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European industrial strategy
Europe is embarking on a transition towards climate neutrality and digital leadership. The European industrial strategy aims to ensure that European industry can lead the way as we enter this new age.
PAGE CONTENTS
Lessons learned from the COVID-19 crisis
Resilience of the Single Market
Strengthening EU's open strategic autonomy
Accelerating twin transitions
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Documents
Related links
On 10 March 2020, the Commission laid the foundations for an industrial strategy that would support the twin transition to a green and digital economy, make EU industry more competitive globally, and enhance Europe’s open strategic autonomy. The day after the new industrial strategy was presented, the World Health Organization announced the COVID-19 as a pandemic.
This update neither replaces the 2020 Industrial Strategy nor completes the processes launched by it – much of that work is in progress, and requires dedicated efforts. This is a targeted update, which focuses on what more needs to be done and what lessons need to be learned.
As a primary vehicle of innovation in the various ecosystems, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) need to be borne in mind in all actions under this Strategy. This is reflected in a horizontal manner by increased attention to regulatory burdens for SMEs. New actions will strongly benefit SMEs and start-ups, whether it be from a strengthened Single Market, reduced supply dependencies or the accelerated green and digital transitions. The Strategy also includes some measures dedicated to SMEs such as on increased resilience, combating late payments, and supporting solvency.
Lessons learned from the COVID-19 crisis
The COVID-19 crisis has strongly affected the EU economy. Its impact varies across ecosystems and companies’ size. The crisis exposed the interdependence of global value chains and demonstrated the critical role of a globally integrated and well-functioning Single Market.
6.3%
decline of EU economy
60% 
of SMEs reported a fall in turnover in 2020
24%
fall in intra-EU trade in Q2 & Q3 2020
1.7%
SME employment decrease in 2020 - 1.4 million jobs
45%
of firms expected to reduce investment in 2021
While the impact of the crisis varies across different ecosystems and companies, the key issues highlighted by the crisis are: 
To address these issues, the updated Industrial Strategy is proposing new measures to take into account the lessons learned from the crisis and sustain investment. In particular, it focuses on:
Strengthening of the resilience of the Single Market
Supporting Europe’s Open Strategic Autonomy through dealing with dependencies
Supporting the business case for the twin transitions
 
Resilience of the Single Market
The Single Market is the EU’s most important asset, offering certainty, scale and a global springboard for European companies. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the opportunities offered by the Single Market. Businesses and citizens suffered from border closures, supply was disrupted and predictability was often lacking.     
To address these issues, the Commission has proposed: 
Single Market Emergency Instrument: to provide a structural solution to ensure the availability and free movement of persons, goods and services in the context of possible future crises
Deepening the Single Market: explore harmonisation of standards for key business services; as well as strengthening the digitalisation of market surveillance and other targeted measures for SMEs
Monitoring the Single Market: an annual analysis of the state of the Single Market, including across 14 industrial ecosystems.
14 industrial ecosystems are: construction, digital industries, health, agri-food, renewables, energy intensive industries, transport and automotive, electronics, textile, aerospace and defence, cultural and creative culture industries, tourism, proximity and social economy, and retail
Strengthening EU's open strategic autonomy
For the EU, a major importer and exporter, openness to trade and investment is a strength and source of growth and resilience. But COVID-19 has shown disruptions in global supply chain and led to shortages of certain critical products in Europe. This is why we need to further improve our open strategic autonomy in key areas, as already set out in the EU’s 2020 Industrial Strategy.
The Commission is proposing:
Diversified international partnerships: to ensure that trade and investment continue to play a key role in building our economic resilience.
Industrial Alliances can also be an appropriate tool, if they accelerate activities that would not develop otherwise, and where they help to attract private investors to discuss new business partnerships and models in a manner that is open, transparent and fully compliant with competition rules, and where they have a potential for high value job creation. Alliances provide a platform that is broad and open in principle, and will pay particular attention to inclusiveness for start-ups and SMEs. The Commission is preparing the launch of the Alliance on processors and semiconductor technologies and the Alliance for Industrial Data, Edge and Cloud and considering the preparation of an Alliance on Space Launchers and an Alliance on Zero Emission Aviation.
Monitoring of Strategic dependencies: publishing a first report analysing the EU’s strategic dependencies. The report identifies 137 products in sensitive ecosystems for which the EU is highly dependent on foreign sources.
 
Strategic dependencies analysis
China 52%China 52%
Vietnam 11%Vietnam 11%
Rest of the world11%Rest of the world11%
Brazil 5%Brazil 5%
Korea 4%Korea 4%
Singapore4%Singapore4%
UnitedStates 3%UnitedStates 3%
Unite…Unite…
Russi…Russi…
Japan3%Japan3%
HongKong1%HongKong1%
Highcharts.com
The report also offers an in-depth analysis of 6 strategic areas where the EU has dependencies:
Accelerating twin transitions
The 2020 Industrial Strategy included a list of actions to support the green and digital transitions of EU industry, many of which have already been adopted or launched. The pandemic has however drastically affected the speed and scale of this transformation. Companies pursuing sustainability and digitalisation are more likely to be among tomorrow’s leaders. 
To accelerate the twin transitions, the Commission has proposed:

Transition pathways
Co-create jointly with industry and stakeholders, transition pathways to identify the actions needed to achieve the twin transitions, giving a better understanding of the scale, benefits and conditions required.

Multi-country projects
To support the recovery efforts and develop digital and green capacities, the Commission will support Member States in joint projects to maximise investments under the Recovery and Resilience Facility

Analysis of the steel sector
To ensure a clean and competitive steel industry, the Commission analyses and addresses challenges for this sector.

Horizon Europe partnerships
Bringing together private and public funding to finance research and innovation on low-carbon technology and processes. 

Abundant, accessible and affordable decarbonised energy
The Commission will work with Member States to accelerate investments into renewables, grids and address barriers.
Latest
FACTSHEET
5 May 2021
Questions and Answers on the update of the 2020 Industrial Strategy
PRESS RELEASE
5 May 2021
Updating the 2020 Industrial Strategy: towards a stronger Single Market for Europe's recovery
PRESS RELEASE
5 May 2021
Commission proposes new Regulation to address distortions caused by foreign subsidies in the Single Market *
FACTSHEET
3 May 2021
Factsheet: EU-funded projects to support media freedom and pluralism in the EU
More news
Documents
Communication "Updating the 2020 New Industrial Strategy: Building a stronger Single Market for Europe’s recovery "
05 May 2021
English (1.2 MB - PDF)
Download
Staff working document - Annual Single Market Report 2021
05 May 2021
English (6.4 MB - PDF)
Download
Staff working document - Strategic dependencies and capacities
05 May 2021
English (4 MB - PDF)
Download
Staff working document - Towards competitive and clean European steel
05 May 2021
English (1.4 MB - PDF)
Download
Commission Communication: A New Industrial Strategy for Europe
10 March 2020
English
Download
Available languages (22)
Commission Communication: The SME strategy for a sustainable and digital Europe
10 March 2020
English
Download
Available languages (22)
Commission Communication: Long-term action plan for better implementation and enforcement of single market rules
10 March 2020
English (499.5 KB - PDF)
Download
Commission Communication: Identifying and addressing barriers to the Single Market
10 March 2020
English
Download
Available languages (22)
Staff Working Document - Identifying and addressing barriers to the Single Market
English (3.2 MB - PDF)
Download
Related links
Industrial Policy
Entrepreneurship and Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
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