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"Global supply chains have proven their worth"


03 May 2021


Global Europe
New EU Industrial Strategy

The new European industrial strategy emphasizes the importance of open markets and global partnerships. This is the right way to go. This is because the approach of strategic autonomy, which the EU Commission originally sought, would slow down the transformation to sustainability.

Brussels/Frankfurt, 3 May 2021 - "We support the fact that the EU, with its new industrial strategy, is orienting itself more towards open markets again," says VDMA Executive Director Thilo Brodtmann. "With a one-sided focus on autonomy, the EU would draw the wrong lesson from the Corona crisis. There have been disruptions in supply chains due to the pandemic. But finally, it has been shown that with trade and cooperation we can get through the crisis better," Brodtmann emphasizes.

Retreating into its shell would be the wrong way to go for the EU

From VDMA's point of view, it is right to identify the EU’s strategic weaknesses and to address one-sided dependencies in certain technologies or precursor products. But this is not enough. Rather, an overarching strategy must also promote the strengths of the European industry. "Retreating into its shell is the wrong way to preserve the European model of prosperity and to change towards sustainability. What we need right now is an expansion of trade relations and Europe being a competitive location for all companies," says Brodtmann and demands: "Instead of promoting individual industries, innovation-friendly framework conditions must be created that enable companies to be innovative, sustainable and globally competitive."

Export markets have contributed to the recovery

From the perspective of the mechanical engineering industry, global supply chains entail risks, but the opportunities outweigh them in order to make the industry more resilient. "Globally diversified supply chains in particular can compensate for single disruptions," says the VDMA Executive Director. "This applies not only to supplies to the EU, but also to exports. Export-oriented sectors like mechanical engineering have shown how important open markets are for economic recovery."

A strong EU internal market as the core of any industrial strategy  

From VDMA's point of view, it is right that the industrial strategy puts the EU's internal market at its center and wants to strengthen it. And there is still a lot of homework to be done here: "For example, the EU wants to finally achieve a solution for the issue of posting of workers. This is good news for our companies!"