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EU industrial strategy must not forget markets and SMEs


10 Mar 2020


Innovation & Enterprise
Green, digital and fit for the world market: this is the path the EU Commission wants to take European industry down. Too much state intervention would be the wrong way to go.

Brussels/Frankfurt, 10th March 2020 – The EU's new industrial strategy gives renewed political attention to the concerns and competitiveness of enterprises. VDMA sees this as a good sign for future EU policy.

"The mechanical engineering industry provides the technologies and solutions for an environmentally friendly and competitive industry," says Thilo Brodtmann, Executive Director of the VDMA. As well as fostering the transition to a more sustainable economy, the industrial strategy aims to strengthen the competitiveness of European companies and protect them from unfair competition.

In principle, VDMA supports these goals, but warns against state intervention and an overloading of EU industrial policy with national tasks such as social and labour market policy. The mechanical engineering industry is concerned about the tendency of politicians to rely more and more on economic interventionism.

"A focus on a few value chains and technologies ignores the broad spectrum of small and medium-sized enterprises. Good industrial policy is technology-neutral, ensures excellent framework conditions and otherwise relies on the power of the markets and our European companies," says Brodtmann.

In VDMA´s view, European champions are not created through protection and subsidies, but through fair competition. The EU internal market and EU competition law provide the right framework for this. The internal market has so far served numerous EU champions as the basis for their international success. VDMA rejects any politicisation of competition rules, for example in the form of an EU Council authorisation for mergers.

"Politicians should not try to be the better entrepreneurs, but should focus on their original role, namely to ensure good, industry-friendly framework conditions," says Brodtmann.

A picture of VDMA’s Executive Director can be found here.

The VDMA represents more than 3300 companies in the medium-sized mechanical and plant engineering sector. With 1.3 million employees in Germany and a turnover of 232 billion euros (2018), the sector is the largest industrial employer and one of the leading German industrial sectors overall.

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VDMA European Office
BluePoint Building
Boulevard A. Reyers 80
B - 1030 Brüssel
Tel. + 32 2 706 8205, Fax + 32 2 706 8210
President: Carl Martin Welcker
Executive Director: Thilo Brodtmann
Vereinsregister beim Amtsgericht Frankfurt Nr. VR4278


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