On 9th of July, the Chamber of Commerce of Spain in Belgium and Luxembourg celebrated in Brussels a luncheon-debate with the General Director of DG of Enterprise and Industry of the European Commission, Daniel Calleja, whose presentation referred to “The Industrialisation of Europe”. The event was sponsored by the partner company REPSOL.
The President of the Chamber, Juan Rodríguez-Villa, wished to thank and emphasize the merits of the rapporteur during his long and successful career, with a great variety of activities which demonstrate his service to society in the presence of representatives of SMEs and international institutions.
During his exposition, Daniel Calleja explained the main lines of action in the industrial policy of UE. In this sense, the strategic agenda of the Commission is determined by five priorities which have been stated by Heads of States and Governments:
· Competitiveness, growth and employment.
· Establishment of an internal market of energy
· Immigration Policy
· Political relationships between United Kingdom and UE.
· Transatlantic treaty with EE.UU.
Each of these topics is related to the General of Enterprise and Industry Directorate, whose objective is to reach a significant industrial growth in the EU.
“Multiple reforms and measures have been adopted in the last years, but these are not sufficient without a realistic and effective growth strategy and promotion of industrial projects. The European Union has to enhance its attractiveness on the investment and this results in optimising the productive activity of the Eurozone”, the General Director pointed out.
The Commission has established as objective that the industry represents the 20% of GDP of Europe in 2020. Daniel Calleja emphasized that the political goal is possible but it is necessary to focus on the special correlation between industrial activity, innovation, internationalization of companies and employment. A reorientation of the activity of Europe is fundamental.
Last March, the European Council confirmed the strategy of the Commission and invited them to define a roadmap based on four main pillars:
In the first place, a better access to internal and external markets. In Europe one out of four companies operates in the European market and only one out of eight develops its activity outside the European borders. The efforts concentrate on abolishing technical and tariff barriers, the consolidation of Internal Market of Services and the adoption of new trade businesses like the agreement with EE.UU that will convert these powers in the strongest commercial area.
In the second place, facilitate access to resources for companies: the financing (regional financing and Horizon 2020 Program); access to energy, necessity of the transparency of prices, a common policy with third countries and a more efficient interconnection; access to raw materials (improving the economic and political diplomacy) and, besides, access to training, with the leading of dual models.
Innovation is the third pillar. Through the Horizon 2020 Program, innovation should be promoted and a solution will be provided for the main problems of EU: high levels of social spending. This challenge results in transforming the Welfare State without setting aside our social model.
The last pillar is focused on the creation of an excellent business atmosphere. In this sense reducing bureaucracy, facilities to create companies and business transfers are demanded.
Finally, the General Director wished to transmit a message: “Europe needs more Industry and the Industry needs Europe”. The European Union, business associations and the Chambers of Commerce must cooperate in order to favour industrial growth.
After a short question and answer period, the President took the floor to thank Daniel Calleja for his presentation and collaboration with the Chamber of Commerce as well as REPSOL for sponsoring the event.