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EU Industrial Policy: we need an action plan

Speaking today at the European Policy Conference ‘An Industrial Renaissance’ EUROCHAMBRES applauded the setting of a target, but lamented the lack of strategic direction in the European Commission’s recent communication and called for specific actions in a number of areas. Chambers in particular highlighted the need to tackle high energy prices, regulatory burdens, skills shortages and the competitive disadvantage of EU industries on the global market.

“It is critical to reverse the industrial downturn urgently by taking effective and targeted measures to develop an industry-friendly, competitive economic environment in Europe”, stated Arnaldo Abruzzini, Secretary General of EUROCHAMBRES.

Against this background, Chambers stressed that the EU’s industrial policy has to become more coherent with other policy fields like competition (state aids), climate action and the international trade agenda.

Economic growth requires industrial growth

EUROCHAMBRES, however, considers it a first important signal that the Commission adopted a new 2020 target in order to reverse the declining role of industry in Europe from its current level of around 16% of GDP to as much as 20% by the end of this decade. Chambers stress though that this industry focused effort should not be to the detriment of services and commerce.

“Effective interplay and synergy between the three sectors is the key to growth, but we welcome the acknowledgement that the manufacturing sector can act as a driver of economic growth in ways other sectors cannot. The nature of future industrial development will thus be critical to bring the European economy back on track”, added Mr Abruzzini.

EUROCHAMBRES now calls on the Commission to swiftly tackle the most burning issues, as identified in its recently published ‘Ten Point-Programme for a stronger industrial base of the European economy’.

Further information: Mr Michael Steurer, Tel. +32 2 282 08 77,

Press contact: Ms Guendalina Cominotti, Tel. +32 2 282 08 66,

All EUROCHAMBRES’ press releases can be downloaded from

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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