The European Commission has presented A New Industrial Strategy to help Europe’s industry negotiate the twin transitions of decarbonisation and digitalisation, while maintaining its global competitiveness and leadership.

The Strategy is grounded in the objectives of the European Green Deal, with the primary goal of creating a competitive industry to help Europe become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. A number of different initiatives are elaborated to help companies, both large and small, to reduce their carbon emissions.

Focus on energy-intensive sectors

Energy-intensive industries such as steel, cement and chemicals are a top priority. They will be supported to modernise and decarbonise through a range of measures including the Innovation Fund, which will use revenues from the EU Emissions Trading System. New Strategies on Clean Steel and Chemicals will be elaborated to guide this process, and carbon-intensive regions will get additional support through the Just Transition Mechanism.

The strategy additionally puts forward a potential Common European Energy Data Space, to exploit the potential of data to enhance the innovation capacity of the energy sector, including possible open data applications. An EU Strategy on Offshore Renewable Energy is expected to also support coastal regions in roll-out of offshore wind and wave energy technologies.

There will also be a special focus on decarbonising the mobility industries. Incentives, including in procurement, will be used to help these industries maintain their global technological leadership. A full set of measures will be put forward in a Comprehensive Strategy for Sustainable and Smart Mobility.

Supporting SMEs in the transition

In order to help SMEs improve their environmental impact, the Enterprise Europe Network will provide additional sustainability services through dedicated Sustainability Advisors. Their role will be to assess the needs of SMEs and provide advice on investing in less energy intensive processes and infrastructure. 

To make sure the EU workforce has the necessary skills to implement the transition, regions are encouraged to make use of the future European Social Fund Plus and of the new possibilities to invest European Regional Development Funds in developing skills for smart specialisation and industrial transition.

You can find more information about the industrial strategy in other Policy Learning Platform articles on the Circular Economy Action Plan, the SME Strategy and the role of research and innovation. For more information, see the communication on the Industrial Strategy and Commission Q&A, as well as the communication on the SME Strategy.

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