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25 February 2021
Competitiveness Economic and financial affairs News

Informal meeting of the High Level Working Group for Competitiveness and Growth, held in Iași

On May 16-17, the Ministry of the Economy hosted the Informal meeting of the High Level Group for Competitiveness and Growth, which was held in Iași under the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU.

The meeting approached a topical issue on the European economic agenda: EU industrial policy and the role of the strategic value chains.

“We must continue our collective work towards ensuring the necessary framework that would enable the EU economy to become a global competitor and leader. Such an approach will help the Member States, Romania included, to thrive in a world of limited resources and, concurrently, to prevent environmental degradation, biodiversity depletion and unsustainable resource consumption. The Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union as well as Romania as an EU Member State, will continue to work towards supporting industrial competitiveness. Preserving a strong EU industrial base that would ensure new jobs and a significant export share of the high value-added products is crucial for the competitiveness of the European economy. It is challenging to adapt industrial ecosystems to digital transformation, but the challenge can become an opportunity to increase Europe’s industrial competitiveness in the next decade”, stated Ilie Călin Bodea, Secretary of State in the Ministry of the Economy and Vice President of the High Level Working Group for Competitiveness and Growth.

Secretary of State Bodea gave voice to his hope that the trio of Romania, Finland and Croatia would continue the practice of hosting similar meetings in every Member State holding the Council Presidency and emphasised the importance of the Member States’ collective effort to strengthen the competitiveness of the European economy.

The Romanian official went on to recall that, in preparation of the COMPET Council to be held in Brussels on May 27, 2019, the Romanian Council Presidency developed two sets of thematic conclusions – one on industry and another on the single market –  as well as guidance documents structured around the two areas and including specific questions aimed at informing the ministerial debates. Ilie Călin Bodea also pointed out that an integrated approach of the two policy areas was a way to ensure the effectiveness of resource use throughout the European economy, while removing the bottlenecks within the major network infrastructure and thus boosting industrial competitiveness.

“I have made it known before, when we gathered to discuss about the EU industrial policy and the role of strategic value chains, that I consider that our actions, both at European and national levels, must help create an ecosystem that would facilitate the digital transformation and generate trust in innovative solutions. The European Union, the Member States, Romania included, are supportive of the industry in order to develop a green, modern, fair and prosperous economy. Our economic growth must rely less on depletable resources, and instead make the most of the sustainably managed renewable resources and of the ecosystem services.

Romania has openly supported the leadership of the European industry in the race for the development of new processes and technologies – including green ones – that would accelerate the development of smart network and strengthen the competitive edge of our manufacturing businesses and SMEs, thus helping consumers enjoy the benefits of efficient resource consumption. Such an approach will help the Member States, Romania included, both to prosper in a low-carbon, resource-limited world and, concurrently, to prevent environmental degradation, biodiversity depletion and unsustainable resource consumption. This approach will also underpin the economic, social and territorial cohesion”, Ilie Călin Bodea also stated.

The documents prepared at the level of the EU institutions highlight the need to engage all the Member States, regions, towns as well as the private sector in redesigning the industrial policy by placing greater emphasis on innovation and digitalisation, on investing in the new technologies, on switching to a circular and low-carbon economy, on integrating companies in the European and global value chains and on creating a more fair single market, in order to built the industry’s capacity to adapt to challenges and to make the utmost of the opportunities coming with the new era.

The industrial policy strategy lays its mark on the single market, on the circular economy, on the infrastructure and on the financial instruments. This strategy rests on innovation and on the development of zero-carbon solutions. In the same context, the EU strategy for industrial competitiveness is aimed at supporting the citizens, at revitalising the regions and at benefiting from the best technology for the industry of the future, which we all want to be innovative, smart and green.

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