PES ministers support job-rich and environmentally sustainable industrialisation


Competitiveness ministers

PES Competitiveness Ministers will work towards a job-rich and environmentally-friendly industrialisation of Europe, and a deepening of the European single market that protects workers and consumers.

These were the conclusions of the first meeting of PES Competitiveness Ministers, which took place in Brussels today (30 November 2017) ahead of the EU Council of Ministers competitiveness meeting.

Mikael Damberg, Swedish Minister for Enterprise and Innovation, and chairman of the network of PES Competitiveness Ministers, said:

"Today we lay the foundations of a network of PES Competitiveness Ministers. Our main priorities in the months to come include the deepening of the single market with a social dimension and a jobs-rich industrialisation.

"A solid industrial base has proven to be a cornerstone for sound economic recovery in the aftermath of the economic crisis. Maintaining manufacturing and focusing on the innovative capacity of our industry is key to strengthening Europe’s competitiveness going forward.

"The European Union needs an ambitious and forward-looking industrial strategy. As socialist and social democratic ministers, we stand for an industrial sector whose competitiveness in global markets is driven by innovation and high-quality, and not by low wages. We call for an industrial policy strategy that supports decent jobs in the manufacturing sector and related services and modernises our industrial base. A policy framework that deals with mega trends, such as digitalisation, climate and demographic change, resource scarcity, and increasing globalisation.

"Any EU industrial policy must be based on a just transition with close involvement of social partners.

"As socialist and social democratic competitiveness ministers, we want to enable Europe’s small and medium-sized enterprises to thrive. They are Europe’s number one jobs engine. In this respect, it is vital to deepen the single market to improve companies’ ability to provide cross-border services. The Single Digital Gateway can hopefully contribute to easier exchange of information for companies and citizens in different member states and boost cross-border activities. As always, competitiveness must be based on the concept of decent work, and the protection of consumer and environmental standards. We will not allow a race to the bottom in social, consumer and environmental standards."

The EU Competitiveness Council gathers national governments' ministers responsible for internal market, industry, research and innovation, and space to discuss and decide on EU policies and strategies in these fields. It aims at enhancing competitiveness and increase growth in the EU.

The meeting was attended by:

  • Mikael Damberg, Chairman, Minister for Enterprise and Innovation, Sweden
  • Christian Cardona, Minister for the Economy, Investment and Small Business, Malta
  • Paulo Ferreira, Deputy Minister for Economy and Secretary of State for Commerce, Portugal
  • Udo Bullmann, Member of the European Parliament, S&D Vice-President for Economic and Social Model, SPD Germany