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A Franco-German Manifesto For A European Industrial Policy Fit For The 21st Century

At a time of increasingly fast changes globally, Europe must pool its strengths and be more united than ever. Europe’s economic strength in the coming decades will be hugely dependent on our ability to remain a global manufacturing and industrial power. The industrial sector of the 20th century is changing before our eyes due to digitalization. Brand new industrial sectors are appearing such as those linked to artificial intelligence, others are changing at great speed such as the car or railways sectors, and other traditional sectors will continue to be essential such as steel or aluminium.

If Europe still wants to be a manufacturing powerhouse in 2030, we need a genuine European industrial policy. The investments required to enable Europe to compete on the global stage and the development of long-term industrial strategies aiming inter alia at a carbon-neutral economy are so important that we can only succeed if we pool our funding, our skills, and our expertise.

The choice is simple when it comes to industrial policy: unite our forces or allow our industrial base and capacity to gradually disappear. A strong industry is at the heart of sustainable and inclusive growth. And above all, it’s what will give Europe its economic sovereignty and independence.

To succeed, we need much more strategic thinking than in the past. That is why France and Germany call for a more ambitious European industrial strategy with clear objectives for 2030. This should also be a top priority for the next European Commission. The social market economy has been and will continue to be a successful model for the EU and worldwide. We should continue to strengthen and improve it. The European industrial strategy is a strategic aim in this respect.

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