EU 2020 STRATEGY - An Agenda for European Manufacturing in a changing world

Date

18 Jan 2010

Sections

Sustainable Dev.
Euro & Finance
Climate & Environment

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Restoring sustainable economic growth, speeding up the move towards a more environmentally responsible economy and addressing demographic change need to remain the key focal points of the European Union and its Member States. CEEMET1 and its national members are committed to strive for a sustainable, innovative and competitive manufacturing industry and see a wealth of opportunities for manufacturers in the future.

Manufacturers will continue to play a central role in the EU economy as they are also part of the solution to the major challenges facing Europe. However, the right framework conditions need to be in place to maintain and further strengthen a competitive European industrial base with the following key priorities addressed:

1. A skilled workforce – more important than ever to compete in the global marketplace

In the post-crisis economy, many of the jobs in the metal, engineering and technology-based (MET) sector will ,require new skills, with manufacturers playing a central role in providing Europe with technological solutions to the triple challenges of climate change, energy security and demographic change. Companies will need highlyqualified people to meet these challenges. To achieve this and address the current qualitative and quantitative shortage of skills, lifelong learning needs to become a reality as well as a mindset. Further, improved two-way communications between education and industry involving all stakeholders is necessary to achieve quality and innovation in education, up-to-date guidance and education, allowing workers and companies to adapt to changes in technology and methods of working.

2. Safeguarding and promoting flexibility within labour markets - a precondition for economic growth and social development within a well-functioning European Single Market

Social policies are a vital part of the framework in which companies operate. Flexible labour markets allowing the speedy and efficient deployment of workers are vital if European companies are to respond to the increasing pressures of global competition. Employment legislation must facilitate the flexible work arrangements, both externally and internally, that are increasingly being sought by both employers and individuals. Flexicurity needs to be the underlying concept for the employment and social policies of the European Union and all Member States to improve the adaptability of workers and companies, shifting the focus from job protection to employment security.

The European Single Market is a success story that must be supported by all actors. In an increasingly consolidated European Single Market, national industrial relations and collective bargaining systems have to be able to adapt to reflect local needs and circumstances. CEEMET is convinced that supporting these national developments with European social dialogue, fully respecting the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality, can increase understanding and dialogue between the social partners – an important factor for the successful future of our industry.

3. Increasing productivity and creating new products and businesses supported by innovation and research & development

If European industry is to compete in the global market, CEEMET is convinced that a comprehensive and “needs driven” European R&D policy is pivotal, allowing entrepreneurship to flourish.

4. Better regulation and ensuring adherence to the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality

CEEMET strongly supports the EU’s Better Regulation agenda and welcomes the appointment of the High Level Group on Administrative Burdens. Reducing red-tape and administrative burdens produced by existing legislation and new European initiatives is necessary by rigorously implementing the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality All parts of the impact assessment process need to be improved including using the specific knowledge and expertise that employers have on the practical implications of planned legislation.

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