Efpia, the European federation of the pharmaceutical indutry associations, is among the more than ninety industrial associations that signed the “Joint Declaration on EU industrial strategy”. The document report about the difficult conditions the European manufacturing industry is facing and highlights its strong innovative potential and the high skills of its workforce.
According to the Declaration, between 2000 and 2014, the share of manufacturing in total EU output fell from 18.8% to 15.3%, while 3.5 million manufacturing jobs were lost between 2008 and 2014. The main threat comes from countries which are putting industry at the very top of their political agendas: some examples are the “Make in India” strategy and the “Made in China 2025” that seeks to turn China into the “leading manufacturing power”. Also the shift of the new US president Donald J. Trump towards “America First” will inevitably have a strong impact on their industrial policy, according to the industrial associations.
Despite reindustrialisation of Europe was one of the top priorities of the mandate of the newly insidiated European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, the concrete actions are still largely insufficient. The Declaration calls the European Commission to:
- reaffirm its commitment to reaching the target of 20% of GDP from industry, with an ambitious and realistic timeline;
- adopt an Action Plan to tackle the challenges that the industrial sectors are facing, in the framework of a Communication that would include concrete steps and milestones; and
- commit to implement this Action Plan in a timely manner and regularly report on progress.
The industry is ready, says the Declaration, to step up its cooperation with the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Competitiveness Council to define and implement this ambitious and coordinated European industrial strategy that will help safeguard the world leadership of European manufacturers and jobs in Europe.