The challenges of the European engineering industry (mechanical, electrical, electronic and metalworking) in a changing global economy

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.

To reach this, Europe must develop a clear vision and target for industry. This must lead to a coordinated policy with a clear focus on the competitiveness of the European industry that includes the other policy fields and makes Europe a more attractive place to set up business.

In order to generate new investments Europe must follow a strategy that keeps its industry at the forefront of technological innovation and at the same time, in order to reach the necessary volume of output and employment as a main tool of strengthening competitiveness, be more attractive for companies manufacturing mass production goods, both in the high and in the low and medium-tech ranges.

European research funding should be linked more to the industrial needs, involving companies at an early stage of the innovative process and supporting the creative engineering in SMEs in order to bring easier and faster new ideas to new products. Clusters joining manufacturing companies and research structures should be promoted and supported.

The EC should increase its efforts to make the life of European companies easier, especially for SMEs. New technical and administrative legislation should only be considered if its targets cannot be achieved otherwise.

Disadvantages, such as difficult access to finance, high energy costs or costs resulting from administrative burdens and legislation should be reduced by adopting a more consistent and predictable legislation.

Measures should be taken to attract the youth in technological professions with increasingly sophisticated machinery and services. Cooperation of companies with universities and schools, training and lifelong learning has to be encouraged.

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Infopack CCMI/110