Tag Archives: Industrial policy

Integrated pollution prevention and control

Integrated pollution prevention and control

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Integrated pollution prevention and control

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These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Environment > Air pollution

Integrated pollution prevention and control (until 2013)

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2008/1/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 January 2008 concerning integrated pollution prevention and control.

Summary

This Directive (“the IPPC Directive”) requires industrial and agricultural activities with a high pollution potential to have a permit. This permit can only be issued if certain environmental conditions are met, so that the companies themselves bear responsibility for preventing and reducing any pollution they may cause.

Integrated pollution prevention and control concerns new or existing industrial and agricultural activities with a high pollution potential, as defined in Annex I to the Directive (energy industries, production and processing of metals, mineral industry, chemical industry, waste management, livestock farming, etc.).

Mandatory environmental conditions

In order to receive a permit an industrial or agricultural installation must comply with certain basic obligations. In particular, it must:

  • use all appropriate pollution-prevention measures, namely the best available techniques (which produce the least waste, use less hazardous substances, enable the substances generated to be recovered and recycled, etc.);
  • prevent all large-scale pollution;
  • prevent, recycle or dispose of waste in the least polluting way possible;
  • use energy efficiently;
  • ensure accident prevention and damage limitation;
  • return sites to their original state when the activity is over.

In addition, the decision to issue a permit must contain a number of specific requirements, including:

  • emission limit values for polluting substances (with the exception of greenhouse gases if the emission trading scheme applies – see below);
  • any soil, water and air protection measures required;
  • waste management measures;
  • measures to be taken in exceptional circumstances (leaks, malfunctions, temporary or permanent stoppages, etc.);
  • minimisation of long-distance or transboundary pollution;
  • release monitoring;
  • all other appropriate measures.

In order to coordinate the permit process required under the Directive and the greenhouse gas emission trading scheme, a permit issued in compliance with the Directive is not obliged to contain the emission limit values for greenhouse gases if these gases are subject to an emission trading scheme, provided there is no local pollution problem. The competent authorities can also decide not to impose energy efficiency measures targeted at combustion plants.

Permit applications

All permit applications must be sent to the competent authority of the Member State concerned, which will then decide whether or not to authorise the activity. Applications must include information on the following points:

  • a description of the installation and the nature and scale of its activities as well as its site conditions;
  • the materials, substances and energy used or generated;
  • the sources of emissions from the installation, and the nature and quantities of foreseeable emissions into each medium, as well as their effects on the environment;
  • the proposed technology and other techniques for preventing or reducing emissions from the installation;
  • measures for the prevention and recovery of waste;
  • measures planned to monitor emissions;
  • possible alternative solutions.

Without infringing the rules and practice of commercial and industrial secrecy, this information must be made available to interested parties:

  • the public, using the appropriate means (including electronically) and at the same time as information concerning the procedure for licensing the activity, the contact details of the authority responsible for authorising or rejecting the project and the possibility for the public to take part in the licensing process;
  • the other Member States, if the project is likely to have cross-border effects. Each Member State must submit this information to interested parties in its territory so that they can give their opinion.

Sufficient time must be allowed for all interested parties to react. Their opinions must be taken into account in the licensing procedure.

Administrative and monitoring measures

The decision to license or reject a project, the arguments on which this decision is based and possible measures to reduce the negative impact of the project must be made public and sent to the other Member States concerned. The Member States must, in accordance with their relevant national legislation, make provision for interested parties to challenge this decision in the courts.

The Member States are responsible for inspecting industrial installations and ensuring they comply with the Directive. An exchange of information on best available techniques (serving as a basis for setting emission limit values) is held regularly between the Commission, the Member States and the industries concerned. Reports on the implementation of the Directive are drawn up every three years.

Regulation (EC) No 166/2006, which establishes a European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR), harmonises the rules whereby Member States have to regularly report information on pollutants to the Commission.

Background

Directive 2008/1/EC is replaced by Directive 2010/75/EU on industrial emissions. However, its provisions remain applicable until 6 January 2014.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Directive 2008/1/EC

18.2.2008

OJ L 24, 29.1.2008

The successive amendments and corrections to Directive 2008/1/EC have been incorporated into the basic text. This consolidated versionis for information only.

Related Acts

Report from the Commission of 25 October 2010 on the implementation of Directive 2008/1/EC concerning integrated pollution prevention and control and Directive 1999/13/EC on the limitation of emissions of volatile organic compounds due to the use of organic solvents in certain activities and installations [COM(2010) 593 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Fostering structural change: an industrial policy for an enlarged Europe

Fostering structural change: an industrial policy for an enlarged Europe

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Fostering structural change: an industrial policy for an enlarged Europe

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Employment and social policy > Job creation measures

Fostering structural change: an industrial policy for an enlarged Europe

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission of 20 April 2004 “Fostering structural change: an industrial policy for an enlarged Europe” [COM(2004) 274 final – not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The Commission intends to set out an industrial policy for the European Union (EU) that matches up to the issues facing Europe, particularly the effects of enlargement and international competition. This policy aims to promote competitiveness and encourage more appropriate regulation, so that European industry remains innovative and continues to create jobs and growth.

The Member States and the European institutions must organise the structural changes in European industry around the factors of production of an enlarged Europe and the innovative capacity of a knowledge-based Europe.

No deindustrialisation but necessary structural change

Although the Commission does not see a general process of deindustrialisation at EU level, structural changes are profoundly affecting the industrial landscape. Jobs and resources in labour-intensive sectors or those facing intense competition are being shifted towards sectors where there are comparative advantages. The impact of these structural changes is positive for the EU as a whole, but may be damaging at local level for certain sectors or regions.

However, these shifts in jobs and resources must be backed by measures to promote research and innovation in order to maintain the EU’s comparative advantage in sectors with high added value. The pressure of international competition has intensified in recent years, and is affecting more and more industrial sectors. The relocation of jobs to emerging economies no longer affects only traditional labour-intensive sectors; increasingly, its effects are being felt in hi-tech industries and the services sector. The only way Europe will be able to take full advantage of industrial globalisation is by adopting an industrial policy that focuses on competitiveness.

Opportunities afforded by enlargement

The enlargement of 2004 offers European industry significant opportunities, provided that the restructuring of the relevant sectors is not hampered by national protection measures. On the demand side, the internal market has been extended to include booming national consumer markets. On the supply side, companies can reorganise production to benefit from the competitive advantages of the new Member States.

The new Member States have an important role to play in the transition to a knowledge-based economy. Their inclusion can boost the EU’s industrial performance and stimulate the internal market in the face of competition from non-member countries. The competitive advantages of the new Member States should make it possible for jobs that would otherwise have been transferred to Asia to be relocated within the EU. The sectors most affected by the arrival of new companies are food and beverages, transport equipment, base metals and metal products.

Tools to foster structural change

The Commission’s objective, in line with the priorities set out in the 2002 communication on industrial policy in an enlarged Europe, is to rally public stakeholders around three areas of action for fostering change in European industry.

The first area of action concerns regulation and all the laws governing industrial activity in the EU. The aim is to bring legislation into line with the needs of businesses, both at national and European levels. Particular attention should be paid to competitiveness and to analysing the combined effects of different regulations on each sector of activity.

The second goal is to ensure that EU measures in different areas that have an impact on industry, particularly research, competition, employment and regional development, are better coordinated. The Commission intends to use these different policies to improve productivity gains and promote the use of knowledge. In more general terms, greater synergy between the EU’s different policy areas will boost the competitiveness of European businesses.

The third target concerns the sectoral dimension of EU industrial policy. The Commission aims to make EU industrial activity more visible in key sectors by involving interested parties, thus highlighting the added value of industrial policy at European level.

Background

This Communication forms part of the debate on how industrial policy can contribute to improving industrial competitiveness, launched by the Commission’s communication of 11 December 2002. It should help European industry meet the objective the EU set itself at the 2000 European Council in Lisbon.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 21 November 2003, “Some Key Issues in Europe’s Competitiveness” [COM(2003) 704 final – not published in the Official Journal].

Communication from the Commission of 11 December 2002 on industrial policy in an enlarged Europe [COM(2002) 714 final – not published in the Official Journal].

 


Another Normative about Fostering structural change: an industrial policy for an enlarged Europe

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic

Enterprise > Industry

Fostering structural change: an industrial policy for an enlarged Europe

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission of 20 April 2004 “Fostering structural change: an industrial policy for an enlarged Europe” [COM(2004) 274 final – not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The Commission intends to set out an industrial policy for the European Union (EU) that matches up to the issues facing Europe, particularly the effects of enlargement and international competition. This policy aims to promote competitiveness and encourage more appropriate regulation, so that European industry remains innovative and continues to create jobs and growth.

The Member States and the European institutions must organise the structural changes in European industry around the factors of production of an enlarged Europe and the innovative capacity of a knowledge-based Europe.

No deindustrialisation but necessary structural change

Although the Commission does not see a general process of deindustrialisation at EU level, structural changes are profoundly affecting the industrial landscape. Jobs and resources in labour-intensive sectors or those facing intense competition are being shifted towards sectors where there are comparative advantages. The impact of these structural changes is positive for the EU as a whole, but may be damaging at local level for certain sectors or regions.

However, these shifts in jobs and resources must be backed by measures to promote research and innovation in order to maintain the EU’s comparative advantage in sectors with high added value. The pressure of international competition has intensified in recent years, and is affecting more and more industrial sectors. The relocation of jobs to emerging economies no longer affects only traditional labour-intensive sectors; increasingly, its effects are being felt in hi-tech industries and the services sector. The only way Europe will be able to take full advantage of industrial globalisation is by adopting an industrial policy that focuses on competitiveness.

Opportunities afforded by enlargement

The enlargement of 2004 offers European industry significant opportunities, provided that the restructuring of the relevant sectors is not hampered by national protection measures. On the demand side, the internal market has been extended to include booming national consumer markets. On the supply side, companies can reorganise production to benefit from the competitive advantages of the new Member States.

The new Member States have an important role to play in the transition to a knowledge-based economy. Their inclusion can boost the EU’s industrial performance and stimulate the internal market in the face of competition from non-member countries. The competitive advantages of the new Member States should make it possible for jobs that would otherwise have been transferred to Asia to be relocated within the EU. The sectors most affected by the arrival of new companies are food and beverages, transport equipment, base metals and metal products.

Tools to foster structural change

The Commission’s objective, in line with the priorities set out in the 2002 communication on industrial policy in an enlarged Europe, is to rally public stakeholders around three areas of action for fostering change in European industry.

The first area of action concerns regulation and all the laws governing industrial activity in the EU. The aim is to bring legislation into line with the needs of businesses, both at national and European levels. Particular attention should be paid to competitiveness and to analysing the combined effects of different regulations on each sector of activity.

The second goal is to ensure that EU measures in different areas that have an impact on industry, particularly research, competition, employment and regional development, are better coordinated. The Commission intends to use these different policies to improve productivity gains and promote the use of knowledge. In more general terms, greater synergy between the EU’s different policy areas will boost the competitiveness of European businesses.

The third target concerns the sectoral dimension of EU industrial policy. The Commission aims to make EU industrial activity more visible in key sectors by involving interested parties, thus highlighting the added value of industrial policy at European level.

Background

This Communication forms part of the debate on how industrial policy can contribute to improving industrial competitiveness, launched by the Commission’s communication of 11 December 2002. It should help European industry meet the objective the EU set itself at the 2000 European Council in Lisbon.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 21 November 2003, “Some Key Issues in Europe’s Competitiveness” [COM(2003) 704 final – not published in the Official Journal].

Communication from the Commission of 11 December 2002 on industrial policy in an enlarged Europe [COM(2002) 714 final – not published in the Official Journal].

 

Industrial policy in an enlarged Europe

Industrial policy in an enlarged Europe

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Industrial policy in an enlarged Europe

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Enterprise > Industry

Industrial policy in an enlarged Europe

To trigger a debate on how industrial policy can improve the competitiveness of industry and to refine the integration of the various policy instruments that have an impact on industrial competitiveness.

2) Document or Iniciative

Commission Communication of 11 December 2002 on industrial policy in an enlarged Europe [COM (2002) 714 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

3) Summary

Background

The communication is to be seen in the context of the European Councils in Lisbon in 2000 and Gothenburg in 2001. The Commission had, in a previous communication, stated that the current economic recession could jeopardise the goal set at Lisbon of making the European Union (EU), by 2010, ‘the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world, capable of sustainable growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion’. In addition, the Gothenburg summit had emphasised the need to promote the objective of sustainable development, whilst aiming at the simultaneous pursuit of the objectives under the economic, social and environmental pillars.

Industrial policy has a key role to play in helping the European Union meet the objectives it set itself at Lisbon and Gothenburg.

The communication takes a brief look at the situation of industry in the EU, listing its assets and handicaps. It also examines the implications of the future enlargement of the EU. The document also gives an overview of the challenges which European industry will have to face and suggests a number of actions to be taken to make it more competitive.

Analysis of the situation

In the face of competition which is now conducted at a global level, most sectors of European industry have made substantial efforts to upgrade their production infrastructures and integrate new forms of organisation.

In addition, following the emergence of certain decisive factors such as the growing importance of the internal market and the introduction of the euro, EU industry, and especially the services sector, experienced significant mergers and acquisitions activity in the second half of the 1990s.

The European Union is a major force in international trade. The reduction in the EU’s market share of world trade is relative, given that whilst its figures fell from 19.3% over the 1991-95 period to 18.4% in 2002, the falls experienced by its main competitors were greater. Over the same period, the US share went down from 15.1% to 12.1%, and Japan’s from 12.2% to 8.2%. Furthermore, the trade balance for EU goods was in surplus in nine of the last ten years.

Despite enterprises’ demands for a more highly skilled workforce, levels of educational attainment are not high enough. Whilst the average duration of education of the working population in the European Union is increasing, the figures fall below those recorded in the USA and Japan, with the average duration in the EU being 87% and 90% of the average US and Japan levels respectively. When it comes to the EU’s public spending on education and training as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), the figure has actually fallen from 5.7% in 1990 to 5% in 2001.

In the EU, labour productivity growth (GDP growth divided by the number of persons in employment) between 1995 and 2001 was lower (1.2%) than in the United States (1.9%), whereas the comparison was still in the EU’s favour between 1985 and 1990. More specifically, two main reasons for this adverse trend have been analysed: the fact that investment in information and communication technologies (ICT) is not sufficiently translated into productivity gains and a lack of innovative activity as illustrated by the EU’s low share of patent and research and development (R&D) activity compared to the USA and Japan. Especially in some sectors of industry, such as electronics, biotechnology or nanotechnology, the EU is lagging behind its competitors.

Even though they account for about two thirds of employment and 60% of total value added, relatively few small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Europe grow to the necessary critical size to compete effectively with large dominant incumbents or to enter foreign markets.

Enlargement

There are sizeable differences between the structure of manufacturing industry in the existing Member States and in the candidate countries. This is due to the fact that industry in the candidate countries is less specialised and more centred on low-technology sectors, such as food and beverages, textiles, basic metal industries and wood products. Significant progress has, however, been made in recent years in increasing labour productivity, even if this is, in all cases, still below 50% of the EU average.

All sectors have to cope with a difficult environment for companies to flourish: the cost of complying with the Community acquis, especially environmental legislation; difficulties in accessing finance; insufficient support from the public authorities, etc. On the other hand, some SMEs in the existing Member States, mainly in border regions, could be faced with competition.

EU enlargement should offer opportunities for competitive reorganisation. For example, given the increased heterogeneity of wage structures and technological skills, the candidate countries have tended to specialise in low-cost production, which is reflected in limited transfers of production from the current Member States to the candidate countries. In addition, many EU enterprises have acquired companies in the candidate countries on the basis of local technological inputs and skills.

The challenges for a new industrial policy

The main challenges which European Union industrial policy will have to face are analysed in this communication as being:

  • globalisation: geographical location remains a crucial factor for research and innovation. It is therefore vital to improve the attractiveness of the EU as a productive location;
  • technological change: the aim is to combine information and communication technologies, new managerial and organisational techniques and develop a skilled labour force to help substantially improve the competitiveness of industry;
  • innovation and entrepreneurship: the competitiveness of companies is based on factors such as the continuous creation of new firms, and the growth of existing ones, particularly in times of rapid technological progress. European industry also requires the development and economic exploitation of new or improved products and services, and the optimisation of business processes. There is also a need to increase R&D expenditure relative to GDP, as the European Union lags behind its main competitors in this area;
  • sustainability and new societal demands: there is also a need to face up to the growing demand for safety, health, consumer and social protection, which in part reflects public concerns about the environmental, ethical, or public health implications of some new technologies. A fair balance must be struck between the Lisbon and Gothenburg goals.

The way forward

The communication is largely focused on the future and the outlook for industrial policy and improving the competitiveness of industry.

The framework conditions: framework conditions are essential for the competitiveness of enterprises. Despite monetary union, the internal market and the liberalisation of certain sectors such as telecommunications, energy and transport, the efforts to introduce a more business-friendly environment still fall short of the mark. The following factors are particularly damaging in this respect, as they limit the room for manoeuvre in companies’ activities:

  • regulatory barriers;
  • technical barriers;
  • the poor financial environment;
  • shortcomings in intellectual property protection in that there is no Community patent;
  • differences in indirect taxation and national corporate tax systems;
  • an inadequate corporate governance framework.

A more systematic approach to industrial policy: the European Union has developed a number of general approaches to improve the business environment:

  • at EU level, the aim is to limit regulation to essential requirements linked to product safety or interoperability, allow manufacturers to declare conformity with the essential requirements, ask standards organisation bodies to develop harmonised European standards, and carry out an assessment of the impact of legislative initiatives on various categories of stakeholders, as provided for by the Commission in its 2002 Action Plan (FR ) (pdf);
  • at Member State level, the new open method of coordination should be put into practice. This involves compiling scoreboards, comparing the performances of individual Member States, exchanging best practices and setting quantitative targets.

Improving the integration of EU policies: the competitiveness of enterprises is determined by a large number of policies. The EC Treaty takes this into account when it stipulates in Article 157 that the Community shall contribute to the achievement of the objectives of industrial policy through its other policies. It is essential to ensure appropriate integration between all EU activities that can contribute to meeting these objectives. These are, in particular, trade policy, single market-related policies, energy and transport policies, R&D policy, competition policy, regional policy and macroeconomic policy. In order to reconcile the objectives of the Lisbon European Council with those of the Gothenburg European Council, and simultaneously pursue economic, social and environmental objectives within the framework of the sustainability strategy, other policies need to be taken into account. These include social, employment and vocational training policies, consumer protection and public health policy, environmental protection and corporate social responsibility.

Enlargement, global governance and the horizontal approach: Some industrial policy instruments should be adapted to the specific needs of the candidate countries, such as skills upgrading and SME development.

In addition, it is very much in the interest of the European Union to continue to develop globally accepted principles in fields such as environmental protection, consumer safety and social and labour standards, so that European companies are not placed at a disadvantage vis-à-vis their global competitors.

Industrial policy will continue to follow a horizontal approach in, for instance, actions to foster entrepreneurship and innovation. A vertical approach will also, however, be required to take account of the specific characteristics of certain sectors of industry: the strong requirement for R&D in the steel industry, environmental and consumer protection aspects in the chemical and biotechnology sectors, the fact that the internal market is still incomplete in the aerospace industry, and over-capacity in the telecommunications sector.

Specific tasks for the European Union: more specifically, the following activities should be pursued:

  • Promotion of innovation, knowledge and research:
    – achieve the objective set by the European Union at the Barcelona European Council of raising the level of R&D investment to 3% of GDP by 2010;
    – develop technological platforms in order to foster cooperation between stakeholders and work out a long-term strategy for R&D and innovation, thus ensuring synergy among public authorities, users, regulators, industry, consumers, and poles of excellence;
    – invest in intangible assets and human capital in order to make the most efficient use of existing knowledge and maximise its diffusion;
    – look closely at the defence industries, in view of the specific nature of their high record in terms of research and innovation and their dependence on orders from the State.
  • Entrepreneurship:
    – increase entrepreneurial activity by improving the environment in which companies operate:
    – easier access to finance in the earlier stages of a company’s life cycle;
    – enhance skills;
    – reduce regulatory and tax burdens.
  • The marketing of more environmentally-friendly products that are increasingly demanded by regulators and consumers:
    – the promotion of a viable recycling industry;
    – the development of voluntary agreements;
    – the diffusion of clean technologies;
    – the use of environmental management schemes.

4) Implementing Measures

5) Follow-Up Work

Communication from the Commission –[COM(2004) 274 final – Not published in the Official Journal]

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament –[COM(2003) 704 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

The future of the textiles and clothing sector in the enlarged European Union

The future of the textiles and clothing sector in the enlarged European Union

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about The future of the textiles and clothing sector in the enlarged European Union

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Enterprise > Industry

The future of the textiles and clothing sector in the enlarged European Union

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, of 29 October 2003, on “The future of the textiles and clothing sector in the enlarged European Union” [COM(2003) 649 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

With an annual turnover of 200 billion and over 177 000 enterprises employing more than 2 million people, the textiles and clothing industry plays an important role in a number of regions in the European Union (EU). The sector’s share of total manufacturing value added at EU level amounts to roughly 4%, and its share of total manufacturing employment to 7%.

By putting forward a framework of measures and lines of action, the Communication sets out a strategy to help the textiles and clothing industry face the new issues and challenges presented by an expanded market. The aim is to improve competitiveness and competitive conditions in the sector. The challenges facing the textiles and clothing sector are mainly linked to the enlargement of the EU, changes in international trade, and the influence of the industry’s permanent restructuring and modernisation process on its competitiveness factors.

KEY CHALLENGES

Enlargement

In the course of the last few years, textiles and clothing companies in the 15 EU Member States prior to enlargement on 1 May 2004 (EU-15) relocated their production facilities to the candidate countries and other non-EU countries and continued their sub-contracting activities. For these companies, enlargement offers further investment opportunities.

In general, the textiles and clothing sector plays a more important role in the economy of the candidate countries than in the EU-15. For the candidate countries, enlargement increases the pressure to restructure and modernise the sector, given that their markets risk being invaded by low-price competing products from third countries. They are also seeing relocation of mass production to third countries and experiencing additional costs in having to respect the Community acquis in the field of environmental protection and health and safety requirements.

Trade issues

On 1 January 2005, quantitative restrictions on imports will be abolished under the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Textiles and Clothing (ATC). This will lead to increased competitive pressure in the EU from the main non-EU producers, such as China. The impact of this increased pressure will be particularly acute in European regions with a very high concentration of textiles and clothing production. It will also be felt in some of the least developed countries (LDCs) and other countries which have preferential agreements with the EU.

Disparities will, however, remain between tariffs in the EU (9% on average) and tariffs in other countries (which can amount to over 30%). If the situation is not rectified, the European market will be very open, but the European textiles and clothing sector will not be able to expand into those countries where imports barriers are high.

The WTO ‘s Doha Development Agenda (DDA) offers an opportunity to set out the terms for the reduction and harmonisation of tariff levels to attain uniform market access conditions. The solution here should be compatible with the preferential access to the EU enjoyed by certain countries, such as such as African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) and Euro-Mediterranean countries.

Competitiveness Issues

In recent years, the textiles and clothing sector has experienced major changes linked to competitiveness sparked mainly by:

  • technological changes;
  • developments in different production costs;
  • the emergence of major international competitors (such as China)
  • a lengthy process of restructuring, modernisation and incorporating technological progress.

A number of policies have an impact on the business environment for companies in the textiles and clothing sector, and thus on their competitiveness:

  • research, development and innovation: the production of new intelligent materials and highly specialised products, the development of new and more efficient processing methods and the marketing of creative products at competitive prices;
  • information and communication technologies (ICT): the development of business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs);
  • vocational training: high-quality training that is relevant to the sector’s new profile and environment, better training of the existing workforce;
  • employment: the promotion of equal opportunities, managing change and the European Sectoral Social Dialogue;
  • the environment: reduction in the amount of waste water discharged and the chemical load this waste water carries, adoption of a life-cycle approach to manufactured products which takes their environmental impact into account;
  • chemicals: the EU’s new chemicals policy (the future draft REACH Regulation);
  • consumer affairs and public health;
  • corporate social responsibility: to be fostered mainly among SMEs;
  • intellectual property rights;
  • regional aspects;
  • competition policy; state aid and Internal Market issues.

STRENGTHENING THE SUSTAINABLE COMPETITIVENESS OF THE SECTOR

In order to strengthen the competitiveness of the textiles and clothing industry, this Communication suggests that the EU and Member States need to ensure a coherent policy mix and the adequate availability of instruments.

Trade policy

With the abolition of quotas on 1 January 2005, competitive pressure on EU firms will increase. It is therefore important that they in turn find outlets in international markets which are often still protected by trade barriers. The Communication emphasises the need to create identical market access conditions for all textiles and clothing producers.

Achieving the objective of a Euro-Mediterranean free trade zone will make it possible to bring the EU textiles and clothing sector together with that of the Mediterranean countries (including Turkey and, in the longer term, the Balkan countries).

The developing countries will not only face stiffer competition from 2005 onwards, but are also ineligible for tariff reductions on some of their garment exports to the EU, mainly because of certain current rules of origin. In order to at least partly remedy this situation, the Communication proposes either to concentrate trade preferences on the poorest countries (concentration of unilateral preferences), or to improve the use of preferences (cumulation of origin). The rules of origin should take into account the capacity of these countries to produce garments which are likely to be exported to the EU, without losing trade preferences.

In order to protect the intellectual property rights of the textiles industry (branding, fashion and design), protection in third countries needs to be improved, in accordance with the WTO Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) Agreement.

The promotion of sustainable development in all its dimensions (economic, social, and environmental) will also help ensure increased competition and trade liberalisation should contribute to that objective.

Research, development and innovation policy

The 6th Framework programme for Research and Development contains funding possibilities for the textiles and clothing sector. The better coordination of actions by the Member States and the EU should also be envisaged in the field of innovation and research, as well as in education and training.

Education and training policy

New skills and training programmes are needed.

Regional and cohesion policy

Re-training and redeployment programmes need to be established in European regions which depend upon the textiles and clothing sector. The adoption of specific measures at regional level has already been taken into account in Objective 3 of the Structural Funds and in the European Social Fund. These aspects have also been considered within the framework of the new Financial Perspectives 2007-2013.

Industrial cooperation

The Commission will examine the feasibility of promoting industrial cooperation initiatives between enterprises in the EU and in other major textiles and clothing producing countries.

Other measures – consumer issues

The overall objective of sustainable development should be pursued in all its dimensions (economic, social, and environmental). This objective should be promoted through specialised international institutions. At European level, one specific measure would be to bring in labelling schemes to better inform consumers. In this respect, the introduction of a ‘Made in Europe’ label or a label of origin for textiles and clothing products marketed in the EU shall be considered.

BACKGROUND

This Communication should be viewed in the context of the Commission Communication of December 2002 on industrial policy in an enlarged Europe. The Commission does, in effect, pursue a horizontal industrial policy that aims to improve conditions for all enterprises. This Communication on textiles and clothing is one of the sectoral applications of this horizontal industrial policy.

In connection with this Communication, the Commission has set up a high-level sectoral group for the period 2004-2006, whose task will be to translate the proposals into effective actions.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission of 13 October 2004. “Textiles and clothing after 2005 – Recommendations of the High Level Group for textiles and clothing” [COM(2004) 668 final – Not published in the Official Journal]

 

European strategy for the development of key enabling technologies

European strategy for the development of key enabling technologies

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about European strategy for the development of key enabling technologies

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Research and innovation > Research in support of other policies

European strategy for the development of key enabling technologies

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 30 September 2009 – “Preparing for our future: Developing a common strategy for key enabling technologies in the EU” [COM(2009) 512 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

As part of the European Union (EU) innovation and industrial policy, the effective development and deployment of key enabling technologies (KETs) will be an important factor in the industrial and economic future of the EU. Until now there has been no common approach to the identification of KETs. The Commission therefore proposes a process of identifying the KETs that can be used to improve the industrial capacities of the EU, enhance the competitiveness and sustainability of the EU’s economy, and enable the EU to fulfil its ambition of becoming a principal player when facing global societal challenges.

The identification of KETs

There are differences between EU countries as to what should be considered as a KET. According to current global research and market trends, the Commission suggests a list of KETs that could be considered as the technologies most capable of improving the EU’s industrial competitiveness. The list includes nanotechnology, micro- and nanoelectronics, photonics, advanced materials and biotechnology.

These technologies need to be developed further to help the EU better address global societal challenges. The environmental impact of these technologies is important as energy efficient and low carbon technologies will help the EU reach its energy and climate change targets. Due to social concerns, however, legitimate health and environmental consequences of these KETs need to be addressed.

Lack of research and development (R&D) effectiveness in the EU

The EU trails behind the US and Japan in R&D intensity and in the high-tech industry, despite the considerable public R&D efforts that are undertaken in these areas. The Commission gives reasons why the current efforts are not producing adequate results:

  • the EU is not adequately effective in capitalising on its own R&D results relating to KETs;
  • a lack of public understanding and knowledge of KETs leads to environmental and health concerns about the development and use of such technologies;
  • the EU has a shortage of adequately qualified people in this area and has to ensure that its science, technology engineering and maths (STEM) graduate base is developing. The relationship between researchers, entrepreneurs and financial intermediaries needs to be enhanced in order to create incentives to commercialise research results and to reinforce the knowledge transfer between them;
  • there is a relatively low amount of venture capital funding and private investment in the EU available for KETs, especially in contrast to the funding in other regions;
  • a common long-term vision and more coordinated efforts between EU countries are needed in order to overcome the fragmentation of markets with regard to innovation. EU countries must collaborate more to extend the scale and scope of their individual technology policies.

Development and promotion of KETs in the EU

The Commission lists policy areas, which need to be addressed for the successful deployment of KETs:

  • increased focus on the promotion of innovation for KETs and an enhanced relationship between research output and industrial impact;
  • increased focus on the technology transfer between research institutions and industry, in particular SMEs, and making sure that high technologies manufactured in Europe enter the supply chain;
  • greater collaboration between EU countries, e.g. through joint strategic programming, and greater involvement of industry and users in these projects;
  • state aid policies that address market distortions;
  • encouraged use of KETs in the fight against climate change;
  • creation of a more favourable environment for a more effective capitalisation of research results by looking into the lead market initiative and public procurement as possible stimulators for enabling high technologies;
  • International comparison of high technology policies between EU countries and with other regions, such as the US, Japan, Russia, China and India, in order to identify best practices and scope for cooperation;
  • international trade policy to ensure favourable trade conditions on KETs;
  • stimulation of financial investment in high technology industry by encouraging the European Investment Bank (EIB) to facilitate loans to high-tech industries, exploiting the financial instruments of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) and to promote public-private partnership in order to make venture capital available;
  • increased focus on education and vocational training in the area of new technologies to respond to the labour market needs and to ensure that the full potential of KETs is exploited.

The future of KETs in the EU

The European Union needs a shared and strategic vision on key enabling technologies. In the long term, key actors, i.e. the European institutions, EU countries, businesses and other stakeholders, need to work in partnership in order to ensure the successful deployment of European key enabling technologies by industries.

In the short term, the Community has to make best use of existing policies, such as state aid rules, trade aspects, access to financing mechanisms and the reinforcement of existing initiatives, in order to promote the commercialisation of key enabling technologies. In addition, the Commission has set up a high-level expert group which will assist the Commission in developing a long-term strategy on key enabling technologies and assess the competitive situation of KETs in the EU, analyse available R&D capacities and propose specific policy recommendations.

An integrated industrial policy for the globalisation era

An integrated industrial policy for the globalisation era

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about An integrated industrial policy for the globalisation era

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Enterprise > Industry

An integrated industrial policy for the globalisation era

Document or Iniciative

Communication of 28 November 2010 from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – An Integrated Industrial Policy for the Globalisation Era, Putting Competitiveness and Sustainability at Centre Stage [COM (2010) 614 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

This communication proposes a new approach to industrial policy, placing competitiveness and sustainability of European Union (EU) industry at the centre. For this purpose, it is essential to consider industrial policy in its wider sense, embracing those policies that have an impact on the cost, price and innovative competitiveness of industry and individual sectors, but also considering the competitiveness effects of all other policy initiatives which can have an important influence on the cost, price and innovative competitiveness. This not only includes the single-market and trade policies, but also the transport, energy, environmental or social and consumer-protection policies.

The Commission’s fresh approach to industrial policy is characterised by the following:

  • continuing to apply a tailor made approach to all sectors and, at the same time, coordinating European policy responses as the concept of national sectors in the context of globalisation is fading away;
  • considering the whole value and supply chain, from access to energy and raw materials to after-sale service and the recycling of materials. As some parts of this chain are outside the EU, all industries must have a ‘globalisation reflex’;
  • regular reporting by the Commission on the EU’s and EU countries’ competitiveness and industrial policies and performance.

EU policies have to all work together in the same direction in order to provide best framework conditions for industry in Europe. Therefore, within the framework of the impact assessment process, the Commission has developed a competitiveness proofing, i.e. a special consideration of industrial competitiveness that should be applied to all policy areas. In parallel, specific fitness checks are proposed to ensure that the cumulative effect of existing legislation is not burdensome to industry.

Innovation is a key driver for productivity, increased energy and material efficiency, the improved performance of good and services and the generation of new markets. A new industrial innovation policy will encourage the faster development and commercialisation of goods and services, and ensure that EU firms are first onto the global market, thereby increasing their competitiveness. Key enabling technologies can provide the basis for a range of new processes and goods and services, including the development of new industries in the future. The Commission therefore proposes to further promote the deployment and commercialisation of competitive key enabling technologies.

The modernisation of Europe’s skills base will support Europe’s industrial base by improving the functioning of the EU’s labour markets and ensuring the EU’s workforce has the right skills. For this purpose, the Commission will encourage the networking of relevant players to share information and best practices among EU countries and propose guidance principles on framework conditions for job creation.

In order to capitalise on globalisation, the Commission will develop international regulatory co-operation initiatives with a view to develop globally compatible rules and standards and will seek closer economic integration with the EU’s neighbouring countries by extending the benefits of the European single market in selected areas through the European Neighbourhood Policy. This communication also recognises the challenges that SMEs face in going international; a strategy for the internationalisation of SMEs was launched at the end of 2011. Providing SMEs with the right information and supplementary support in markets outside the EU is among the key priorities.

This communication acknowledges that EU industry must speed up its transition to the low-carbon, resource- and energy-efficient economy, which can lead to cost reductions and a reduced impact on the environment. On 20 September 2011, the European Commission launched its Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe which provides a framework to deliver an ambitious decoupling of carbon and resource use from economic growth. In line with the EU roadmap for a low-carbon economy by 2050 the Commission will develop long-term sectoral industrial strategies and policies needed to assist the transition to a low-carbon, resource- and energy-efficient economy.

The communication called for a more effective governance of industrial policy with encreased co-ordination and co-operation of EU countries. The 2011 Communication “Industrial Policy: Reinforce Competitiveness” of 14th October 2011 follows up this aspect of policy.

Industry

Industry

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Industry

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Enterprise > Industry

Industry

In recent years, industrial policy has become an even more important topic in the Community debate. Globalisation and competition from new emerging countries have made it necessary for industry to adapt to structural changes.
In order to stimulate industrial competitiveness, the European Union (EU) combines a horizontal approach, aimed at creating stimulating framework conditions in various strategic areas, with a sectoral approach in which account is taken of the particular characteristics of each sector.

INDUSTRIAL POLICY AND COMPETITIVENESS

  • An integrated industrial policy for the globalisation era
  • Fostering structural change: an industrial policy for an enlarged Europe
  • Key issues for competitiveness in Europe
  • Industrial policy in an enlarged Europe
  • Productivity: The Key to Competitiveness of European Economies and Enterprises
  • European strategy for the development of key enabling technologies

INDUSTRIAL SECTORS

Forest-based industry

  • Towards a competitive and sustainable forest-based industry

Textile industry

  • Textile products: textile fibre names and labelling
  • Textiles after 2005
  • The future of the textiles and clothing sector in the enlarged European Union

Non-energy extractive industry

  • Competitiveness of the metals industries
  • Promoting sustainable development in the non-energy extractive industry

Naval construction sector

  • LeaderSHIP 2015

Space industry

  • A European space policy

Defence industry

  • Strategy for a more competitive European defence industry
  • Towards a European Union Defence Equipment Policy

Tourism

  • New political framework for European tourism
  • Statistics on tourism
  • Agenda for a sustainable and competitive European tourism
  • Towards a stronger partnership for European Tourism

E-commerce

  • Legal aspects of electronic commerce (“Directive on electronic commerce”)
  • i2010: Information Society and the media working towards growth and jobs

Business-related services

  • The competitiveness of business-related services

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Enterprise

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Enterprise

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Enterprise

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Enterprise > International dimension and enlargement

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Enterprise

acquis) and, more specifically, the priorities identified jointly by the Commission and the candidate countries in the analytical assessment (or ‘screening’) of the EU’s political and legislative acquis. Each year, the Commission reviews the progress made by candidates and evaluates the efforts required before their accession. This monitoring is the subject of annual reports presented to the Council and the European Parliament.

Document or Iniciative

Commission Report – [COM(2011) 666 final – SEC(2011) 1203 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was granted candidate country status for European Union (EU) membership in 2005. The Accession Partnership, adopted by the Council in 2008, supports the country’s preparations in view of its future membership and the alignment of its legislation with the Community acquis. In 2008, the accession negotiations had not yet been opened, as some progress still needed to be made on the objectives and conditions set out in the partnership.

The 2011 Report from the European Commission outlines satisfactory, but uneven progress in the area of enterprise and industrial policy.

EUROPEAN UNION ACQUIS (according to the Commission’s words)

EU industrial policy seeks to promote industrial strategies which strengthen competitiveness by accelerating adaptation to structural changes and encouraging a framework conducive to the creation and development of enterprises across the EU and to national and foreign investment. It also seeks to improve the overall business environment in which small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operate. It presupposes a process of privatisation and restructuring (see also Chapter 8 – Competition policy). The European strategy in this area essentially involves defining fundamental principles and drawing up industrial policy declarations. The implementation of enterprise policy and industrial policy requires an adequate administrative capacity at national, regional and local level.

EVALUATION (according to the Commission’s words)

Progress was good but uneven in the field of enterprise and industrial policy. There have been some achievements in simplification of the legislation and administrative procedures for business operation and reduction of business costs. Enterprise support measures remain scattered within several programmes.

Related Acts

Commission Report [COM(2010) 660 final – SEC(2010) 1327 – Not published in the Official Journal].
The 2010 Report presents the reforms and strategies which have enabled improvements to the business environment and support measures for the sector, in particular for the benefit of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Commission Report [COM(2009) 533 final – SEC(2009) 1334 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission Report [COM(2008) 674 final – SEC(2008) 2699 – Not published in the Official Journal].

The November 2008 report states that alignment with the acquis is relatively satisfactory, particularly with respect to the regulatory framework and sector policy. However, it highlights the necessity for further efforts in improving the business environment.


Another Normative about The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Enterprise

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic

Enlargement > Ongoing enlargement > The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Enterprise

acquis) and, more specifically, the priorities identified jointly by the Commission and the candidate countries in the analytical assessment (or ‘screening’) of the EU’s political and legislative acquis. Each year, the Commission reviews the progress made by candidates and evaluates the efforts required before their accession. This monitoring is the subject of annual reports presented to the Council and the European Parliament.

Document or Iniciative

Commission Report – [COM(2011) 666 final – SEC(2011) 1203 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was granted candidate country status for European Union (EU) membership in 2005. The Accession Partnership, adopted by the Council in 2008, supports the country’s preparations in view of its future membership and the alignment of its legislation with the Community acquis. In 2008, the accession negotiations had not yet been opened, as some progress still needed to be made on the objectives and conditions set out in the partnership.

The 2011 Report from the European Commission outlines satisfactory, but uneven progress in the area of enterprise and industrial policy.

EUROPEAN UNION ACQUIS (according to the Commission’s words)

EU industrial policy seeks to promote industrial strategies which strengthen competitiveness by accelerating adaptation to structural changes and encouraging a framework conducive to the creation and development of enterprises across the EU and to national and foreign investment. It also seeks to improve the overall business environment in which small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operate. It presupposes a process of privatisation and restructuring (see also Chapter 8 – Competition policy). The European strategy in this area essentially involves defining fundamental principles and drawing up industrial policy declarations. The implementation of enterprise policy and industrial policy requires an adequate administrative capacity at national, regional and local level.

EVALUATION (according to the Commission’s words)

Progress was good but uneven in the field of enterprise and industrial policy. There have been some achievements in simplification of the legislation and administrative procedures for business operation and reduction of business costs. Enterprise support measures remain scattered within several programmes.

Related Acts

Commission Report [COM(2010) 660 final – SEC(2010) 1327 – Not published in the Official Journal].
The 2010 Report presents the reforms and strategies which have enabled improvements to the business environment and support measures for the sector, in particular for the benefit of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Commission Report [COM(2009) 533 final – SEC(2009) 1334 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission Report [COM(2008) 674 final – SEC(2008) 2699 – Not published in the Official Journal].

The November 2008 report states that alignment with the acquis is relatively satisfactory, particularly with respect to the regulatory framework and sector policy. However, it highlights the necessity for further efforts in improving the business environment.

Iceland – Enterprises

Iceland – Enterprises

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Iceland – Enterprises

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Enterprise > International dimension and enlargement

Iceland – Enterprises

acquis) and, more specifically, the priorities identified jointly by the Commission and the candidate countries in the analytical assessment (or ‘screening’) of the EU’s political and legislative acquis. Each year, the Commission reviews the progress made by candidates and evaluates the efforts required before their accession. This monitoring is the subject of annual reports presented to the Council and the European Parliament.

Document or Iniciative

Commission Report [COM(2011) 666 final – SEC(2011) 1202 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

In its 2011 Report the Commission gives a positive assessment of Iceland’s alignment with the European Union (EU) acquis due to its participation in the European Economic Area (EEA). Preparations for accession must be pursued.

EUROPEAN UNION ACQUIS (according to the Commission’s words)

EU industrial policy seeks to promote industrial strategies which strengthen competitiveness by accelerating adaptation to structural changes and encouraging a framework conducive to the creation and development of enterprises across the EU and to national and foreign investment. It also seeks to improve the overall business environment in which small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operate. It presupposes a process of privatisation and restructuring (see also Chapter 8 – Competition policy). The Community strategy in this area essentially involves defining fundamental principles and drawing up industrial policy declarations. The implementation of enterprise policy and industrial policy requires an adequate administrative capacity at national, regional and local level.

EVALUATION (according to the Commission’s words)

In general the country has achieved a high level of alignment in the field of enterprise and industrial policy. Specific measures have been adopted concerning industrial policy and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in order to overcome the challenges emerging in the wake of the economic and financial crisis.

Sustainable Consumption, Production and Industry Action Plan

Sustainable Consumption, Production and Industry Action Plan

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Sustainable Consumption, Production and Industry Action Plan

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Food safety > Food safety: general provisions

Sustainable Consumption, Production and Industry Action Plan

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 25 June 2008 on the ‘Sustainable Consumption and Production and Sustainable Industrial Policy Action Plan’ [COM(2008) 397 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The Commission proposes the implementation of a series of measures to improve the energy and environmental performance of products throughout their life cycle, and to stimulate demand and consumption of better quality products, thus creating a ‘virtuous circle’.

These targets may be reached by:

  • extending the scope of the Directive on ecodesign, which for the moment only applies to energy-using products, to all energy-related products or those products which have an impact on energy consumption during their use (window frames, water-using devices etc.);
  • extending the scope of the Energy Labelling Directive to cover a wider range of products;
  • revising the Ecolabel Regulation to simplify and streamline the process of obtaining an ecolabel, and to extend the product coverage;
  • promoting green public procurement, by providing guidance and tools for public authorities to “green” their procurement practices;
  • implementing incentive measures aimed at reducing the environmental footprint of the retail sector and its supply chain, promote more sustainable products, and better inform consumers.

Leaner production

There is already a regulatory framework for production processes concerning environmental emissions from industries and the greenhouse gas emission allowance trading scheme, in particular. The Commission considers however that there is a need to give further impetus to environmentally friendly production processes and energy savings. In this context, the Commission intends to act in three areas:

  • increase efficient use of resources (creating more value while using less resources);
  • support eco-innovation;
  • enhance the environmental potential of industry, by revising the EMAS Regulation (Community eco-management and audit scheme), by preparing industrial policies for environmental industries and by helping small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to fully exploit business opportunities in the field of environment and energy.

Acting on a global scale

Action will also be undertaken at a global level:

  • promote good practice internationally in sustainable production and consumption;
  • promote international trade in environmentally friendly goods and services;
  • promote sector-based agreements in international negotiations on climate change.

Context

The action plan forms part of the European Union Strategy for Sustainable Development and the Community Lisbon Programme for 2008-2010 of which one of the main orientations is the promotion of an industrial policy geared towards more sustainable consumption and production. The Commission will review progress and report on the implementation of the initiatives proposed in 2012.