ERT delegation meets President Macron in Paris
PARIS, 22 November 2022: A delegation of Members of the European Round Table for Industry (ERT) met with President Macron in Paris yesterday evening, also joined by Thierry Breton, EU Commissioner for the Internal Market.
ERT Members, all CEOs and Chairs of some of Europe’s most significant industrial companies, underline their support for the EU and the peace and prosperity that unity has brought over the past decades. The meeting is part of a tradition of dialogue between the political leaders of Europe and the Members of ERT°.
As significant employers, innovators and investors in European regions, the ERT delegation exchanged with the President on the implications of the evolving responses to the energy crisis and the long-term industrial outlook for Europe on the following priority areas:
1. To stimulate the next wave of industrialisation in Europe, initatives to enable investment are needed to advance industry 4.0. These include digital infrastructure, the expansion of Europe’s capacity to establish standards for the industrial internet and investment to promote reskilling towards digital-literate professions.
2. Trade & New World Order: Europe is a longstanding defender of the multilateral rules-based system and open trade. However, in the context of the US’ recently announced Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) which heavily incentivises private sector investment in the Unites States, the ERT delegation highlighted to the President the contrast between the US’ approach with the EU’s more regulation & target-driven approach.
While European industrial companies continue to invest heavily to deliver the green transition, their operations are now severely hampered by the fact that energy costs in the EU are multiples higher than in the US.
Without a compelling European response to the IRA, there is a very real risk of a further wave of deindustrialisation, as the US attracts the latest waves of investments in new operations and R&D. Such a trend poses an existential threat to a significant portion of industrial activity in Europe – with potentially disastrous implications on SME-dominated industrial ecosystems across the EU-27.
3. Strengthening Europe – Competitiveness & the Single Market*: Next year will mark the 30th anniversary of the dawn of the Single Market. As a foundation of EU unity and prosperity, it needs renewed political attention to ensure that remaining barriers can be addressed, spurring a renewed wave of prosperity. At the moment, a true European Energy Union looks increasingly urgent and key to achieving EU decarbonisation targets. Furthermore, the European Capital Markets Union would deliver much-needed new avenues of funding for European innovation, in particular for tech start-ups & scale-ups.
Note to Editors:
The names of the CEOs & Chairs in the ERT delegation are listed in the PDF of the statement downloadable here.
° A full list of the membership of ERT is accessible https://ert.eu/members/
* More information on ERT’s position on the Single Market is available in the publication Renewing the dynamic of European integration: Single Market Stories by Business Leaders is available here: https://ert.eu/single-market