MEPs set out blueprint for a new Industrial strategy

  • Call on the Commission to come up with a revised industrial strategy
  • New strategy should include a post-COVID-19 recovery phase
  • Digital and environmental transitions must be addressed
  • Call to strengthen the EU’s industrial sovereignty and strategic autonomy

Parliament advocates a shift in the EU’s approach to industrial policy, to help businesses cope with the crisis and face the digital and environmental twin transitions.

In a report adopted on Wednesday with 486 votes in favour, 109 against, and 102 abstentions, MEPs call on the Commission to come up with a revised industrial strategy, as the original strategy, published in March 2020, coincided with the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic and came out before the Next Generation EU plan was set up. It could therefore not take into account the impact of the pandemic on European industries.

The new strategy should have two distinct phases, one focusing on recovery and the other on reconstruction and building resilience. The first should focus on maintaining the smooth functioning of the single market, mainly by recapitalising enterprises, saving jobs and adapting production to a post-COVID “new normal”. The second phase should aim to help reconstruct and transform European industry by pursuing the objectives of the twin transitions and reinforcing the EU’s industrial sovereignty and its strategic autonomy, which require a competitive industrial base and massive investment in research and innovation.

Managing the twin transitions: environmental and digital

MEPs stress that the new strategy should in particular help the EU achieve climate-neutrality, deliver on the European Green Deal, manage the twin green and digital transitions and create high-quality jobs.

It should contain a strong social pillar, address the social consequences of structural change and help hard hit regions to recover economically and socially.

MEPs also highlight the importance of a research-based European pharmaceutical industry to safeguard high-quality manufacturing and guarantee affordable medicines for all patients in need. They call again for a plan to mitigate the risk of medicine shortages.

“Our blueprint for a new and powerful industrial strategy shows that the European Parliament is committed to providing the EU with a vision for its industry that has been missing for too long”, said lead MEP Carlo Calenda (S&D, IT).