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A new Industrial Strategy for a globally competitive, green and digital Europe

On March 10th 2020, the European Commission adopted an industrial policy package consisting of a New Industrial Strategy for Europe, an SME Strategy, a Report on single market Barriers and an Action Plan for Better Implementation and Enforcement of single market rules, and on March 12th 2020, a new Circular Economy Action Plan - one of the main blocks of the European Green Deal, Europe’s new agenda for sustainable growth.

As you know, the strategy responds to a request from the European Council and was a centre piece of President von der Leyen’s Political Guidelines.

This is the last major package of the von der Leyen Commission’s first 100 days in office and brings together all of the priorities we have focused on to date. In this spirit, the strategy aims to support industry to drive Europe’s competitiveness at a time of increasing global competition and to ensure it leads the twin green and digital transitions. In doing so, it focuses on what makes industry strong: its people, its social market traditions, its innovators and businesses small, medium and large. We need a European industrial policy based on competition, open markets, a global level playing field, world-leading research and technologies and a strong single market which brings down barriers and cuts red tape. The package sets out a number of measures to do this including better implementation and enforcement on single market rules, a review of competition rules to ensure they are fit for today’s economy, a strengthening of our trade defence instruments, and a reinforcement of our strategic autonomy – from defence and space, to pharmaceuticals and critical raw materials. There is also a strong focus on supporting industry towards climate neutrality and a more circular economy, as well as unlocking the investment, innovation and skills we need for the twin transitions. The strategy takes a co-design and entrepreneurial approach, notably with the launch of a new Clean Hydrogen Alliance, a focus on public private partnerships on Important Projects of Common European Interest.

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