Europe’s reindustrialisation is absolutely necessary in a global context marked by volatility, aggressive competition and major supply chains distortions, said MEP Iuliu Winkler (RMDSZ, EPP), Vice-Chair of the Committee on International Trade (INTA), at the opening of the conference “Revitalising Europe’s industrial might: pathways to counter deindustrialisation” hosted in the European Parliament.
According to the RMDSZ MEP, revitalising Europe’s industrial strength rests on three pillars, namely the deepening of the European single market, a smart and well-targeted subsidy and state aid policy and, last but not least, a strengthened EU Common Commercial Policy.
Winkler considers that the European single market is crossing a period of suffering. “We recently marked three decades of the single market, the fundamental pillar of the EU, which was also an opportunity to review its functioning. The conclusions have not been particularly optimistic and this is because the single market is suffering from an increasingly concerning process of fragmentation. Just one example: the European single market is also fragmented because Romania and Bulgaria are kept outside the Schengen area”, said the MEP.
In his view, the reindustrialisation process renders the EU in need of a smart subsidy scheme for European industries: “We need to have a subsidy policy that does not compete with the way other countries use subsidies. We need to come up with smart and well-targeted subsidy schemes. I think the EU should aim to subsidise green technologies, energy networks and critical infrastructure,” said Iuliu Winkler.
“Trade policy is fundamental in the revitalisation of industrial activity. Unfortunately, EU policy in this crucial area is also badly suffering. In the last 4 years, we have not ratified a single bilateral trade agreement. The last one was the agreement with Vietnam, which was ratified in 2019”, stressed the INTA Vice-Chair.
The conference “Revitalising Europe’s industrial might: pathways to counter deindustrialisation“, co-organised by MEPs Iuliu Winkler and Inmaculada Rodriguez-Pinero (S&D, Spain), included as speakers, Leopoldo Rubinacci, Deputy Director-General of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Trade, and Răzvan Nicolescu, former Energy Minister and board member of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). The event was attended by Europe’s largest industry associations, alongside representatives from the SME sector, accounting for tens of millions of jobs and an annual turnover of over €500 billion.
The conference took place in the context of the adoption of the new European Net-Zero Industrial Act and the intensification of negative processes in regional and global markets, which are having a dramatic effect on European economic and industrial competitiveness.