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Daniel Sarmiento
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10th March 2020
Consumer, Health & Environment Internal Market

European Commission publishes its ‘green and digital’ Industrial Strategy for Businesses

The European Commission has revealed today its Industrial Strategy. This will pursue the Commission’s aims for climate neutrality and digital leadership. 

The new Industrial Strategy has three key priorities: global competitiveness and a level playing field, climate neutrality by 2050, and moving forward with digitalisation. The specific measures will include:

  • an Intellectual Property Action Plan, 
  • ongoing review of EU competition rules, (but not more intensive than that)
  • a White Paper by mid-2020 in the field of subsidisation and public procurement (addressing unfair competition from Asia and abroad)
  • modernising and decarbonising energy-intensive industries, 
  • an Action Plan on Critical Raw Materials, 
  • a new EU Pharmaceutical Strategy, 
  • a Clean Hydrogen Alliance, (as part of the transition to a greener Europe)
  • green public procurement,
  • and more innovation, investment and skills, 
  • as well as systematic analysis of different industries.

It includes a package of initiatives which addresses small businesses (with a dedicated strategy for SMEs, including an interesting suggestion for an EU Start-up Nations Standard) and large businesses, as well as start ups, research centres, service providers, suppliers and social partners. The measures will include facilitating business across the single market and beyond and access to financing, and help with digital and green transitions.

There was also a drive for removing barriers to the Single Market: a broad range of obstacles were identified, and the root causes were seen to be restrictive and complex national rules, limited administrative capacities, and imperfect transposition of EU rules and inadequate enforcement of them. 

That was addressed by the Commission’s adoption of an ‘Action Plan for Better Implementation and Enforcement of single market rules’, which launches a Joint Task Force to strengthen cooperation on enforcement of single market rules. 

Read the Commission’s press release here.

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