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EUROPEAN COUNCIL : TIME NOT YET RIPE FOR INDUSTRIAL COMPACT', SAY BUSINESSES.

Industrial competitiveness has been very high on the EU's agenda lately. Even though the situation in Ukraine overshadowed discussions about industrial policy, the EU's leaders addressed the issue at their summit, on 20-21 March. On the table is the European Commission's call for an "industrial renaissance". While all the member states endorse the strategy, certain countries are reluctant to progress with the implementation of a common European industrial policy.

Businesses and trade unions doubt that the member states are willing to sign up to a so-called industrial compact'. "If the Commission and member states could come around and create such a compact, I would be pleased," confided to Europolitics Environment Leif Johansson, CEO of Ericsson and chair of the European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT). "But I don't see it happening," he added.

Gerhard Huemer, policy director at UEAPME, the European Association of Craft, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, shares Johansson's pessimism. "I think there will be a broad majority of member states which will support the re-industrialisation strategy. But will they take the necessary next steps?" Huemer thinks there is a "huge risk" that the member states will not implement the strategy extensively. "The communication on industrial renaissance and positive conclusions by the European Council alone will not speed up the reform process," he added. Asked about

the industrial compact', Huemer was likewise reserved: "We don't expect too much out of this compact. There is a compact for growth, and nothing happened. Why should the implementation of an industrial compact be faster?"

Meanwhile, the trade unions point to the absence of a social dimension in the current approach to industrial policy. Their concern is shared by several member states, namelyaFrance, Italy, Greece and even Germany, according to Luc Triangle, deputy general secretary of the trade union federation IndustriAll Europe. "What we need is a coherent industrial policy. Are they ready for it? I cannot judge. We need to move from nice communications to concrete action plans, involving member states and all directorates-general of the Commission."

Energy state aid targeted

The draft guidelines on environmental and energy state aid risk "containing the ability of member states to determine their national energy policy". In a joint letter sent to Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia ahead of the next European Council meeting, energy ministers from four member states - Germany, France, Italy and the UK - express their concerns about the draft guidelines on environmental and energy aid for 2014-2020, presented for public consultation in December 2013. The document is available at<ARTICLE id='353269' type='sujet'><ENTETE><SURTITRE>European Council</SURTITRE><TITRE>Time not yet ripe for a industrial compacta , say businesses</TITRE></ENTETE><SIGNATURE>ByAaFranAs.ois Paquay</SIGNATURE><TEXTE><PARA><BOLD>Business lobbies and trade unions doubt the political will to build a common industrial policy</BOLD></PARA><PARA>Industrial competitiveness has been very high on the EU's agenda lately. Even though the situation in Ukraine might overshadow discussions about industrial policy, the EU's leaders will address the issue at their upcoming summit, on 20-21 March. On the table is the European Commissiona s call for an 'industrial renaissance'. While all the member states will probably endorse the strategy, certain countries are reluctant to progress with the implementation of a common European industrial policy.</PARA><PARA>Businesses and trade unions doubt that the member states are willing to sign up to a so-called a industrial compacta . a If the Commission and member states could come around and create such a compact, I would be pleased,a confided to <ITAL>Europolitics </ITAL>Leif Johansson, CEO of Ericsson and chair of the European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT). a But I dona t see it happening,a he added.</PARA><PARA>Gerhard Huemer, policy director at UEAPME, the European Association of Craft, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, shares Johanssona s pessimism. a I think there will be a broad majority of member states which will support the re-industrialisation strategy. But will they take the necessary next steps?a Huemer thinks there is a a huge riska that the member states will not implement the strategy extensively. a The communication on industrial renaissance and positive conclusions by the European Council alone will not speed up the reform process,a he added. Asked about the a industrial compacta , Huemer was likewise reserved: a We dona t expect too much out of this compact. There is a compact for growth, and nothing happened. Why should the implementation of an industrial compact be faster?a </PARA><PARA>Meanwhile, the trade unions point to the absence of a social dimension in the current approach to industrial policy. Their concern is shared by several member states, namelyAaFrance, Italy, Greece and even Germany, according to Luc Triangle, deputy general secretary of the trade union federation IndustriAll Europe. a What we need is a coherent industrial policy. Are they ready for it? I cannot judge. We need to move from nice communications to concrete action plans, involving member states and all directorates-general of the Commission.a </PARA></TEXTE><ENCADRE><TITREENCADRE>Energy state aid targeted</TITREENCADRE><PARAENCADRE>The draft guidelines on environmental and energy state aid risk a containing the ability of member states to determine their national energy policya . In a joint letter sent to Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia ahead of the next European Council meeting, energy ministers from four member states a" Germany, France, Italy and the UK a" express their concerns about the draft guidelines on environmental and energy aid for 2014-2020, presented for public consultation in December 2013. The document is available at <a href='http://bit.ly/europolitics-docs-energy-state-aid'>http://bit.ly/europolitics-docs-energy-state-aid</a></PARAENCADRE></ENCADRE></ARTICLE>bit.ly/europolitics-docs-energy-state-aid
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Publication:Europe Environment
Date:Mar 21, 2014
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