What is it?
Europe’s engineering industry is a technology champion. Still, the world economy is changing permanently. At the moment, we are at the beginning of the 4th industrial revolution that will lead to the massive integration of ICT into the manufacturing process. This will lead to better, greener and more customised products. Our companies are at the heart of innovation through the technologies, equipment and systems which they develop and produce. Nevertheless, Europe can only profit from these new opportunities if the preconditions for our companies are in place.
Companies must be able to rely on a stable framework, including safe access to raw materials and energy, and reliable laws to be competitive and to create new jobs here in Europe. This includes creating the conditions for small and medium-sized enterprises to thrive and fostering a spirit of entrepreneurship which will see more European talent harnessed for wealth creation in Europe.
Why is it important?
A strong manufacturing base is indispensable for the European economy. This has been endorsed by the resilience of the European industrial sector in the financial and economic crisis, during which the manufacturing sector has continued to create wealth and new jobs.
This is why the EU has adopted the target to increase the industrial share of the EU economy to 20%. To reach this target, we need to create a legal framework where manufacturing companies can flourish and grow. For this, it is essential that the European Commission understands first-hand, exactly how this framework should be constructed. That information comes through organisations such as Orgalime.
Manufacturing is indeed Europe’s economic backbone. However, in recent decades investors preferred other economic areas, not only because growth rates were higher there. While those economies have been successful in attracting companies, European manufacturers have been suffering from ever changing, often incoherent, legislation, legal uncertainty, higher energy costs and wrong political agenda setting.
Only recently, European decision makers have understood the devastating effect this has had on investments, growth and job creation. Initiatives, such as the 'Europe 2020' growth strategy or the focus of the new Commission on creating additional investments point to the right direction. However, without the right framework conditions, these measures will fall short.
Sustainable regulation must aim to ensure the right framework that will once again allow companies, both from industry and from our customers and suppliers to manufacture competitively in the EU, attract investment and provide our citizens with jobs, thus underpinning the European model of social economy. We believe that to achieve this, certain core principles must be respected and we call on regulators to ensure that:
- New regulation shall only be adopted when absolutely needed
- The impact of new policies and regulation must be thoroughly assessed in advance
- Regulation once adopted must be respected and applied in the same way throughout Europe
- Regulation must take into account the competitive international environment ensuring that Europe’s position in global markets is not undermined
- Regulation must be more stable and predictable, taking into account manufacturing and product investment cycles
- Policies must be goal-oriented and not prescribe technologies
If these conditions are in place, Europe will once again be the place where future manufacturing has its home.
How we've been engaged
Orgalime has worked closely with the European Institutions and especially the European Commission in identifying what can be done, why it needs to be done and how to do in each of the 3 industrial sectors that we represent.
- Orgalime 2016 Vision Paper Update
- Speech by President Barroso 'Manufacturing a Stronger and Greener Europe' (28 Nov 12)
- DG Growth
- Manufacturing at Heart