The external dimension of European industrial policy – is the EU's trade policy really taking the interests of European industry into account?

The Committee calls upon the EU urgently to adopt jointly-agreed, consistent measures to define an integrated strategy for the external dimension of industrial policy which ensures a leading role for the EU in the area of trade and a common approach in multilateral and bilateral trade agreements.

The EESC believes that it is crucial to have equal rules for all players.

The Committee considers the following to be necessary:

• to establish a common framework for "enhanced European governance" in order to harness the potential of the Single Market with a view to boosting European industry internationally;
• to speak with one voice at international level;
• to establish consistent action on the part of the Member States.

It is in the interests of European companies that, with clear and transparent protection, the following should be included in bilateral agreements and discussions: social standards, providing decent working conditions in accordance with international conventions; environmental protection standards; limits on the use of environmental resources; energy saving and climate protection standards; the widespread use of the ecolabel; a culture of EMAS certification; compliance with technical regulatory standards; protection of industrial and intellectual property; effective instruments for trade protection and for access to markets and strategic raw materials; with regards to resource management concerns from civil society on both sides; initiatives to support the activities of SMEs in third countries; systems of social dialogue and monitoring by civil society, including through ex ante and ex post impact assessments; and a high degree of consumer protection.