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A long term and visionary ‘European manufacturing strategy’ should set common goals and it should help mobilize public-private resources for the revival of the manufacturing industry.

CECIMO answered to European Commission’s online consultation on the 2012 review of the industrial policy flagship initiative and published a position paper recommending on priorities to help boost the EU’s manufacturing base.

CECIMO’s position paper highlights the key challenges to the EU’s machine tool industry and the manufacturing base in general and sets out key action priorities which can bring European manufacturing on a sustainable growth track.

CECIMO’s position paper underlines the main challenges to the machine tool industry and to European manufacturing as follows:


  • The euro zone crisis and its negative impact on market confidence and access to finance hampering manufacturing investments in Europe (weak demand)


  • Low investment rate in production machinery in Europe affecting innovation, industrial modernisation and the competitiveness of European manufacturing


  • Uncertainties about the global economy and eventual negative consequences for European exports


  • Obstacles to the internationalisation of SMEs and their expansion in international markets to tap into growth opportunities in emerging markets


  • System competition and the impact of industrial policies which are implemented by non-European  countries on the manufacturing industry (unfair competition & market access barriers)


  • Government budgets in the grip of the austerity crisis squeezing R&D funds required for innovation in manufacturing


  • Instability in EU regulatory framework owing to frequent changes in technical regulations and a lack of effective assessments about the impact of regulations on industry


  • The absence of highly skilled workforce in Europe to meet the present and future needs of the manufacturing industry


  • A lack of political commitment to the development of manufacturing in Europe and the absence of a clear strategy and vision on manufacturing

CECIMO calls for a European manufacturing strategy

Against this background, CECIMO calls on the EU to develop a European Manufacturing Strategy which addresses the afore-mentioned challenges in a holistic manner and ensures an effective implementation of measures in full solidarity with member states. An EU Manufacturing Strategy is a pre-requisite to set out a vision for the European manufacturing industry and to create an effective framework for the revival of manufacturing investments.

Manufacturing can provide solutions for societal challenges, stimulate the creation of new industries, boost competitiveness (through R&D investments which increase labour productivity), and drive economic growth and jobs creation.

long term and visionary European strategy for manufacturing, comprising concrete targets and goals, which announces political commitment and support for manufacturing in Europe is needed to engage all public and private actors to mobilise their resources for the revival and reinforcement of the manufacturing industry in Europe.

You can download CECIMO’s answer to the public consultation and the CECIMO’s position paper on the EU industrial policy by clicking here.

Background: the EU Industrial Policy Flagship and the 2012 review

The EU industrial policy flagship is one of the seven flagship initiatives mentioned in the Europe 2020 Strategy which are devised to foster smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in the EU.

The flagship initiative was launched in 2010 with the Commission Communication “An integrated industrial policy for the globalisation era” adopted by the European Commission on 28th October 2010. The flagship sets out a strategy to boost growth and jobs by maintaining and supporting a strong, diversified and competitive industrial base in Europe.

Currently, the Commission is preparing the 2012 review of the industrial policy communication, which is due September 2012. The Commission states that the new communication will focus on a limited number of new initiatives capable of delivering results to tackle the economic crisis in the short to medium term and on streamlining the implementation of the industrial policy strategy by tackling eventual shortfalls.

Author :
EurActiv Network