EU Industry Day 2018: the time for feedback on the asks of the #Industry4Europe coalition

What is the future of the European industry? How will the EU remain a prominent player at a global level, maintaining at the same time its social cohesion and setting high environmental standards?

These and more topics were discussed during the EUIndustry Days that took place on 22nd and 23rd February in Brussels. Hundreds of participants, including policy makers, researchers, innovators, local authorities and investors had the opportunity to discuss and engage in setting high ambitions for a real industrial boost for Europe. Followed by the large coalition of 126 industry associations for a renewed EU Industrial Policy Strategy, initiated in the beginning of 2017 (#Industry4Europe), this year’s event was the opportunity for the industry to hear how the EU decision makers will respond to their asks.

The initiative was also mentioned by the president of the Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker who said that it brings everything that the industry and the institutions have been doing until now. He also noted that 32 million people work in the industrial sector, while the productivity increased by 1%. last year.

Jyrki Katainen, Vice President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness said that a true digital single market and a thriving data economy is essential, adding that digital transformation will bring productivity growth, innovation and competitiveness back to Europe.”

Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President for Energy Union, emphasised on sustainability and energy efficiency. As he said, EU climate and energy targets are already being transformed into investments, innovation, growth and jobs.

Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Commissioner Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

 focused on the opportunities new technologies can give as well as the policy making should provide the right framework conditions to businesses.

European industry: What’s for Digitalisation, Circular Economy and Energy Union?

The transition towards circularity will be a main field of investment in Europe for the next decades. But can we have a real circular economy if we don’t take into account the contribution of energy efficiency and digitalisation?

In this context, the session organised by Orgalime focused on the importance of the investment on digital, low-carbon, energy-efficiency technologies that can create new opportunities for citizens, employees and industry.

Viktor Sundberg from Electrolux mentioned that the improvements that have been made in home appliances have certainly contributed to energy efficiency.

More concretely, he said that smart appliances can lower CO2 emissions, up to 170 Mton per year by 2030 by using energy in less peak hours, on cheaper tariffs. For this to happen, however, there is one condition.

The energy tariffs should vary, so that consumers would see the benefits of moving towards more sustainable solutions.

“Let's first put in place the real environment”, also emphasised the Head of the New Technologies, Innovation and Clean Coal, Andreea Strachinescu. “If we are not given the right incentive, it will be difficult to place technology in practice. If consumers do not see the clear advantage, then they are not playing", she said.