The European Federation of Catering Equipment Manufacturers (EFCEM), of which CESA is a member, has signed up to the Joint Declaration for an Ambitious EU Industrial Strategy.
Agreed by 125 associations representing manufacturers across the EU, collectively branded as Industry4Europe, the declaration calls for the European Commission to commit to a three-point action plan, or risk a continuing decline in manufacturing output and the loss of thousands of jobs.
Keith Warren is director of CESA and also chairs EFCEM’s technical committee, which is leading on the association’s involvement in Industry4Europe. “This is a critical time for both EU and British industry,” he says. “With the current political uncertainties there’s a real danger that the huge challenges facing our manufacturing sector will be overlooked. We have to put this issue back on the agenda.”
The Industry4Europe announcement says: “The time has come to raise the alarm about the considerable challenges that we are all facing. Between 2000 and 2014, the share of manufacturing in total EU output fell from 18.8% to 15.3%, while 3.5 million manufacturing jobs were lost between 2008 and 2014.
“Meanwhile, countries around the world are putting industry at the very top of their political agendas. The ‘Make in India’ strategy aims to ensure India is ‘the next manufacturing destination’ and ‘Made in China 2025’ seeks to turn China into the ‘leading manufacturing power’. The recent US shift towards ‘America First’ will inevitably have a strong impact on their industrial policy.”
Industry4Europe’s three point action plan calls on the European Commission to:
- reaffirm its commitment to reaching the target of 20% of GDP from industry, with an ambitious and realistic timeline;
- adopt an Action Plan to tackle the challenges that the industrial sectors are facing, in the framework of a Communication that would include concrete steps and milestones; and
- commit to implement this Action Plan in a timely manner and regularly report on progress.
“It is vital for the European Commission to act,” says Warren. “We need to ensure that the EU remains a competitive global industrial power.”