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SEMI Europe appreciates that both the EU and Member States make further steps in advancing the key role of a dynamic manufacturing sector in competitiveness, innovation, sustainability and the well-being of citizens. The recently communicated industrial policy strategies at the EU and national levels dovetail with this approach. It is also encouraging that the stakeholders across Europe increasingly call for a unified European effort to address competitive pressures from around the world. In sectors with high capital expenditures, public-private-partnerships are instrumental in competitiveness and global leadership.

The European industrial ecosystem is very heterogeneous. It includes agile SMEs, start-ups, traditional family-owned companies, large global players and world-class research centers and innovation hubs. Europe’s key innovative strength is the collaboration among them. Europe’s industrial strategy should prioritize agility and collaboration in the age of globalization and digitization and avoid overemphasizing the creation of gigantic players, which could hamper Europe’s ecosystem in the long run.

What Europe really needs is to make better use of its globally admired public-private partnership models and funding tools, enable a business-friendly regulatory framework and invest in infrastructure, education and up-skilling. In this light, Europe’s industrial policy should prioritize a) investment in physical and digital infrastructure connecting Europe, b) modernization of education in high-tech and up-skilling; c) legal coherence and certainty and a lean regulatory framework; d) functioning competition based on market forces; and e) better branding of Europe across the world.