The European Union is the world's biggest producer of beet sugar and the principal importer of raw cane sugar for refining. EU sugar policy today is supported by three pillars: production quotas, a sugar reference threshold and trade measures (border protection). Production quotas will cease to exist as of 1 October 2017, which means that one of these pillars will fall. Another pillar – border protection – is looking increasingly shaky.
VERSLUMAS - Related Opinions
Europe has always played a key role in the innovation and development of personal care, body hygiene and beauty products. However its leading position has progressively been eroded in the process of global competition. While the innovative capacity of Europe’s specialised enterprises is very impressive, the production and commercialisation of European inventions have shifted to other parts of the world with serious economic and social consequences for Europe in terms of benefits, labour opportunities and incentives for research and development. To strengthen this particular branch of industry by appropriate strategies will lead to a major contribution to industrial reshoring and industrial development.
The EESC considers that a new vision is imperative in order to establish a European Standardisation System (ESS) able to adapt to constantly changing international circumstances and deliver increasing benefits to businesses, consumers, workers and the environment alike.
The EESC calls upon the Commission, the European Parliament and the Council to work together to hold an interinstitutional conference as soon as possible on the role of public-private technology partnerships in European reindustrialisation, with a view to the next R&I Framework Programme after 2020.
The proposal from the Commission is a welcomed step further in the creation of a Digital Single Market, but it's not a game-changer. More ambitious and well-defined proposals for a Digital Single Market in favour of consumers and companies, should be put forward.
Justified geo-blocking resulting from different Member States' industrial policies and diverging legislation is also damaging the development of SMEs and scale-ups operating in Europe. The EU should focus equally on the remaining obstacles in the Single Market that discourage or hamper traders from selling on-line and/or off-line across borders.
The EESC welcomes the 2015 Report and considers it fundamental to have a competition policy that ensures a level playing field in all sectors. Imports based on unfair competition constitute a danger to European businesses. Anti-dumping measures are essential to save jobs and protect the economy.
The EESC appreciates the coherent and ambitious strategic vision in industrial policy being displayed in the Communication and its focus on four key issues: (1) technologies and platforms; (2) standards and reference architectures; (3) geographic cohesion, embodied in a network of regional Innovation Hubs; (4) skills at all levels.