European industrial competitiveness strategy based on integration and solidarity

Philippe HERZOG

Founding president of Confrontations Europe

Philippe Herzog appeals to economic and social players and to political leaders for the adoption of a European industrial competitiveness strategy based on integration and solidarity.

In this powerful appeal, Philippe Herzog makes six recommendations to economic and social players and to political leaders, and puts forward the need of a European industrial competitiveness strategy based on integration and solidarity at the heart of the national and European political agendas.
His appeal follows on from and completes the discussions held by Confrontations Europe, and the actions it has taken to establish a competitive and inclusive Europe. It is released in a particularly burning context. The dilemma between austerity and growth is fake. The indispensable restrictive policies are, against all intentions, creating austerity, while economic growth remains elusive. The important decisions taken during summer to increase stability have left us more time, but the fundamental goal is to start reforming our welfare and economic systems to create a new sustainable growth potential. This potential is very low in Europe today.
Philippe Herzog stresses once more that industrial renewal is key to solving the issue, as it drives research, productivity and export growth. But this renewal, he says, cannot be brought about solely by the experts at the Ministries of the Economy and Finance; a number of conscious social choices also need to be made.
We need to instil new motivation into young people to steer them towards sciences, technology, manufacturing and sales, and convince workers to accept restructuring programmes and job-to-job transitions that will bring fresh hope.
This is why the very large-scale reforms of the training sector and the labour markets must be given absolute priority. In addition, Europe’s economic, social and political players must win the war of innovation in all sectors. This will only be possible if the different countries, starting with France, can rely on an integrated and inclusive European industrial area. The opportunities created by the single market cannot be seized if Europe remains divided by rivalry and by uncooperative strategies. And the only way to ensure that new technologies are embraced across all regions and industrial sectors is to introduce new common policies. Similarly, the valuation and financing of medium and long-term investments require Europe to regain control of the value of its potential and its projects, which the Union has largely entrusted to the financial markets.
Philippe Herzog and we believe that national and European political leaders have a duty to define the mandate and the mode of governance needed for a common industrial strategy. We invite all economic and social players to set up more new initiatives, cooperation agreements and jointly-coordinated projects.

Claude Fischer, President of Confrontations Europe

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