serve as a vector across all sectors and companies for creating more and better jobs, strengthen the role of SMEs and achieve a fully inclusive and balanced job market, in order to accompany a just twin transition towards a digital and renewables‑based, highly resource‑efficient and energy‑efficient climate‑neutral industry; whereas the implementation of the Green Deal and the Digital Strategy should also boost sustainable growth towards a greener and more circular industry;

D. whereas SMEs account for more than 99 % of all European enterprises, but only 17 % have successfully integrated digital technologies into their activities; whereas 70 % of enterprises report that access to talent is a barrier to investment throughout the EU;

E. whereas Europe has strong centuries‑old industrial traditions and is therefore fit for efficient twin transition based on the social economy and the values of the EU;

F. whereas the secure and inclusive deployment and use of digitalisation and artificial intelligence (AI) are crucial for all industry sectors in order to achieve a green industrial transition that increases competitiveness, creating quality job opportunities, sustainable business models and economic prosperity; whereas in this regard it is important to invest in research and innovation and digital education;

G. whereas a European approach to AI should address, as a matter of priority, the ethical aspects and dilemmas associated with AI in order to ensure that it is human‑centric, enhances human well‑being, a sense of security, the well‑being of society and the environment, and fully respects the fundamental rights and values of the EU;

H. whereas people living and working in the EU have been severely hit by the COVID‑19 pandemic, which has brought unprecedented challenges for EU industry and has had an enormous impact on the organisation of work, jobs and workers in certain sectors, with over 5 million people at risk of losing their jobs and a projected average reduction in GDP of around 7 % across the Union; whereas a rapid shift from manufacturing to medical products has been observed in several factories; whereas the crisis increases the need for a new industrial strategy;

I. whereas, according to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report, 65 % of children entering primary school today will end up working in jobs that do not yet exist; whereas the low‑skilled workforce is particularly vulnerable in the digital age and Eurostat statistics show that 77.8 % of Europeans in the 25‑64 age group believe that they need no further education or training, thus becoming vulnerable to shocks; whereas, therefore, education and training systems which include reskilling and awareness‑raising components must be supported in order to impart the basic competences and skills, including digital literacy, required for new careers;

J. whereas social dialogue, including collective bargaining and continuous cooperation between social partners, is essential for a robust industrial policy that improves working conditions and terms of employment, thereby contributing to a fairer society that leaves no one behind;

K. whereas the social partners should be encouraged to negotiate and conclude collective agreements in matters relevant to them, fully respecting their autonomy and the right to collective action;

L. whereas economic growth goes hand in hand with improved social and living standards and good working conditions;

M. whereas the EU’s industrial strategy should help to revitalise regions and therefore support their transformation through smart specialisation strategies and ESIF funds;

1. Highlights that EU industrial policy must include a strong social and environmental dimension and be in line with the European Pillar of Social Rights and the objectives of the Green Deal and the Paris Agreement in order to efficiently address the social and economic consequences of structural change and to contribute to achieving those objectives, in order to support competitiveness, quality employment, decent working conditions, equal opportunities, as well as access to well-functioning labour markets and welfare systems for all; stresses that the transition to a circular, climate-neutral economy offers new opportunities to create jobs and modernise Europe’s industrial sector by creating new markets, including through energy efficiency, the scaling‑up of renewable energy sources and the promotion of innovative models such as upcycling, reuse and repair;

2. Notes that country‑specific recommendations should comprise actions and issues relevant to (EU) industrial policy during the European Semester; highlights that measuring the status quo and progress is essential for evidence-based policy making going forward, which would also ensure that EU Member States are informed about the progress and development of industrial policy at national and EU level;

3. Highlights that digitalisation, AI, big data analytics, cybersecurity, innovation and the development of measures for sustainable industries are essential for creating better social cohesion, achieving the objectives of the European Green Deal and ensuring the EU’s competitiveness;

4. Stresses the importance of cross‑border and seasonal workers in the provision of services as a key component of the economic recovery effort and calls for measures to encourage their mobility and protect their labour rights, including better implementation of existing legislation;

5. Urges the Commission to address the problems of cross‑border and seasonal workers in the acquisition of their social entitlements due to lack of portability of workers’ entitlements through the swift adoption of the revision to the Social Security Coordination Regulation and the implementation of coordinated digital solutions at Member State level, while enhancing and streamlining solutions against fraud of any kind;

6. Welcomes the financial relief provided by the Commission to save jobs through the instrument for temporary Support to mitigate Unemployment Risks in an Emergency (SURE) and believes that an European unemployment reinsurance scheme could be an additional tool to accompany the just transition to a circular, climate-neutral and digital economy and contribute to the resilience of the European economy and European industry in particular; awaits the Commission’s proposal announced by President von der Leyen in this regard;

7. Welcomes the Commission’s proposal of 27 May 2020 for an EU Recovery Plan presented, which includes a reinforced long-term EU budget (MFF 2021‑2027) and a new EUR 750 billion Next Generation EU recovery instrument and calls for its swift endorsement; highlights, in this sense, the importance of socially and environmentally sustainable investments in industrial sectors particularly hit by the crisis through the Recovery and Resilience Facility, focusing on facilitating active employment policies, investment in digital competencies and infrastructure, entrepreneurship and the creation of start-ups, especially for SMEs and the self-employed, which will help to develop a strategy for sustainable and competitive industrial policy across the EU;

8. Underlines that, in order to gain or maintain global leadership in strategic industrial sectors and certain high added‑value technologies, research and innovation projects under the Horizon Europe programme and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) are crucial; recalls the positive impact of innovation efforts with regard to achieving climate neutrality by 2050, a competitive lead for EU businesses and the quantity and quality of jobs;

9. Welcomes the financial relief provided by the Commission to save jobs through the SURE programme and additional partnerships between employment services, social partners and companies in order to facilitate reskilling, especially for seasonal workers in all job types in the tourism industry;

10. Considers that EU industrial policy must work towards accelerating innovation, particularly in the key areas of digitalisation and production, and embrace strategies that promote the recovery of quality employment and manufacturing opportunities throughout the Union, ensuring balanced sustainable regional development for all EU regions, reinforced by cohesion policy and the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) in order to increase the EU’s global competitiveness and avoid excessive dependency on foreign providers, particularly in strategic sectors such as pharmaceuticals and medical devices, cyber and data security, digital services and strategic technologies and energy, thus strengthening the EU’s strategic autonomy; emphasises in this regard the importance of developing the skills of workers in these sectors; stresses, furthermore, the need to promote public investment and the proper use of state aid, as well as to strengthen capital investment by companies, to diversify global supply chains and to make them more sustainable and transparent;

11. Reiterates that the industry sector is a cornerstone of the economy and is responsible for a large share of European exports and investment in research and innovation; underlines the key role of SMEs as the backbone of the European economy in ensuring EU industrial growth and achieving the goals of the green and digital transitions; stresses, therefore, that SMEs should be at the heart of the New Industrial Strategy and calls on the Commission and the Member States to create a supportive environment that enables SMEs to develop and grow, for example by reducing unnecessary regulatory burden, facilitating access to appropriate sources of finance and supporting entrepreneurship, which are critical for innovation, job creation and inclusion; in this regard, supports the complementarity between the new industrial strategy and the new circular economy action plan which is expected to create up to 700 000 new jobs across the EU by 2030, many of which will particularly benefit SMEs;

12. Stresses the need for a strong social component in the EU industrial strategy and an inclusive digitalisation of the industry; calls on the European Commission to ensure sufficient funds and efficient mechanisms through the European Social Fund Plus, Just Transition Fund (JTF) and others; calls for the strategy to address the needs of less technologically advanced industrial regions, including those heavily dependent on solid fossil fuels and those covered by Article 174 of the TFEU, and to ensure the investments needed in infrastructure such as broadband internet coverage;

13. Stresses the need to highlight the risk of job losses due to industrial transition and the responsibility of the authorities in social protection; calls on the Member States to ensure adequate wages and support for workers in this transition, with a focus on employability and well-being, and to consider a wider range of social protection measures such as national guaranteed minimum income schemes, unemployment benefits, family support allowances, heating allowances, adequate pensions, scholarships for students, payment of internships and support for people with disabilities in order to ensure a decent standard of living;

14. Underlines that investment in occupational safety and health helps to prevent work‑related illnesses, accidents and harmful physical and psychosocial strain, and has a tangible positive effect on the economy by contributing to better performance and sustainable work careers; recalls that, according to the Commission, one euro spent on occupational safety and health at work, gives at least two euros in return; stresses that occupational safety and health at work should also be a priority in the new industrial strategy for Europe;

15. Welcomes the increase in resources allocated to the JTF, considering that 160 000 jobs in the coal‑mining sector could be lost by 2030 as part of the long‑term industrial transition process, while other sectors such as the energy-intensive industries or the automotive industry will also face profound structural changes;

16. Calls on the Commission to closely examine the impact of Europe’s dependency on imports from third countries, notably China and other countries where the state exercises significant influence on the market, with unfair consequences for EU businesses and employees;

17. Acknowledges the tailor‑made approach that the Commission will adopt when designing programmes under the industrial strategy; calls for this approach to be part of a realistic perspective covering the real need of each ecosystem;

18. With a view to protecting European jobs, highlights the necessity to reform EU competition law, while ensuring that the EU remains open and attractive to foreign investment within the framework of the rule of law and EU standards;

19. Stresses that the ability to attract, recruit and retain a qualified workforce is essential to a competitive and sustainable EU industry; considers active labour market policies, education and training in future-oriented sectors, decent employment and working conditions, accessible and affordable childcare, skills and competences, particularly as regards vocational education and training (VET) and digital skills, to be essential to address current and future skills shortages and to support the shift to sustainable production and service delivery patterns; believes that investment in individualised lifelong learning, entrepreneurship, including cooperatives and social enterprises, digital literacy and human resources are important to ensure efficient and timely upskilling and reskilling of workers and jobseekers, thereby creating a strong and resilient workforce, and should be an integral part of the EU Industrial Strategy; calls, in this regard, on the Commission to ensure complementarity between the aims of the new Industrial Strategy, the European Green Deal and the anticipated updated Skills Agenda for Europe by focusing on concrete measures and coordinated strategies for adults to allow them to enhance their skills and qualifications in response to changing requirements, demands and transitions in the labour market;

20. Acknowledges that skills shortages and mismatches are among the biggest challenges facing businesses today, impeding production and growth, and stresses that skills should match labour market needs; considers that the social partners should play a key role in identifying future skills deficits and shortages and in developing education and training programmes, including on-the-job training, and calls on the Commission and the Member States to support integrated strategic planning and improved cooperation, and to foster information exchanges between all relevant actors, including VET providers, industrial clusters, universities, public employment services, enterprises, trade unions and local and regional authorities, paying particular attention to new skills for new occupations and sectors; highlights in this context the importance of support structures such as SME networks, regional development agencies, innovation clusters and start-up advice for the creation of local and regional industrial value chains; calls on the Commission and the Member States to enhance labour mobility and to ensure the portability and full recognition of professional skills and qualifications and the effective protection of the social security rights of mobile workers within the EU and to develop policies to attract researchers, high‑performing students and skilled workers from third countries;

21. Points out that the development of AI technologies presents both opportunities and challenges for the future EU labour market and industry; notes that the EU has the potential to become a global leader in promoting a socially responsible approach to this technology and its use; calls on the Commission to work closely with the Member States, the social partners and other relevant stakeholders to provide adequate responses to sectoral changes that require an adequate re-skilling programme for workers, and the design, implementation and enforcement of European ethical and safety standards for AI; stresses that, in order to strengthen the single market, there is a need to address potential societal reactions and to develop concepts and ideas that can provide a response to these challenges, including possible taxation aspects of workplaces replaced by robotics;

22. Calls on the Union and the Member States to respect and strengthen the social partners, to extend the coverage of collective bargaining and to take measures to promote a high density of trade unions and employers’ associations in order to ensure a democratic, inclusive and socially just industrial sector; underlines that effective social dialogue is an essential tools for ensuring a democratic, inclusive and just transition in the industrial sector; believes that joint cooperation between the Union, the Member States, the social partners and representative civil society organisations creates an environment for the growth of European industry and that the new industrial strategy should reflect EU social market traditions and fully include the social partners through a strong governance framework; stresses that social dialogue contributes both to economic competitiveness and social cohesion; calls for a further strengthening of social dialogue throughout Europe in order to balance industrial relations and promote collective bargaining; highlights that any industrial strategy should place workers, their representatives and trade unions at the heart of its action in order to ensure that it functions democratically; calls on the Commission to include them throughout the process;

23. Stresses the need for faster integration of young apprentices into the labour market through high‑quality paid internships; calls on the Member States to promote the culture of VET from primary education onwards, in which occupations are valued and the educational path of VET becomes a desirable and predictable path;

24. Emphasises the role of accessibility of learning activities in creating a culture of lifelong learning; calls on the Commission to develop and encourage more opportunities for access to lifelong learning activities, such as university programmes for adults and older people, public learning centres, vouchers for learning activities, massive open online courses, more funding for civil society organisations in the field of education, career transition funds and activities;

25. Welcomes the work of the European Training Foundation (ETF), particularly in the field of vocational education, in fostering mobility and helping partner countries operating their transitions and develop human capital through the reform of their education and training systems and labour market; calls for increased cooperation on insights, information sharing and best practice between Cedefop, Eurofound, the EEAS and the Commission;

26. Considers that the recent pandemic has underlined the importance of digital and environmentally friendly solutions, particularly telework, and the need to establish common minimum standards at European level in order to protect the health and safety of workers and to ensure the involvement of the social partners; believes that telework offers opportunities such as better work-life balance, reduced CO2 emissions related to the daily commute and enhanced employment opportunities for people with disabilities, carers, young people and people in remote areas, while at the same time acknowledging that there are challenges related to the social, professional and digital divide; calls on the Commission to propose a legislative framework with a view to regulating telework conditions across the EU and ensure decent working and employment conditions in the digital economy;

27. Calls on the Commission to propose an ambitious update of the European Digital Education Action Plan, which democratises distance learning, includes lifelong learning, and non‑formal education, ensures better funding to make digital skills a top priority and increases cooperation between Member States; calls on the Commission to explore the important role and potential of teleworking and e‑learning in the public and private sector, leaving no one behind.

28. Stresses that climate policy should be implemented in such a way as to support new technologies, investments, and innovation, and thus job creation; highlights that, while the ecological transition has the potential to create new green jobs, any plan to decarbonise European industries must be accompanied by a WTO‑compatible carbon border adjustment mechanism that is complementary to existing carbon leakage measures;

29. Calls on the Member States to ensure effective preventive restructuring frameworks and a second chance framework to enable honest debtors in financial difficulty to restore viability and avoid insolvency, and not to discourage them from trying new ideas;

30. Stresses that gender balance and achieving equality between men and women must be one of the key principles of the EU’s industrial strategy; calls on the Commission to include a gender perspective in its industrial policy strategy, particularly in its measures to address the digital and green transformations, and to boost women’s participation in the digital economy, entrepreneurship, STEM and ICT education and employment in order to bridge the industrial and digital gender gap; calls on the Union, the Member States and the social partners to eliminate any wage discrimination based on age or gender in the industrial sector and to ensure, in line with national legislation and practice, that all workers are entitled to adequate wages, either through collective agreements or statutory minimum wages; calls on the Member States to finally unblock the Women on Boards Directive proposal of 2012 in order to increase the proportion of women in managerial positions;

31. Calls on the Commission to ensure that the post-2020 European Disability Strategy addresses and promotes the inclusion of persons with disabilities in industrial sectors and workplaces and in society as a whole, by tackling discrimination, fostering solidarity and ensuring accessibility by removing physical, digital, educational and social barriers and by building on digital assistive technologies; urges the industrial sector to fully implement the principle of universal design in order to make full accessibility a principle from the design phase and to engage in dialogue with organisations representing people with disabilities;

32. Stresses that the Union and the Member States must be united in promoting the position of European industry in the world, creating a broad and competitive industrial base in line with the objective of climate neutrality by 2050; stresses that the creation of high‑quality jobs, social protection, well-functioning public services and the rule of law play an important role in the prosperity of industrial activities in this context;

33. Calls on the Union and the Member States to ensure, within the context of European industrial policy, that financial support and subsidies are granted only to undertakings which comply with applicable collective agreements; underlines, moreover, that emergency aid in the wake of a crisis situation, such as COVID‑19, should be provided only to companies which refrain from buying back shares, paying dividends to shareholders and giving bonuses to executives, and which are not registered in tax havens.

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

16.7.2020

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

41

6

6

Members present for the final vote

Atidzhe Alieva-Veli, Abir Al-Sahlani, Marc Angel, Dominique Bilde, Gabriele Bischoff, Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, Milan Brglez, Sylvie Brunet, David Casa, Leila Chaibi, Margarita de la Pisa Carrión, Özlem Demirel, Klára Dobrev, Jarosław Duda, Estrella Durá Ferrandis, Rosa Estaràs Ferragut, Nicolaus Fest, Loucas Fourlas, Cindy Franssen, Heléne Fritzon, Helmut Geuking, Elisabetta Gualmini, Alicia Homs Ginel, France Jamet, Agnes Jongerius, Radan Kanev, Ádám Kósa, Stelios Kympouropoulos, Katrin Langensiepen, Miriam Lexmann, Elena Lizzi, Radka Maxová, Kira Marie Peter-Hansen, Manuel Pizarro, Dennis Radtke, Elżbieta Rafalska, Guido Reil, Daniela Rondinelli, Mounir Satouri, Monica Semedo, Beata Szydło, Eugen Tomac, Romana Tomc, Yana Toom, Nikolaj Villumsen, Marianne Vind, Maria Walsh, Stefania Zambelli, Tatjana Ždanoka, Tomáš Zdechovský

Substitutes present for the final vote

Marc Botenga, Jordi Cañas, Lukas Mandl, Samira Rafaela, Anna Zalewska

 

 

 

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

41

+

ECR

Helmut Geuking, Elżbieta Rafalska, Beata Szydło, Anna Zalewska, Margarita de la Pisa Carrión

NI

Daniela Rondinelli

PPE

David Casa, Jarosław Duda, Rosa Estaràs Ferragut, Loucas Fourlas, Cindy Franssen, Ádám Kósa, Stelios Kympouropoulos, Lukas Mandl, Dennis Radtke, Eugen Tomac, Romana Tomc, Maria Walsh

Renew

Abir Al‑Sahlani, Atidzhe Alieva‑Veli, Sylvie Brunet, Jordi Cañas, Samira Rafaela, Monica Semedo, Yana Toom

S&D

Marc Angel, Gabriele Bischoff, Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, Milan Brglez, Klára Dobrev, Estrella Durá Ferrandis, Heléne Fritzon, Elisabetta Gualmini, Alicia Homs Ginel, Agnes Jongerius, Manuel Pizarro, Marianne Vind

Verts/ALE

Katrin Langensiepen, Kira Marie Peter‑Hansen, Mounir Satouri, Tatjana Ždanoka

 

6

ID

Dominique Bilde, Nicolaus Fest, France Jamet, Elena Lizzi, Guido Reil, Stefania Zambelli

 

6

0

GUE/NGL

Marc Botenga, Leila Chaibi, Özlem Demirel, Nikolaj Villumsen

PPE

Miriam Lexmann

Renew

Radka Maxová

 

Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

 : against

0 : abstention

 

 

OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON THE INTERNAL MARKET AND CONSUMER PROTECTION (3.9.2020)

for the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy

on a New Industrial Strategy for Europe

(2020/2076(INI))

Rapporteur for opinion: Adam Bielan

PA_NonLeg

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection calls on the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1. Underlines that the COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted the European and global economy, both in terms of public finances and the private sector’s capacity to provide employment opportunities and invest resources in assets or innovations; stresses that it has also caused delays both in manufacturing and in obligatory adaptations stemming from legislation; concludes, moreover, that it has shown the EU’s dependence in certain strategic value chains; believes that the Commission should consider measures, including through governance policies, that will ensure the proper functioning of the single market as well as the resilience and autonomy of strategic sectors of European industry;

2. Expects, therefore, that the Industrial Strategy, prepared prior to the outbreak and published at an early stage of the pandemic in Europe, will require substantial revision to reflect the change in the economic outlook and the Commission’s new mission: to focus on industrial transition, return economies across the EU to growth, and tackle widening divergences by strengthening the economies of the Member States, both north and south and east and west; calls on the Commission to define comprehensive, ambitious and sustainable efforts for the benefit of citizens and businesses; considers that this requires a common European approach;

3. Underlines that the Commission must act to remedy disruptions to the single market; underlines, further, that the Strategy should not simply restore the single market to its previous position, based on eliminating disruptions linked to the COVID-19 pandemic; believes that this industrial policy should also deliver more resilient and sustainable development, remove the remaining unjustified barriers to the single market, including in services, and ensure the effective and fair implementation and enforcement of single market rules;

4. Calls for the Commission to undertake, together with Member States, a comprehensive and cross-sectoral analysis of the economies within the EU in order to understand the depth of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and to assess the extent of disruptions in cross-border value-chains; considers this an essential evidence base for the Commission to issue updated recommendations and determine the key policies that will strengthen a collective long-term recovery within the single market that leaves no one behind;

5. Considers that, based upon this comprehensive evidence base, the Commission’s new industrial strategy should prioritise sustainable and fair economic recovery, the digital and green transitions, and citizens’ and consumer welfare and opportunities, so as to thereby underline the common commitment to rebuilding and strengthening the resilience of the single market and European industry, and deliver benefits for all Member States, their citizens and businesses; calls on the Commission to pay close attention to the principles of better law-making, including the specific assessment of Commission proposals to consider respect for proportionality, so as to ensure that all efforts support the development of a strong single market; recalls in this regard the ‘one-in, one-out’ principle endorsed by the Commission to reduce bureaucracy;

6. Emphasises that it is vital to strengthen the resilience of single market industrial ecosystems, which requires an ambitious legislative framework, including addressing the competition and State aid frameworks; welcomes the 14 ecosystems identified by the Commission, and the need to refocus some of their critical activities towards the internal market, which should contribute to boosting the resilience of European industry, strengthen its autonomy and reduce dependence on third countries;

7. Recalls that during the COVID-19 pandemic, several critical sectors, such as the food, pharmaceutical and health sectors and their supply chains, have experienced massive disruptions, forcing producers and processors to identify new suppliers and find alternative market outlets; underlines that only after an in-depth impact assessment, a revised industrial strategy should drive the required changes in a fair and sustainable way in order to avoid the future collapse of supply chains and production standstills in critical sectors as a result of relocations, and to ensure that the EU is no longer dependant on imports of essential goods and medicines from third countries in the event of a new crisis, while guaranteeing the competitiveness of the EU’s economy;

8. Calls on the Commission to integrate in the New Industrial Strategy mechanisms that level the costs of the EU’s industrial sustainable production, ensuring the competitiveness of EU industry in the global market;

9. Stresses that the EU’s industrial competitiveness relies not only on well-functioning supply chains and the free movement of goods, but especially on a fully functioning single market in services; recalls the ongoing ‘servitisation’ process of industry; underlines that the Commission must consider how to deepen the single market for cross-border services as part of any revised set of priorities, given its well-documented potential for boosting competitiveness and growth across the EU; calls on the Commission to address the existing unjustified regulatory and non-regulatory internal market barriers sometimes stemming from restrictive and complex national rules, limited administrative capacities and imperfect transposition of EU rules, as well as their inadequate enforcement, while maintaining a high standard of consumer protection; highlights the importance of more flexible and transparent governance to the further integration of the internal market and its industry through improved monitoring, performance and eGovernment tools such as the Internal Market Scoreboard, a strengthened SOLVIT network and the digital gateway;

10. Underlines the importance of Europe becoming a global role model of sustainability, which is central to plans to develop European industry, and stresses the need to advance the circular economy and encourage sustainable production by offering incentives for innovation; recalls that a successful transition towards a more sustainable single market requires an increased level of trust between Member States; considers that a new industrial strategy should focus, among other things, on the creation and development of ecological industries, in line with the Green New Deal; underlines the need to strengthen European industry so as to support the development of new, harmonised markets to deliver the circular economy; highlights the importance of the internal market in reusing primary and secondary raw materials, in full compliance with the applicable legislation;

11. Recalls the European Council conclusions of 12 December 2019, highlighting the need to establish a framework for action that benefits all Member States, and specifying that all relevant EU legislation and policies need to be consistent with, and contribute to, the fulfilment of the climate neutrality objective, while preserving the EU’s competitiveness; calls, therefore, for appropriate instruments, incentives and investments to ensure a cost-effective and just transition; believes that this framework should take into account different national circumstances and starting points; stresses that the revised industrial strategy needs to contribute to a more sustainable internal market, while at the same time taking into account the need to strengthen consumer protection;

12. Underlines that a strong public sector alongside a prosperous industry can actively contribute, with investment and industrial infrastructure development, to facilitating the necessary transformation of the EU’s economy and society, which is also required by the objectives of the European Green Deal; recognises in this context that most of the public and private sectors will face significant financial constraints in the coming years; highlights, further, that the transformation will be capital-intensive and should reflect the constraints on investment faced by industry, as well as the additional constraints on the budgets of the Member States, resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic; encourages, the Commission, therefore, to engage in active and open dialogue with all industrial sectors and relevant stakeholders, ensuring that changes in new legislation do not have a negative impact on the single market; expresses concern about an unequal pace of development, particularly in less developed parts of the EU and the outermost regions, where achieving transformation requires more significant measures; urges the Commission to adopt a model incorporating flexibility and support in its revised industrial strategy in order to ensure that no one is left behind; recalls in this context that Europe’s commitment and approach detailed in the Commission’s Recovery Plan for Europe is a means of further facilitating the achievement of the EU’s general objectives;

13. Emphasises the importance of the digitalisation of EU industry, including in the verification of industrial input materials before they enter the internal market; underlines that new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), the internet of things (IoT) and robotics play an important role, proportional to their potential to contribute to the development of industrial processes and innovations, offering benefits for consumers through innovative products and services, and for businesses through optimised performance; calls on the Commission, therefore, to implement a single European digital and data market to facilitate cross-border opportunities across the entire EU for businesses and citizens, and to invest significantly in resilient, secure high-speed networks available in all regions, in AI, the data economy, and smart and 3D production; underlines, further, that industrial policy should take into account the Union’s legal framework for consumer safety and liability, and should adapt in due time to technological developments, in order to ensure a high level of consumer protection, trust in new technologies, and legal certainty for businesses;

14. Highlights the significant role public procurement plays in shaping European industry, and that it could help foster markets for innovative and sustainable products, including through the encouragement provided by the current voluntary Green Public Procurement framework; considers the benefits of public procurement policies could be further delivered if the relevant legislation is correctly implemented, harmonised and simplified; encourages the Commission to carry out an in-depth analysis of how equating social and environmental criteria with economic criteria could benefit the European public procurement framework, with special attention to efficient spending of taxpayers’ money, the level of increase in SME participation, and the impact on strategic investments; stresses that the European market for public procurement offers significant opportunities for companies located both within and outside the EU; underlines therefore the need to apply the reciprocity principle, in particular when European companies are denied equal opportunities in third countries; notes, in this regard, the Commission’s White Paper on levelling the playing field as regards foreign subsidies (COM(2020)0253);

15. Believes that the rules that govern competition in the EU should be modernised, so as to be appropriate both to protect the integrity of the European single market and for the global economic context, as well as to support the creation of European contenders capable of competing with global leaders, assist Member States in achieving technological leadership and block hostile takeovers of strategic companies in the EU; calls on the Commission, in the interim, to ensure that the temporary frameworks approved for State aid do not distort competition within the single market in the medium to long term; believes it is also important to protect the interests of SMEs, micro-enterprises and start-ups; calls on the Commission, at the same time, to allow for the effective use of State aid in the Member States when avoiding substantial economic disruptions is vital; highlights that dysfunctional competition limits consumers’ choices and undermines their welfare;

16. Emphasises that the industrial strategy should support the principles of free, fair and sustainable trade, and the EU’s commitment to working with our global partners on the reform of the multilateral trading system; calls on the Commission to clarify how it intends to maintain these commitments while promoting the emergence of global leaders from Europe;

17. Stresses that the high degree of divergence in checks on products from third countries, in customs procedures and in sanctions policies at the EU’s points of entry into the Customs Union often results not only in distortions to trade flows and supply chains, but also in significant health and safety risks for consumers in the single market; insists that the Commission ensure that custom controls throughout the EU follow the same standards, by means of a direct unified customs control mechanism, in coordination with Member States and in full compliance with the principle of subsidiarity;

18. Recalls that numerous sectors, such as mechanical engineering, logistics, food, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, automotive and aviation, are fundamental to the European economy, and that Europe should maintain its leadership in them; recalls, further, that these sectors are under constant pressure from many of the transformations expected in the future economy, and have been seriously affected by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic; considers that the revised industrial strategy should provide for specific measures for these sectors, especially the aviation and automotive sectors, including appropriate financial support; believes that for the automotive sector in particular, measures are required to stimulate demand for vehicles as a part of removing older models from roads across the EU and replacing them with low-emission and zero-emission models through buyback and replacement schemes, and to remove any obstacles to innovations on the market by unblocking type approval and registration of the latest-technology vehicles and investing in future-oriented infrastructures such as recharging and re-fuelling stations; believes that such measures can increase the confidence of consumers in the quality of products purchased and made in the internal market and strengthen the EU’s economy; calls on the Commission to consider postponing the implementation of legislation whose application could have been affected by the COVID 19 crisis;

19. Stresses the importance of measures and information channels to help small, micro- and medium-sized enterprises and start-ups to effectively digitise and advance towards ‘industry 4.0’; calls on the Commission and the Member States to offer support to start-ups and SMEs via additional financial commitments to the Single Market Programme and Digital Innovation Hubs, which will allow them to develop and deploy their products, and thus enable them to fully realise their potential for growth and jobs in Europe, including through the creation of European value chains in line with sustainable objectives; stresses the importance of coordination with other important global players in emerging technologies, which would create a globally compatible approach that would allow for the free expansion of European companies, including SMEs, on global markets, and not only European markets;

20. Believes that projects with European support play a key role in strengthening different dimensions of the internal market, in view of their significant scale and use of financing; recognises in this regard the importance of building new partnerships in strategic areas, such as the European Battery Alliance (EBA), in order to rebuild sustainable supply chains in Europe.

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

3.9.2020

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

33

1

10

Members present for the final vote

Alex Agius Saliba, Andrus Ansip, Alessandra Basso, Brando Benifei, Adam Bielan, Hynek Blaško, Biljana Borzan, Vlad-Marius Botoş, Markus Buchheit, Dita Charanzová, Deirdre Clune, David Cormand, Petra De Sutter, Carlo Fidanza, Evelyne Gebhardt, Sandro Gozi, Maria Grapini, Svenja Hahn, Virginie Joron, Eugen Jurzyca, Arba Kokalari, Marcel Kolaja, Kateřina Konečná, Andrey Kovatchev, Jean-Lin Lacapelle, Maria-Manuel Leitão-Marques, Morten Løkkegaard, Adriana Maldonado López, Antonius Manders, Beata Mazurek, Leszek Miller, Dan-Ștefan Motreanu, Kris Peeters, Anne-Sophie Pelletier, Christel Schaldemose, Andreas Schwab, Tomislav Sokol, Ivan Štefanec, Kim Van Sparrentak, Marion Walsmann, Marco Zullo

Substitutes present for the final vote

Maria da Graça Carvalho, Anna Cavazzini, Krzysztof Hetman

 

 

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

33

+

ECR

EPP

EUL/NGL

NI

RENEW

S&D

Adam Bielan, Carlo Fidanza, Eugen Jurzyca, Beata Mazurek

Maria da Graça Carvalho, Deirdre Clune, Krzysztof Hetman, Arba Kokalari, Andrey Kovatchev, Antonius Manders, Dan‑Ștefan Motreanu, Kris Peeters, Andreas Schwab, Tomislav Sokol, Ivan Štefanec, Marion Walsmann

Kateřina Konečná

Marco Zullo

Andrus Ansip, Vlad‑Marius Botoş, Dita Charanzová, Sandro Gozi, Svenja Hahn, Morten Løkkegaard

Alex Agius Saliba, Brando Benifei, Biljana Borzan, Evelyne Gebhardt, Maria Grapini, Maria‑Manuel Leitão‑Marques, Adriana Maldonado López, Leszek Miller, Christel Schaldemose

 

1

ID

Hynek Blaško

 

10

0

EUL/NGL

GREENS/EFA

ID

Anne‑Sophie Pelletier

Anna Cavazzini, David Cormand, Petra De Sutter, Marcel Kolaja, Kim Van Sparrentak

Alessandra Basso, Markus Buchheit, Virginie Joron, Jean‑Lin Lacapelle

 

Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

 : against

0 : abstention

 

 

 

 

OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT (9.9.2020)

for the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy

on a New Industrial Strategy for Europe

(2020/2076(INI))

Rapporteur for opinion: Tsvetelina Penkova

PA_NonLeg

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Regional Development calls on the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

A.  whereas domestic industry is a driver of sustainable development and growth, exports, innovation, social well-being and prosperity within the EU; whereas the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused an unprecedented socio-economic crisis, has led to disruptions in value chains due to the relocation of industries, and shown that the EU lacks open strategic industrial autonomy in vital sectors of the economy; whereas, however, the pandemic has also demonstrated the resilience of EU regions in providing innovative responses to societal challenges;

B. whereas the EU’s SMEs stimulate competition in the single market and play a crucial role in EU industry as the backbone and engine of the economy; whereas SMEs in general, and social economy enterprises in particular, have been hit hard by the pandemic, experiencing a severe liquidity crunch; whereas SMEs should therefore be supported and encouraged in the creation of innovative, green, quality and safe jobs in their transition towards environmental sustainability and a more digitalised and more resilient economy in every region of the Union, which should be achieved by means of stimuli rather than to the detriment of productive sectors; whereas one option might be to use the existing flexibility within the Stability and Growth Pact for this purpose;

C. whereas the New Industrial Strategy for Europe will play a key role in developing a greener, more digitalised and more resilient economy; whereas an approach that takes account of local specificities, for example through smart specialisation, helps regions to create a place where innovative industrial ecosystems can grow and develop, and fosters links between industry, SMEs, research centres, local communities and other local and regional actors, as well as national stakeholders;

1. Recalls that the EU’s industrial future is linked to an alignment of the economy with the principles set out in the European Green Deal, a roadmap towards new growth and sustainable development for the EU, while contributing to the objectives of the Paris Agreement, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and the transition to a digital economy (the Digital Agenda); recalls that these principles are also aimed at bringing together citizens, municipalities, regions and Member States, as well as businesses (particularly SMEs) and other stakeholders, to develop a sustainable and therefore internationally competitive industrial sector, including the regions in the process of achieving a fair and just transition, while fostering cohesion between all regions, so that no one is left behind;

2. Stresses that investments in traditional manufacturing, along with the focus on research, innovation and the deployment of innovative technologies, the transition to a sustainable, affordable and safe energy system, as well as education, reskilling and upskilling of workers (particularly in SMEs), should be the driving forces behind the Union’s industrial growth, will foster social, economic and territorial cohesion and cooperation among all EU regions, and should respect the regions’ individual characteristics and diversity, allowing them to accomplish fair, sustainable, resilient, gender-balanced and inclusive economic growth in both urban and rural areas; stresses that the EU’s industrial strategy should pay particular attention to the challenges of the outermost regions and other regions facing natural or demographic handicaps as outlined in Articles 349 and 174 of the TFEU;

3. Stresses that in supporting SMEs through the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESI Funds) the goal should be, inter alia, an innovative, digital and knowledge-based economic transformation, and a just transition to a green, energy- and resource-efficient, diversified and carbon-neutral EU which is more connected and cohesive, and which aims to ensure long-term, sustainable employment in all its regions through economic growth and diversification of existing industries by means of industrial competitiveness, while mitigating the negative economic and social effects of industrial relocation;

4. Reiterates that the public and private sectors have an important new role to play in facilitating a just transition by promoting a green, fair and efficient energy transition, green and blue investments, the circular economy, including waste management, energy and resource efficiency, a responsible use of existing resources, food security, and the digital transition (and therefore industrial competitiveness), as well as climate adaptation, mitigation and, accordingly, risk prevention in all EU regions; recalls the proposals made for innovative public procurement and the need to promote long-term public investments and public-private collaboration in order to support economic growth and the transition towards a cleaner economy;

5. Welcomes the Next Generation EU recovery instrument, aimed at developing strong cohesion and industrial policies for financing the recovery and addressing the most urgent recovery needs; notes, however, that the EU’s cohesion policy needs sufficient financing from the ESI Funds to foster economic, social and territorial cohesion in all EU regions by helping to reduce economic and social disparities, achieve positive convergence, and foster sustainable and climate-resilient development, with a view to halting and reversing biodiversity loss; recognises, furthermore, the role that the ESI Funds can play in all regions in helping to develop skills and build capacities for smart specialisation and the digital transition;

6. Believes that the EU should be attentive to preserving and developing an industrial strategy and production which ensure European strategic autonomy in the geopolitical context, reducing costs and ensuring the availability and delivery of services, essential products and equipment for citizens in the single market; calls for further efforts to guarantee strong European value chains in order to reduce dependence on third countries in key strategic sectors, and to guarantee the supply of safe, high-quality products in bringing back manufacturing to regions of Europe and re-localising industrial facilities; strongly believes, in this context, that there is an urgent need to shift from a linear economy to a circular economy;

7. Maintains that, with a view to reaching a just transition towards a climate-neutral economy in the Union by 2050 at the latest, investments in new or transformed industrial production in carbon-intensive regions should benefit from long-term public investment by means of substantial financial support from the Just Transition Fund, as well as from the ESI Funds, thus helping to eliminate energy poverty and social dumping, and reduce emissions, while ensuring that no one is left behind; recalls that in its resolution of 15 January 2020 on the European Green Deal[12], Parliament underlined that in order for the EU to meet its climate and sustainability goals, all sectors must increase their use of renewable energy and phase out direct and indirect subsidies for fossil fuels in the EU and in each Member State;

8. Considers that, as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the EU, together with the Member States, needs to help safeguard its economic, productive and social fabric, its industrial and administrative sectors, and its citizens that have been severely affected by the crisis, and suffered a serious impact on health and the long-term economic fallout; believes that lessons should be learned from this crisis, especially with regard to safeguarding value chains in the key sectors, such as health supplies; recalls the importance of specifically targeting SMEs among the beneficiaries of the recovery phase measures; notes that easier and more flexible access to financing will ensure a speedy recovery;

9. Stresses that a priority of the New Industrial Strategy should be supporting regions in diversifying their industries, as well as stimulating investment and innovation and redeveloping and strengthening the resilience of local and regional economies in order to stop their industrial decline and depopulation; notes that a place-based industrial policy allows for a tailored approach that creates a policy based on existing comparative advantages and that supports businesses in moving towards operating in high-technology sectors; believes that the ESI Funds should also target ‘missing entrepreneurs’ (young people, women, seniors and persons with disabilities), whose entrepreneurial potential needs to be fully realised; reiterates that, in order to increase social cohesion and reduce inequalities, it is crucial to enhance the entrepreneurial capacity of these categories of the workforce as a powerful form of labour market participation;

10. Believes that an industrial strategy can only be successful with a properly functioning single market and social dialogue, involving the business community, trade unions, NGOs, national, regional and local authorities, and other stakeholders; highlights the importance of creating a simplified and coherent funding landscape, covering from R&D to market uptake, at EU, national and regional levels, particularly with respect to the ESI Funds, through simplification, harmonisation and complementarity of the rules for the funding instruments, for example with Horizon Europe; encourages, further, synergies between EU, national, regional and private funding for financing industry-led innovation projects, in particular with a view to supporting continuous utilisation of funds and cross-fertilisation using smart specialisation principles as a guide to coordinate efforts, enhance efficiency, reduce bureaucracy and avoid duplication.

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

7.9.2020

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

38

0

3

Members present for the final vote

François Alfonsi, Mathilde Androuët, Pascal Arimont, Adrian-Dragoş Benea, Isabel Benjumea Benjumea, Tom Berendsen, Erik Bergkvist, Stéphane Bijoux, Franc Bogovič, Andrea Cozzolino, Corina Crețu, Rosa D’Amato, Tamás Deutsch, Christian Doleschal, Francesca Donato, Raffaele Fitto, Chiara Gemma, Cristian Ghinea, Mircea-Gheorghe Hava, Manolis Kefalogiannis, Ondřej Knotek, Constanze Krehl, Elżbieta Kruk, Cristina Maestre Martín De Almagro, Pedro Marques, Martina Michels, Andżelika Anna Możdżanowska, Niklas Nienaß, Andrey Novakov, Younous Omarjee, Alessandro Panza, Tsvetelina Penkova, Caroline Roose, André Rougé, Vincenzo Sofo, Susana Solís Pérez, Irène Tolleret

Substitutes present for the final vote

Katalin Cseh, Lena Düpont, Alexandra Geese, Hannes Heide

 

 

 

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

38

+

ECR

Raffaele Fitto, Elżbieta Kruk, Andżelika Anna Możdżanowska

GUE/NGL

Martina Michels, Younous Omarjee

ID

Mathilde Androuët, André Rougé

NI

Rosa D’Amato, Chiara Gemma

PPE

Pascal Arimont, Isabel Benjumea Benjumea, Tom Berendsen, Franc Bogovič, Tamás Deutsch, Christian Doleschal, Lena Düpont, Mircea‑Gheorghe Hava, Manolis Kefalogiannis, Andrey Novakov

RENEW

Stéphane Bijoux, Katalin Cseh, Cristian Ghinea, Ondřej Knotek, Susana Solís Pérez, Irène Tolleret

S&D

Adrian‑Dragoş Benea, Erik Bergkvist, Andrea Cozzolino, Corina Crețu, Hannes Heide, Constanze Krehl, Cristina Maestre Martín De Almagro, Pedro Marques, Tsvetelina Penkova

VERTS/ALE

François Alfonsi, Alexandra Geese, Niklas Nienaß, Caroline Roose

 

 

3

0

ID

Francesca Donato, Alessandro Panza, Vincenzo Sofo

 

Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

 : against

0 : abstention

 

 

LETTER OF THE COMMITTEE ON FISHERIES

Mr Cristian‑Silviu Buşoi

Chair

Committee on Industry, Research and Energy

BRUSSELS

Subject: Opinion on a New Industrial Strategy for Europe (2020/2076(INI))

Dear Mr Chair,

Under the procedure referred to above, the Committee on Fisheries has been asked to submit an opinion to your committee. At its meeting of 12 June 2020, the committee decided to send the opinion in the form of a letter.

The Committee on Fisheries calls on the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution.

Yours sincerely,

Pierre Karleskind

 

SUGGESTIONS

A. whereas the new industrial strategy for Europe, published by the Commission on 10 March 2020 (COM(2020)0102), aims to set an ambitious European regulatory framework to fully unleash the potential of European industry in order to achieve the EU’s ecological and digital transition while fostering its international competitiveness;

B. whereas the fisheries and aquaculture sectors and their entire value chains are composed of numerous SMEs and support thousands of jobs, making them an integral part of European industry which must consequently contribute to and benefit from the digital and ecological transition;

C. whereas in its resolution of 16 January 2018 on international ocean governance: an agenda for the future of our oceans in the context of the 2030 SDGs[13], Parliament called for a moratorium on deep-sea mining activities;

D. whereas the COVID-19 crisis has had a major impact on the fisheries and aquaculture sectors and on all related industries, from the fish trade to distribution and processing; whereas many fishers, fish farmers, processors, retailers and distributors have been forced to reduce or suspend their activities for public health reasons but also because of a sharp fall in demand for seafood and aquaculture products, especially due to the collapse of food service channels (HORECA); whereas this has had an impact on the entire fisheries industry, not only owing to the lack of raw materials but also because the industry has had to rapidly adapt its production methods to new sanitary measures in order to be able to maintain its activity and to provide basic goods for the population at such a critical time, and whereas producers and processors have been forced to identify new suppliers and find alternative market outlets;

1. Considers that the fisheries and aquaculture sectors, their entire value chains and any other sectors linked to them must be included in the new industrial strategy for Europe in order to ensure that they contribute to and benefit from the ecological and digital transitions, taking account of the specific characteristics of these sectors, and in order to improve their competitiveness and economic stability; stresses the key role of the fisheries and aquaculture sectors in securing the Union’s industrial and food autonomy;

2. Calls for a new industrial strategy for Europe that contributes to the ecological and digital transition of the fisheries and aquaculture sectors and other industries related to the fisheries and aquaculture ecosystems, and that reduces their ecological footprint and their impact on biodiversity;

3. Calls on the Commission to include the fisheries and aquaculture sectors, including distribution and processing, in the Union’s recovery plan, which must be implemented together with the introduction of ambitious industrial, environmental and digital policies; recalls the importance of the fisheries and aquaculture sectors in terms of jobs, including highly qualified jobs, and income for many coastal areas and communities;

Ecological transition

4. Stresses the importance of giving the maritime sectors, and in particular fisheries, a significant role in the ecological transition by ensuring consistency between the Union’s maritime and fisheries policies and the European Green Deal’s objective of climate neutrality by 2050; calls on the Commission to set up an action plan for the decarbonisation of the maritime sectors that includes the fisheries sector, following an impact assessment; considers that the upgrading of ships to address contemporary challenges, and in particular to meet decarbonisation targets, will contribute to the creation of many new jobs; stresses the importance of effectively training shipyard employees to this end;

5. Calls for all stakeholders in the fisheries and aquaculture sectors to be involved in the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance as part of the hydrogen strategy presented by the Commissioner for Internal Market, Thierry Breton, on 9 July 2020;

6. Calls for an international moratorium on all deep-sea mining activities, as well as a prohibition of oil or gas exploration or drilling in or near Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and coastal areas, as requested in Parliament’s resolution of 16 January 2018, in order to protect the ocean’s ecosystems, fish populations and the future of the EU’s fisheries sector;

7. Stresses that the involvement of existing stakeholders such as fishers and fish farmers is a prerequisite for the implementation of an ambitious strategy for offshore renewable energies; recalls that consultations with the maritime and fisheries sectors and coastal communities on the sharing of maritime space are essential to the success of any such strategy; supports, under these conditions, the Commission’s initiative to set up a strategy for offshore renewable energies;

8. Stresses that the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) is ideally suited to supporting the ecological transition and that these sectors must receive adequate financial support to help them successfully achieve this transition;

Digital transition and innovation

9. Stresses the need to include the fisheries and aquaculture sectors in the digital transition; considers that the digital transition of these sectors will improve their competitiveness, resilience and sustainability and will enable the production of new data while facilitating data collection and access, as well as improving understanding of aquatic environments and marine biodiversity and knowledge of their evolution in real time;

10. Emphasises that a successful digital transition of the fisheries and aquaculture sectors will contribute to the improved functioning of the seafood market by better matching supply and demand and by optimising the supply chain in a sector marked by a stark geographical fragmentation of sources of supply;

11. Considers that the digitalisation of the fisheries and aquaculture sectors will make the control and traceability systems for fishery and aquaculture products more effective, will enhance the value of these products, will foster consumer trust and will contribute to the fight against illegal, unreported and undeclared (IUU) fishing; calls for the inclusion in the farm to fork strategy of a section dedicated to enhancing the value of fisheries and aquaculture products in order to support these sectors in the ecological and digital transition;

12. Considers that innovation must play an essential role in achieving the threefold objective of ecological transition, digital transition and global competitiveness for the fisheries and aquaculture sectors, and must in particular encourage the development of new, more selective and more ecological fishing techniques and equipment; stresses the importance of innovation and scientific research in these sectors with a view to achieving the sustainability objective of the common fisheries policy; considers that a proactive policy of training, funding and international partnerships to develop research for the exploitation of the sea is essential to the fostering of innovation in this sector;

13. Recalls that new technologies, data, space services and the potential of artificial intelligence can be used in the field of fisheries to support the ecological transition; stresses that these technologies make it possible to collect data which is very useful for fisheries control, management of marine resources and monitoring of marine litter;

14. Stresses that the digital transition of the fisheries and aquaculture sectors must be accompanied by adequate financial and technical support;

Trade policy

15. Stresses the importance of ensuring fair competition in international trade, in particular as regards fishery and aquaculture products; recalls that negotiations within the World Trade Organisation (WTO) are under way with a view to eliminating harmful subsidies that contribute to IUU fishing, overfishing and overcapacity; underlines that the Union fleet complies with the highest social and environmental standards in the world; calls on the Commission to do its utmost to reach an ambitious agreement in line with the Sustainable Development Goals within the WTO as soon as possible;

16. Calls on the Commission to ensure greater consistency and coherence between the EU’s trade and fisheries policies, in particular as regards the application of the sustainable development chapter of the new generation of trade agreements, which obliges the parties to collaborate actively in the fight against IUU fishing; supports the initiative to establish the new position of trade agreement compliance officer responsible for ensuring compliance with and monitoring of all the provisions of trade agreements;

17. Urges the Commission to carefully assess the impact of free trade agreements on the EU fisheries and aquaculture sectors as well as on the EU processing industry and coastal communities; calls on the Commission to include fishery and aquaculture products on the list of ‘sensitive products’ during trade negotiations with third countries;

State aid and financing

18. Stresses the need to revise the European rules on State aid, in particular as regards the amount of the de minimis aid ceiling for fisheries and aquaculture, so that it corresponds to the amount of the de minimis aid ceiling granted to other sectors; believes that increasing the de minimis aid ceiling for these products will help to fully unlock the investment potential of the fisheries and aquaculture sectors in the ecological and digital transition and in innovation;

19. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to support appropriate funding for the fisheries and aquaculture sectors in order to support them in these ecological and digital transitions, in particular through the revised sustainable financing strategy; recalls that Parliament has called for a substantial increase in the EMFF for the 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework.

 

 

 

OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON LEGAL AFFAIRS (18.9.2020)

for the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy

on a New Industrial Strategy for Europe

(2020/2076(INI))

Rapporteur for opinion: Gilles Lebreton

PA_NonLeg

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Legal Affairs calls on the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

A. whereas the new industrial strategy for Europe must reflect the EU’s values and social market traditions and bring about its sovereignty;

B. whereas a further updated European intellectual property policy will help to strengthen the EU’s technological and digital sovereignty, with intellectual property rights determining market value and the competitiveness of European companies, such as through brands, designs, patents, data, know-how and algorithms;

C. whereas Article 107 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union provides that certain State aid may be considered compatible with the internal market if it promotes the execution of an important project of common European interest;

1. Notes that the Commission’s proposal on a new industrial strategy was published at the very beginning of the COVID-19 crisis and has since been complemented by a further package of recovery measures for Europe’s industry and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); notes that the strategy focuses on business recovery in a first phase and reconstruction and transformation in a second phase;

2. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to maximise the potential of the Just Transition Fund in order to promote investments in new sustainable employment opportunities and implement cross-cutting educational, training and vocational policies and programmes aimed at supporting the upskilling and reskilling of workers, job seekers and people outside the labour market, while ensuring equal access to all without discrimination;

3. Considers that the EU requires a clear, industry-oriented vision for 2030 and should keep in mind that coordinated decisions and action are needed at all levels – European, national and local – to safeguard the overall competitiveness of European industry;

4. Notes that the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic crisis have made it necessary to revise unrealistic EU climate targets, particularly in sectors such as industry and energy;

5. Notes that the COVID-19 crisis has had a profound economic and social impact, especially on women; calls on the Commission to address the persistent gender inequalities across the EU by carrying out gender impact assessments in all investments and policy decisions relating to the EU’s industrial strategy and by adopting measures to guarantee equal opportunities and access to the labour market, eradicate the gender pay gap and ensure a gender balance at all levels of decision-making;

6. Notes that this crisis has demonstrated the need for the EU to adjust its industrial strategy by strengthening the defence of its strategic interests without abandoning international trade and to update certain provisions, going beyond the opportunities provided by the Regulation on the screening of foreign direct investments[14]; believes that the EU must strike the right balance between protecting its markets and keeping them open, while defending fair competition rules at a global level;

7. Highlights the significant role played by public procurement in shaping the trajectory of European industry and stresses that enforcing the principles of reciprocity between the Member States and non-EU countries and a level playing field for EU and non-EU companies and their products, for example regarding State aid, environmental rules and child labour, should be a precondition for participating in public procurement tenders throughout the EU; underlines the necessity of further simplifying public procurement procedures for EU companies and the governments of the Member States;

8. Believes that the rules that govern competition in the EU should be modernised to suit both the European single market and the global economic context, with a view to enabling ‘European champions’ to emerge and to compete and succeed globally, and to supporting the EU and its Member States to maintain technological leadership, gain digital and technological sovereignty, and block hostile takeovers of strategic EU companies by non-EU states or actors backed by those states;

9. Stresses that the EU’s labour market must be at the heart of its future industrial strategy; points out that any industrial transformation, in addition to economic aspects, should focus on retaining and creating employment;

10. Advocates an assessment of the economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis within individual sectors so that industrial strategy can be adapted on the basis of proven facts;

11. Emphasises that major and sustained investment in higher professional education, in particular in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects, will be key to stimulating digital innovation, producing a skilled workforce and reducing skills mismatches between job opportunities and jobseekers;

12. Takes the view that the important projects of common European interest should emphasise those projects linked to the digital single market in order to bring together the public and private sector for large-scale ventures that contribute to the EU’s objectives, thereby encouraging the development of important collaborative projects which promote common European interests such as the digital transformation; welcomes an overhaul of the Commission’s guidelines in this regard;

13. Believes that the creation of a European data economy will be essential in shaping the industrial strategy for Europe; stresses that a European data economy should be human-centric, respect fundamental rights and be in compliance with privacy rules, data protection and intellectual property rights;

14. Stresses the importance of a European single market for data that addresses the challenges arising from a significant increase in the amount of data that is legally available; stresses that individuals, employees and companies in Europe should retain control over their data with the aid of secure data infrastructure and trusted value chains; considers it vital that the industrial strategy includes measures to build sovereign digital infrastructures and to encourage companies to store and process their data on European soil;

15. Considers it essential to promote data sharing amongst public administrations, businesses, research institutes and the public, while respecting data protection and privacy rules, trade secrets and intellectual property rights;

16. Welcomes the Commission’s announcement to propose an intellectual property action plan, which will assess the need to upgrade the legal framework in order to ensure a smart use of intellectual property rights for artificial intelligence (AI) and address the issue of counterfeited products; stresses that the purpose of such an action plan should be to uphold Europe’s sovereignty and promote a global level playing field for the protection of intellectual property rights;

17. Stresses that the digital transformation will be a key driver for Europe to regain its technological and digital sovereignty and must therefore be at the heart of a new industrial strategy for Europe;

18. Considers that one of the strategic objectives should be to propose measures encouraging the development and relocation of industrial production in strategic sectors such as health, defence, digital and energy in order to ensure that the EU is not overly dependent on third countries and to help it to regain autonomy in these strategic sectors, at least in relation to essential goods such as active pharmaceutical ingredients and raw materials;

19. Stresses the need for the EU to have a trade, economic and industrial policy capable of adapting and diversifying its sources of supply as required, and for European companies to be encouraged to be flexible and capable, when needed, of urgently reorienting their production towards vital products; supports and promotes, in this regard, the need to adopt a range of measures to encourage and support SMEs in accessing and developing within the internal market;

20. Points out the persistent disparities in the levels of economic development of the Member States and regions; emphasises the need to use the measures planned for rebuilding Europe’s industrial potential to even out these disparities, as an essential condition for the balanced development of the EU;

21. Stresses that Member States should be encouraged to build up sufficient stocks of certain items of emergency equipment, such as equipment needed to prevent and combat COVID-19, especially FFP2 masks and surgical masks; welcomes, in this respect, the Commission’s rescEU initiative, which aims to create European added value through the coordinated procurement and distribution of emergency equipment;

22. Calls on the Commission to include in the strategy solutions and financial and legal incentives for the European pharmaceutical industry with a view to preventing medicine shortages;

23. Stresses that imported products must comply with EU safety, environmental and health standards and intellectual property law; calls on the Commission to tackle the imbalance between EU and non-EU companies, which do not have to comply with EU environmental and labour safety regulation and are often subject to lower taxation;

24. Considers it of paramount importance to establish an EU framework on mandatory due diligence on human rights and the environment so as to ensure effective judicial remedies for the victims of corporate abuse in global value chains; welcome the Commission’s commitment to submit a legislative proposal in this regard;

25. Points out that further strengthening the single market and removing existing administrative and legal barriers to free competition within the EU should be priorities in the actions taken to create a new industrial strategy for Europe;

26. Stresses that the environmental priority set out in the Commission’s ‘European Green Deal’ should incentivise the EU to promote its own development of ‘green’ technologies and to introduce a carbon tax at its external borders;

27. Stresses that the Commission should continue to play a leading role in global industrial policy in the future and should therefore pursue an ambitious policy which incentivises and stimulates innovation in digitisation and prosperous technologies such as AI, robotics, and quantum and high performance computing, whose success is highly dependent on active support for investment, support for the establishment of own resources and alterations to the regulatory environment, in particular the establishment of a ‘Buy European Act’ for public procurement;

28. Stresses that AI has a key role to play in the European economic recovery that is urgently needed after the COVID-19 pandemic; calls on the Commission, therefore, to refrain from excessive regulation and to reduce the administrative burden when creating a legal framework for AI, in order to avoid slowing the pace of innovation and the economic growth of European businesses;

29. Points out that the EU has the scientific and economic potential to play a leading role in the global technological race, particularly in areas such as AI, big data technologies, and machine learning systems;

30. Stresses that a small number of digital service providers enjoy a dominant position in the EU and, by skilfully shifting their profits, are paying relatively little tax; calls on the Member States, therefore, in the absence of the preferred international solution through the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, to provide for a European digital tax for the digital economy to ensure fair competition within the digital single market;

31. Points out that the digitisation of public administration could help to significantly reduce bureaucracy for individuals and businesses; calls on the Member States, therefore, to take steps to structure their legal frameworks in such a way that the potential of such digitisation can be fully exploited;

32. Emphasises that new digital technologies such as the internet of things are changing the face of industry and that the ongoing technological revolution can play an essential role in building a modern and energy-efficient European economy;

33. Notes that SMEs play an important role in the European industrial transformation, particularly those working in the domain of new technologies; emphasises the need for continuous support for SMEs through adequate financial support and the provision of preferential competitive conditions in the digital market, where large multinational companies from outside the EU continue to dominate; points out that the proposed provisions on copyright, access to data and innovation should take into account the fact that companies with such radically different market positions have greatly differing degrees of potential;

34. Points out that according to the Commission’s report from January 2020 on the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights in third countries, intellectual property theft, in particular by China and India, is causing significant harm to European businesses; calls for the EU and its Member States, therefore, to adopt a coordinated, efficient and effective approach in the fight against intellectual property crime;

35. Points out that a number of sectors have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and that the industrial strategy should therefore include special measures, such as postponing measures already adopted that are placing an additional burden on these sectors;

36. Calls on the Commission to publish its intellectual property action plan as soon as possible, as it could be a crucial tool for safeguarding Europe’s technological sovereignty, promoting fair global competition, improving the fight against intellectual property theft, and adapting the legal framework for intellectual property to environmental and digital challenges and opportunities;

37. Calls on the Commission to incorporate within the intellectual property action plan measures to promote the single European patent and to propose measures to prevent the abuse of patent rights by non-practising entities, with a view to creating an efficient and well-balanced patent system in the service of a competitive and fair European internal market;

37. Calls for the new industrial strategy to take into account the specific needs of less technologically advanced industrial regions, which depend heavily on solid fossil fuels and are most affected by the energy transition; stresses the need to consider the risk of job losses posed by the industrial transformation and to ensure that workers have the appropriate level of qualifications and digital competence;

38. Points out that business insolvencies often trigger a number of knock-on insolvencies and therefore welcomes the Commission’s proposal for a temporary Solvency Support Instrument; calls on the Commission and the Member States to consider further suitable measures and legislative initiatives to prevent businesses from becoming insolvent through no fault of their own.

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

10.9.2020

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

14

4

2

Members present for the final vote

Manon Aubry, Gunnar Beck, Geoffroy Didier, Angel Dzhambazki, Ibán García Del Blanco, Jean-Paul Garraud, Esteban González Pons, Mislav Kolakušić, Gilles Lebreton, Karen Melchior, Jiří Pospíšil, Franco Roberti, Marcos Ros Sempere, Liesje Schreinemacher, Stéphane Séjourné, Raffaele Stancanelli, Marie Toussaint, Adrián Vázquez Lázara, Axel Voss, Marion Walsmann, Tiemo Wölken, Lara Wolters, Javier Zarzalejos

Substitutes present for the final vote

Heidi Hautala, Emil Radev

 

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

14

+

EPP

Geoffroy Didier, Esteban González Pons, Jiří Pospíšil, Emil Radev, Axel Voss, Marion Walsmann, Javier Zarzalejos

RENEW

Karen Melchior, Liesje Schreinemacher, Adrián Vázquez Lázara

ID

Gunnar Beck, Jean‑Paul Garraud, Gilles Lebreton

NI

Mislav Kolakušić

 

4

RENEW

Stéphane Séjourné

VERTS/ALE

Heidi Hautala, Marie Toussaint

GUE/NGL

Manon Aubry

 

2

0

ECR

Angel Dzhambazki, Raffaele Stancanelli

 

Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

 : against

0 : abstention

 

[5] OJ C 334, 19.9.2018, p. 124.

[6] OJ C 307, 30.8.2018, p. 163.

[7] OJ C 11, 12.1.2018, p. 55.

[8] OJ C 215, 19.6.2018, p. 21.

[9] OJ C 238, 6.7.2018, p. 28.

[10] OJ C 482, 23.12.2016, p. 89.

[11] https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Educational_attainment_statistics#Level_of_educational_attainment_by_sex

[13] OJ C 458, 19.12.2018, p. 9.

[14] OJ L 79 I, 21.3.2019, p. 1.

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