Industry is vitally important for Europe’s regions and cities – as a source of 50 million jobs, exports and innovation. The rapporteur therefore uses this opinion to call for an industrial policy strategy at European level that responds to current and future challenges, opportunities and factors with regard to industrial competitiveness in a global context, and is of the opinion that this strategy should be shaped with a view to European industry in the medium term and should be further developed to focus on 2030 and beyond. Given that a well-functioning single market in goods and services can facilitate the integration of companies in global value chains, the rapporteur argues that its completion is essential for the success of Europe’s industry. Moreover, he recalls that the European market is more important than the global market for the regions adding that competitive business services are increasingly important intermediaries in terms of promoting the manufacturing industry’s productivity and cost competitiveness. Looking to the future, the rapporteur proposes that the leading role of European industry is enshrined as a goal in the ninth Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. In this regard, the CoR would like efforts to meet the target of spending 3% of GDP on R&D to be stepped up and for industry’s capacity for change and innovation to be strengthened by means of further thematic platforms for industrial modernisation. To conclude, the rapporteur underlines the centrality of regions and regional ecosystems, where the dialogue between SMEs, universities and research centres and local authorities is conducted effectively, to industrial modernisation and calls for a place-based approach to European industrial policy.

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