German Dutch non-paper on Industrial Policy

Germany and the Netherlands today sent an open letter to the European Commission, presenting a non-paper on strengthening the competitiveness and sustainability of European Industry.

The European economy will change fundamentally over the coming decades. European industry, as a major driver of the European economy, needs responses to deal with the challenges ahead. Amongst a variety of trends from demographic changes to political insecurities industry’s most urgent task is to face digitization and climate change in a successful manner. Based on the findings and requests as mentioned in the Berlin Declaration of June 2017 we state again that we need a common and holistic European answer including measures of support and facilitation in order to turn these challenges into chances. What we need is an activating future-oriented industrial political strategy to guarantee a sustainable and competitive European industry in the future.

The 4th industrial revolution is on its way. Our support for key technologies and cross sectoral digital innovation like microelectronics, data technologies, battery cells, Internet of Things, cloud computing, robotics, artificial intelligence and 5G is of pivotal importance if we want to sustain competitiveness. The time to start is now!

Instigated by the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, the EU, including all European Member States, has committed to reduce CO2 emissions by 80-95% in 2050 compared to 1990 levels. To accomplish this ambitious goal in 2050, a gradual transition towards competitive low-carbon European energy-intensive industries should be realized. Leadership in developing and investing in new technologies will help create a worldwide competitive position in a future low-carbon economy. It is essential for the strategy to fully and equally balance the policy measures of investment, innovations and decarbonisation.