What is it?
In June 2008, the Electra report was launched. Its aim was to determine what conditions needed to be met to ensure that the EU’s electrical engineering and electronics industry, one of Europe’s leading manufacturing and export sectors with an output in 2006 of some €320 billion and employing some 2.8 million people, should continue to grow, and at an even higher rate. Written by a team of experts from the electrical and electronics industry, CENELEC, the European Commission and the European Metalworkers’ Federation under the joint chairmanship of Mr. Günter Verheugen, the then Vice-President of the European Commission and Professor Edward G. Krubasik, former President of Orgalime, the Electra report was cited in the conclusions of the Competitiveness Council of May 2009 and, at the end of October in the same year, the European Commission issued a Communication ‘Electra’ (COM(2009)594 final) inspired by its recommendations.
In April 2012, there was a follow-up Electra report 'Electra II - The Smart World', where the electrical engineering and electronics industry aimed to:
- Briefly analyse the implementation of the first Electra report
- Look at those areas where progress has been achieved and those where more needs to be done.
- Outline the changes that have arisen following the 2008-2009 economic crash, as well as the impact of this on Europe’s electrical and electronics industry.
- Re-examine the societal challenges that Europe faces today and present proposals which are both supportive of European policies and ensure that the industry continues to grow and invest in Europe, in short making Europe smarter and more competitive.
Why is it important?
The electrical and electronics industry (EEI) is a key player in providing solutions for current and future issues which are vital for a developed economy: a reliable energy supply, energy efficient installations and buildings, a smart industrial production, green transportation, etc. The ‘Electra’ report identifies the areas to which this industry can significantly contribute while at the same time maintaining and improving its competitiveness in an increasingly difficult market.
Europe’s electrical engineering industry stands for approximately 200 000 mostly small and medium sized companies and a high degree of innovation. The ‘Electra’ report focuses on areas with growth potential to which the EEI can significantly contribute:
- Energy supply infrastructure
- Energy efficiency of buildings and transport networks
- Smart technologies to suit existing and future societal needs.
Manufacturing is Europe’s economic backbone. It has been in the past, it is today and it will be in the future. Today we are living in a world where distances are less and less relevant, and production of industrial and consumer goods and their product markets no longer require geographical closeness. Moreover, technological know-how now easily transgresses borders and quickly spreads across and between economies. The result is fierce global competition. Europe is part of this competitive environment.
As a matter of fact it has been a main driver and beneficiary of globalisation and must aim to continue to do so. Consequently, our focus has to be on maintaining and strengthening industrial competitiveness across the board, using the most comprehensive approach.
The Electra II report is comprehensive in analysing five key areas that require the full and urgent attention of policymakers, industry, stakeholders and the general public: infrastructures, cities, mobility, financing and industry, and by proposing recommendations for these areas to become smarter . It is obvious that a strong synergy between these areas exists and Electra II is an important initiative to realise this synergy in the best possible way.
How we’ve been engaged
Orgalime has been instrumental in driving both reports forward to fruition. Orgalime Presidents (past and present) have been involved in steering the content of these groundbreaking industrial policy reports. The Orgalime secretariat has supported the working groups and dealt with all design and communication aspects of the initiative. The next steps are to ensure that the recommendations are fed into the relevant overarching areas of the policy actions that are proposed by the European Commission. In July 2013, Orgalime launched a dedicated on-line platform for Electra - http://electra2020.eu/ - intended to be the 'one stop shop' on the issues covered by the reports.