The European Commission has warned that EU states risk falling behind the US in manufacturing output unless they combat high energy costs, which are contributing to industrial decline.
In response the EU executive is drafting a policy document due later this year, which will be followed by an EU summit in February 2014, that will focus on industry.
Industry Commissioner Antonio Tajani has called for a coherent EU industrial policy: “The US has rediscovered the potential of industry. Europe must do the same. That is why I want February’s European Council, which will concentrate on industry, to be an occasion where Europe, in addition to having a strong governance for fiscal consolidation, finally decides to institute a governance for micro-economic policies. That is to create real governance for industrial policy.”
Economic output generated by EU industry has fallen to 15.1 percent of GDP from 15.5 percent last year, short of the informal 20 percent target penciled in for 2020. Last year US industry accounted for 19.1 percent of GDP as a result of a cheap-energy boom following the exploitation of shale gas.