Stakeholders meeting Committee of the Regions ECON Report “a location-specific approach of the EU industrial policy 2030"

The European industry is strong and leading in many branches in the world. The European industry, however, also has to adapt to a globalising and competitive global market. The Committee of the Regions (CoR) is aware of that and has asked Regional Minister Jeannette Baljeu (Zuid-Holland) to write a report on ‘a place-based approach of the EU industrial policy 2030’. Regional Minister Jeannette Baljeu is gathering input in Brussels to move towards the EU Industrial Policy 2030.

“It is important to strengthen regional economic clusters of businesses and knowledge institutions and to support them in the transition into a circular and zero-carbon economy, so that the regions can collaborate on a stronger, innovative and competitive European Union”, states Regional Minister Jeannette Baljeu.

Informal stakeholders meeting

On 14 February, the Randstand Conurbation Region organised an informal stakeholders meeting to clarify the initial ideas of the report and the recommendation it contains. Many organisations were present: TNO, European Committee, Vanguard, BussinessEurope and interested cities and regions. How can regions contribute to this new industrial policy? How can this be achieved in the most sustainable manner? How can this be done cross-sectorial, cross-regional and across funds? Regional Minister Baljeu raised these three questions during this meeting. During the ensuing discussion it was mentioned that investments in the necessary new skills to prepare the workforce for the new industry requires special attention.

Official stakeholders meeting

The official stakeholders meeting organised by the CoR itself took place on the following day. Consultancy bureau ‘t33 Sound Policy’ kicked off by presenting the results of experiments with the implementation of a 'place-based approach’ throughout Europe. To touch on as many subjects as possible, the participants divided into four work groups, to each discuss a theme: the place-based approach itself, the pan-European collaboration of regions, the technological changes for a new industry, plus the relevant skills and the transition to a circular and zero-carbon economy. From this collection of subjects it became very clear that the regions can and must act as connector between industry (including SMEs), knowledge field, society and government. The entire chain can be included this way. All this is to take place in as well as outside the regions themselves, to connect similar regions in Europe. Regions can demonstrate their leadership by connecting with the sectors and between the regions.

Follow-up of the stakeholders meeting

On 6 March 2019 a workshop will take place where Regional Minister Jeannette Baljeu is to meet various experts on the future of the EU industrial policy. Experts from various authorities attending this workshop include: the European Committee, the ESPON (European Spatial Planning Observation Network), the CoR and the OECD. In interactive debates, participants will be asked to share their thoughts on the question how a EU industrial policy strategy can be implemented based on a regional or place-based approach. The input will be taken into consideration during the formulation of the advice of the report's first draft, to be presented on 23 March 2019.