The European engineering industry (EI) plays a vital role in the economic recovery of Europe and the ambitious goal to increase the industrial output by 2020 to more than 20% of the GDP. However, more investment of companies is necessary to generate such growth, to reverse the current trend and to get people out of unemployment.
Comisión Consultiva de las Transformaciones Industriales (CCMI) - Related Opinions
The EESC considers the APS as a first step forward, recognising the steel sector as a strategically important sector for Europe and a motor for growth. It will be judged on the way it is implemented. Not only on medium and long term as foreseen but also on what practical measures will be immediately decided. The opinion makes specific immediate suggestions to ensure that the sector remains strategic for the European manufacturing industry and employment.
The Committee points out that despite it promising opportunities, the on-going crisis means that ship owners and SMRC shipyards are facing financing bottlenecks making business conditions difficult for companies and ever greater competition from third countries. SMRC sub-sector should work closely with the maritime value chain with the aim of raising its profile and obtaining support from the EU, the Member States and regions.
The strategic and geopolitical environment is rapidly and constantly evolving. The world’s balance of power is shifting as new centres of gravity are emerging and the US is rebalancing its strategic focus towards Asia. In this situation, Europe has to assume greater responsibilities for its security at home and abroad. To punch its weight, the EU needs to develop a credible CSDP. This evolution must be fully compatible with NATO and its principles.
Planned obsolescence is associated with a form of industrial production that relies on a minimum renewal rate for its products. Although product renewal is necessary, certain abuses need to be addressed. The EESC would like to see a total ban on products with built-in defects designed to end the product's life.
A coherent Industrial Policy requires far better governance – the EESC position. The EESC welcomes very much the focused attention to Europe's industry, as expressed in the Commission's update on Industrial policy of October 2012. The present opinion insists on a change of mind-set in the Member States (MS) and the EU Council. It stresses the need of coherent decision-making on a wide variety of issues, and effective governance at EU level. Only then industrial policy can become a building block of an EU Growth Initiative of which there is still little effective action.