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Updating the 2020 Industrial Strategy: Towards a Stronger Single Market for Europe's Recovery

On 5 May 2021, the Commission updates the EU Industrial Strategy to ensure that its industrial ambition takes full account of the new circumstances following the COVID-19 crisis and helps to drive the transformation to a more sustainable, digital, resilient and globally competitive economy.

The updated Strategy reaffirms the priorities set out in the March 2020 Communication, published the day before the WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic, while responding to the lessons learned from the crisis to boost the recovery and enhance the EU's open strategic autonomy. It proposes new measures to strengthen the resilience of our Single Market, especially in times of crisis. It addresses the need to better understand our dependencies in key strategic areas and presents a toolbox to address them. It offers new measures to accelerate the green and digital transitions. The updated Strategy also responds to calls to identify and monitor the main indicators of the competitiveness of the EU economy as a whole: single market integration, productivity growth, international competitiveness, public and private investment and R&D investment.

On 10 March 2020, the European Commission presented ‘A New Industrial Strategy for Europe’. It laid out a plan for how the EU’s world-leading industry could lead the twin green and digital transitions, drawing on the strength of its traditions, its businesses and its people to enhance its competitiveness. As this strategy designed before the pandemic, ECOPNET (European Cooperation & Partnership Network) very welcomes this crucial update that captures the real picture of Europe’s economy and industries under the negative effects of pandemic.

The SME dimension is at the core of the updated Strategy with tailored financial support and measures to enable SMEs and start-ups to embrace the twin transitions. The Commission intends to appoint Mr Vazil Hudák as the SME Envoy. His appointment is currently being finalised.

Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, responsible for A Europe Fit for the Digital Age, said: “Today's updated Industrial Strategy is about making sure our industries are equipped to drive the digital and green transformations of our economy while ensuring the competitiveness of our industries, also in the context of the recovery from the coronavirus crisis. This requires new investments now – in people, in technologies and in the right regulatory framework that guarantees fairness and efficiency. By supporting and extending the scope of key tools already at our disposal, we are today presenting our lessons learnt and reaffirming our commitment to work together with all economic actors from across Europe.”


The update of the 2020 Industrial Strategy was announced by President von der Leyen during the State of the European Union of September 2020. Today's Communication also responds to the call of EU leaders to pursue an ambitious European industrial policy to make its industry more sustainable, more green, more competitive globally and more resilient. The EU leaders also invited the Commission to identify strategic dependencies, particularly in the most sensitive industrial ecosystems such as for health, and to propose measures to reduce these dependencies.

This new Communication is accompanied by three Staff working Documents: Annual Single Market Report 2021 analysing the state of play of the European economy based on an assessment of 14 industrial ecosystems, evaluating the progress made in delivering the 2020 Industrial Package and presenting a set of key performance indicators to monitor further progress; an analysis on Europe's strategic dependencies and capacities with an in-depth review in a number of strategic areas; and a paper on competitive and clean European steel analysing the challenges for the industry and the EU Toolbox available.

Source: European Commission Press Corner


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