Today European Commissioner Bieńkowska presented to the European Parliament her views on a new industrial policy for Europe. The Commissioner has done this in a new and refreshing approach, by sending a letter to the member states instead of yet another Communication from the Commission. The policy builds on the 20% industrial GDP target set by the former Commission.
“European industrial competitiveness is at the heart of the policy agenda of the European Commission”, said the Commissioner in the European Parliament today.
The new approach will mainstream industrial policy perspectives in all EU Commission policies launched by this Commission. The aim is to break down the silos in the Commission and really integrate the Commission’s work, in a partnership between business and policy makers.
“We feel the Commission has understood that industry is at the heart of European growth. That it provides real jobs to real people and that we have the potential to grow industry in Europe” said Marco Mensink, Director General of the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI).
CEPI welcomes the new High Level Group on Energy Intensive Industries that Commissioner Bienkowska has initiated. This will focus among other on the upcoming debate on the market economy status of China and the review of the EU Emission Trading System. Both are crucial files for the future of the paper industry in Europe.
The review of the EU ETS will be the first proof of the mainstreaming approach. “The EU ETS review is the single largest industrial policy decision for this Commission.” says Marco Mensink. “We look forward to an ETS proposal that combines a focus on carbon reduction and breakthrough innovation with a proper protection of all energy intensive industries. The European Council in October last year decided that the best companies in the energy intensive sectors such as the pulp and paper industry should not face undue carbon costs. The Commission shall now put this in practice in the EU ETS proposal that will be launched July 15th”.
Note to the Editor
The pulp and paper industry provides 180,000 jobs in Europe directly, and 1.5 million in the value chain. It has a turnover of 75 billion euros and adds 15 billion euros to the EU GDP. It is strong in export markets and will invest 5 billion euros in Europe up to 2017.