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A new industrial revolution for Europe

The European commission wants to make Europe a centre of industry as it outlines its plans to re-industrialise the region. It aims to make 20% of Europe’s economic output come from industry by the year 2020.

The organisation claims that Europe needs a real economy now more than ever to ensure the recovery of growth and to create the jobs needed for the Eurozone to reverse its decline in the 21st century. The Commission lists six areas of interest that it believes will propel Europe back to the forefront of industry. They list sectors such as bio-based products, clean vehicles and construction as the key areas needed to be invested in. One of the sectors it hopes to expand is clean technology, where it says Europe has a dominant world market share in automatic waste separation, where materials can be sorted and recycled by machine.

They also say that a dedicated task force will be created before the end of 2012 to define road maps for each sector.

The commission blames the decline of Europe’s industry on the fact that European companies have moved production to cheaper areas such as India and China in a bid to keep their costs down. Now however they claim that the advantages of such moves are no longer as attractive as they once were with wages steadily increasing in those countries.

They also suggest that the European orientation towards sustainable growth will help the region take the lead in the energy and resource savings production. It hopes that these sectors ‘will complement current European strengths i.e. strong micro-economic environment, high productivity, a large, integrated market, and a qualified, flexible labour force.’ It adds; ‘One should not forget that Europe is an extremely important market, accounting for some 30% of global personal consumption expenditure in 2010, which is more than double that of the combined BRICS (around 14%). Besides, despite the skills mismatch problems reported by industry, Europe also leads in the number of graduates in natural science and engineering, respectively accounting for 18% and 17% of the world’s total.’

The proposal is a nice idea in theory but until the Euro crisis is resolved then it must surely only be a pipe dream. Unemployment is rampant and many countries are struggling with massive debt burdens. They can’t afford to pay their own bills let alone look to heavily invest a continent wide industrial revolution. Europe does need to implement these measures if it is to have a profitable future; it’s the getting to the point where it can implement these ideas successfully that is the problem.

As of 12:40pm

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