News & Markets

Industry4Europe

It is time for a new EU industrial strategy

● Jos Cox, President of EAACA

While it is too early to say if the EU will be able to reach its goal by 2020, EAACA believes that in order to realise the full potential of the sector we need a dedicated long-term EU strategy that provides strategic guidance to policymakers and helps to align the different EU policies on climate, energy, employment, trade or innovation.

For this reason, EAACA joined together with over 130 other leading European industry associations in the ‘Industry4Europe’ alliance calling on EU policymakers to develop an ambitious EU industrial strategy. The alliance, kindly supported by the secretariat of the European rail industry association UNIFE, issued in January 2018 its manifesto “For an Ambitious EU Industrial Strategy - Going Further” that EAACA cosigned.

Gross value added an employment by economic activity (Source Eurostat)

The Paper identified all objectives and measures that should be at the heart of any ambitious and longer-term EU industrial strategy, but are currently missing from the European Commission’s existing strategy. This includes further developing the Single Market in order to ensure a level-playing field with non-European companies concerning the safety of products entering from abroad. Also EU law and the transposition of Directives needs to be better enforced in order to avoid market fragmentation. Of particular relevance to the construction sector, harmonised standards must be published in the Official Journal of the European Union without unnecessary delay.

As a result of the work of the ‘Industry4Europe’ alliance, the EU Member States’ governments represented in the Council of the EU have adopted in November a resolution calling on the European Commission to present a detailed EU Industrial Strategy with concrete actions after the European elections in May 2019. This strategy should mainstream industrial policy across all areas of EU law making and create a favourable environment and reduce unnecessary regulatory burden on the manufacturing sector. For the first time, the EU will also have to establish a monitoring system to oversee the implementation of the strategy and if it delivers on its objectives.

I believe that the time has come for EU policymakers to recognise the value and contributions of the EU industry to the wider economy and put in place a strategy that helps ensure Europe remains a hub for a leading, smart, innovative and sustainable manufacturing. EAACA will continue working towards representing the AAC industry in this effort.


EAACA and its members believes that in order to realise the full potential of the construction products manufacturing sector we need a dedicated long-term EU strategy that provides strategic guidance to policymakers and helps to align the different EU policies on climate, energy, employment, trade or innovation.

About the author

Jos Cox

Education:
  • Civil engineer construction
  • Master In Business Administration
  • Management of technological innovation
Work History:
  • Since 1976 active in international building industry
  • Since 35 years involved in international AAC industry
Positions:
  • CEO Xella NWE
  • President EAACA since 2004
  • Board member national and international building associations