You are here

The EESC Vice-President, Gonçalo Lobo Xavier, takes part in the Informal Meeting of the EU Ministers responsible for competitiveness in Sofia

The meeting on 1st and 2nd February is being held by the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU

"Europe needs a consistent industrial action plan, with common binding targets, timetables, instruments and a shared responsibility between the EU and Member States for tackling the four key challenges of the next ten years: digitalisation, climate change, globalisation and demographic change", said the EESC vice-president is his keynote speech to ministers and representatives of all EU Member States, as well as Switzerland and Norway, and the Committee of the Regions . The European Commission is represented at the forum by the Commissioner for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Elżbieta Bieńkowskа. "Europe wants to lead by example in having a manufacturing industry which protects workers' rights, preserves the environment and invests in innovation. However, all this has significant costs, which are reflected in the price of its products. If the EU wants to guarantee fair trading conditions for its industry, it must ensure that global products entering its market abide by the same rules. This was the key message of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)'s opinion on A Comprehensive approach to industrial policy ", Mr Lobo Xavier further stressed. The opinion, which had been requested by the Bulgarian Presidency, was adopted at the January plenary session in Brussels.

During the meeting on 1st and 2nd February, the participants will focus on the future of European industrial policy and the key factors which will shape industry until 2030 at global and European level. They will also discuss the common goals and key priorities for the new industrial strategy to ensure the competitiveness of European industry in today's world.

The Informal Meeting of the EU Ministers responsible for competitiveness is divided into two sections, with the ministers in charge of industry meeting today and the ministers responsible for research meeting tomorrow.