EU trade unions and employers want ambitious EU industrial strategy

European employers and trade unions are jointly calling on the new European Commission and Parliament for a more proactive and ambitious EU industrial strategy. The European Trade Union Confederation, BusinessEurope, SMEunited and CEEP want to position European industry as a global leader that will responsibly deliver prosperity by creating value for the people and the planet. EU industrial policy must support the creation of more world-leading companies and technologies, able to compete across the globe, able to offer good employment and working conditions in industry and be in line with Europe’s climate and environmental commitments and ambitions.

At a joint event on 9 October in Brussels, trade unions and employers will jointly call on the European Union to help strengthen Europe’s sustainable industrial base:   

“Europe needs a sustainable industry” says Luca Visentini, ETUC General Secretary “that flourishes and continues to provide quality employment during the digital and ecological transition ahead. The goal is to shape a just and fair transition that does not leave anyone behind. It needs large-scale private and public investment for quality job creation, and for governments and the EU to work with unions and employers to anticipate and manage change.”

BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer said: “Digitalisation, climate change, the acceleration of the global innovation race. In all that, Europe’s industry is key to turn these challenges into opportunities. For this to happen, Europe needs a plan for its industry. It must be more proactive, more strategic and act faster than in the past.”

CEEP General Secretary Valeria Ronzitti said: “Europe’s future is intertwined with the future of our industry. We have a tremendous responsibility in building industrial policies that reconcile innovation for sustainability, investment, skills and competitiveness. I truly believe that social partnership is the best instrument for this transformation.”

SMEunited Secretary General Véronique Willems said: “A strong European industrial base cannot rely exclusively on a few multinational companies, but has to be built on the whole economic fabric, including SMEs. Social partners can contribute to finding the right balance between competitiveness and welfare. This can only be achieved by increasing productivity. Together, we have to aim for the transition to a digital and circular economy to become sustainable for the economy and the society at large.”