France and Germany put together a joint Manifesto aimed at creating a European industrial sector which is fit for the 21st century. The Manifesto takes into account the fast digitalization of the global economy and puts forward recommendations that will help keep Europe competitive globally.
France and Germany call for a genuine European industrial policy with clear objectives for 2030 and believe that EU Member States should pool their funding, skills and expertise in order to maintain Europe’s manufacturing power. Both countries believe this should be the next European Commission’s top priority.
According to the Manifesto, the future European industrial strategy should be built around three pillars.
First, Europe should massively invest in innovation so that Europe is the one that is creating, developing and producing new technologies. Therefore, it is necessary to create a European strategy for technology funding and a strong EU commitment to disruptive innovation. In addition, Europe should become a world leader in Artificial Intelligence and development of cutting-edge technologies. At the same time, financial markets should support innovation in industry.
Second, European regulatory framework needs to be adapted so that European companies can compete on the global stage. Currently, European companies face a massive disadvantage because there is no regulatory global playing field. This is a point which is also strongly emphasized in Ecommerce Europe’s recommendations for the 2019 European elections. France and Germany suggest updating current merger guidelines to take greater account of competition at global level.
Third, Europe needs to ensure effective protection of its technologies, companies and markets. This includes ensuring full implementation of the European foreign investment screening framework, an effective reciprocity mechanism for public procurement with third countries as well as defending multilateralism, open markets and promoting an ambitious EU trade policy. Finally, the Manifesto says that Europe must constantly monitor and adapt as necessary its trade policy to defend its strategic autonomy. This includes the modernization of the WTO rulebook to improve transparency and fight against trade distorting practices.