EU economy ministers discuss the future of European industrial policy
Informal meeting of competitiveness ministers takes place in Vienna under the motto “Rethinking European Industry” with focus on innovation, digitalisation, artificial intelligence and professional education.
Vienna – As part of the informal meeting of competitiveness ministers, the economy and industry ministers from the 28 EU member states met in Vienna on Monday 16 July 2018 to discuss the future of European industrial policy. Held under the motto “Rethinking European Industry”, the event focused on innovation, digitalisation, artificial intelligence and professional education. “Industry is responsible for securing, both directly and indirectly, 52 million jobs in Europe. It is important to highlight once again the significance of European industry policy. It is our vision to achieve an innovative and digital industrial policy that makes good use of the potential of highly trained skilled workers and new developments such as artificial intelligence (AI). Only an innovative Europe can remain competitive”, the chair of the meeting, Austrian Federal Minister Margarete Schramböck, said.
Threefold approach for a new industrial policy
Following on from the work of the preceding Estonian and Bulgarian presidencies, the Austrian Presidency wishes to make a significant contribution to a European industrial strategy post 2030. In order to raise awareness of a new – innovative and digital – industrial policy, the ministers attending the meeting in Vienna agreed on a threefold approach:
- boost innovation: focussing on Europe’s substantial competitive advantage by strengthening the innovation principle
- make good use of digitalisation: recognising and harnessing the major potential of artificial intelligence (AI) as well as using digitalisation to reindustrialise Europa
- build on skills: remaining prepared for the future with highly qualified skilled workers
Concrete measures during the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the EU
The informal meeting of competitiveness ministers brought together not only representatives from the 28 EU member states, but also from Switzerland, Norway, the European Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions as well as business representatives. The discussions and results of the meeting will form the basis of a presidency paper on the future vision for a new industrial policy. The Austrian Presidency is also planning concrete progress at EU level, such as proposals for a monitoring mechanism for the implementation of European industrial policy as well as for effective governance structures. The objective is to develop a long‑term vision for a strong and successful joint industrial policy as a legacy for the future EU Commission.
Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs (BMDW)