Reports 2016

Making European industry competitive – What really matters?

29 November 2016

It is widely acknowledged that the EU needs to enhance its industrial competitiveness. However, assessing how this should be done is a source of debate. With the support of BusinessEurope and Assolombarda, this Policy Dialogue reflected on the state of play on Europe’s industrial base, as well as on the barriers to and drivers for industrial competitiveness. The debate began with a presentation by Assolombarda of their recent study ‘The performance of European firms: a benchmark analysis’, which compares some of the key industrial regions in Europe and the structural drivers of industrial competitiveness. A panel of stakeholders, policymakers and experts then talked about how European businesses could increase their industrial competiveness and what more the EU could do to support them. Major points of discussion were the potential, and possible pitfalls, of innovation, internationalisation, energy, and digitalisation; the need for reforms in the labour market; and the inclusion of social policies in devising a European strategy for the industry sector.

Speakers included: Annika Hedberg, Senior Policy Analyst, European Policy Centre, Carlo Altomonte, Senior Fellow Bruegel / Associate Professor, Bocconi University, Tomasz Husak, Head of Cabinet of Elżbieta Bieńkowska, European Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Alexandre Affre, Director Industrial Affairs, BusinessEurope, Henna Virkkunen, Member of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, European Parliament, Martin Porter, Director, Industrial Innovation and Head for Industrial Innovation for Competitiveness (i24c), Michele Angelo Verna, Director General, Assolombarda