Europe’s key industries urge EESC to maximise its role in policy formation for the future

(Source: European Economic and Social Committee)

Key industrial sectors in Europe made the case for a more data-driven and future-oriented response to overcome the disruption arising from Covid, Russian aggression, the energy and climate crises, and industrial and social transformation.

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) celebrated  on 8 of June with the conference the 20th anniversary of its Consultative Commission on Industrial Change (CCMI). The focus of the conference was on the challenges of today and the prospects for tomorrow. Representatives of the mining, energy, defence and aerospace industries underlined that in a radically changed world, European policy had to reflect accurately both industrial imperatives and the social context.

CCMI is closely associated with the implementation of the new industrial strategy that aims to ensure that the European industry remains competitive, resilient and reaching strategic autonomy. To achieve it the twin green and digital transition needs to be implementing.

As Christa Schweng, EESC President, underlined in opening the event in Brussels, A strong European industry is key for the EU’s future. She also committed to continue to work together with organised civil society, the EU institutions and all relevant stakeholders to find joint solutions for the challenges that our industries are facing.

Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internal Market, paid tribute to how the EESC continues to play a key role in industrial policy issues. He told the event that the challenges of climate change, the pandemic, and war on the doorstep of the EU make it urgent for Europe to be capable of taking control of its industrial destiny, and citing an exemplary cooperation in the field of energy-intensive industries and industrial strategy.

Pietro Francesco De Lotto, President of CCMI, highlighted its role in asking new questions, anticipating new fields of analysis, constantly bringing new expertise to discussions to ensure that all stakeholders’ views are taken into account. Consultative Commission on Industrial Change is a model to rethink the future of social dialogue in European Institutions he said.

As Monika Sitárová, CCMI Vice-President, expressed it, our reports provide an evidence base for our opinions and recommendations. We use our experience of social dialogue to deal with industrial change and its social impact, to anticipate change, and contribute to solutions that are socially acceptable.

Background

The Consultative Commission on Industrial Change (known by its French acronym of CCMI, Commission consultative des mutations industrielles) became part of the European Economic and Social Committee in 2002, thus celebrating its 20th anniversary.

The CCMI is the oldest EU body devoted to forecasting the future and accompanying the transition of industrial sectors. It succeeded the consultative committee of the ECSC (European Coal and Steel Community) created by the Treaty of Paris and was established as a distinct legislative commission within the European Economic and Social Committee. While CCMI’s core business is rooted in its historic mission, namely the analysis of industrial change in coal and steel, its remit has progressively been extended to embrace all industrial ecosystems, covering both manufacturing and services.

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