Brussels, Thursday 16 February 2017 – AEGIS Europe today added its support to the chorus of European industries, which have signed up to a “Joint Declaration for an ambitious EU industrial strategy,” sent to policy-makers across Europe.
“European industry has presented a clear message to policy-makers. In the EU, we are lucky to have world-class companies, which are global leaders in R&D, and responsible for the maintenance of a strong European industrial base,” pointed out Mr Nitzschke, spokesperson for AEGIS Europe.
“European manufacturers, both large and small, are becoming increasingly alarmed at the erosion of the EU’s industrial base, which threatens to destroy the very foundation on which our economy is built,” stated Mr Nitzschke.
AEGIS Europe, an alliance representing around 30 European manufacturing industries, joined with 91 other European associations calling on policy-makers to meet the objective of increasing the share of industry in European GDP to 20% by 2020.
“The members of AEGIS Europe are fully committed to these targets and call for immediate action by the EU and its Member States to prevent any further destruction of Europe’s manufacturing base,” emphasised Mr Nitzschke.
"The 20% target was set in 2014, but instead of moving towards this goal, the EU has allowed industrial manufacturing to decrease in nearly all of its Member States. Today manufacturing has reached a record low of only a 15.3% share of total output," Mr Nitzschke explained.
“European manufacturing sectors are not only the backbone of the entire economy, employing over 34 million people, they also support indirect value chains of tens of millions more jobs,” pointed out Mr Nitzschke. “Europe needs manufacturing if it is to compete in the global economy,” he added.
“Policy-makers should be very alarmed about the increasing number of entire sectors moving to Asia, including high-tech industries where labour costs are not decisive,“ said Mr Nitzschke.
“Europe simply cannot create sustainable growth on the basis of unbalanced imports, for example with China where the trade deficit has reached a massive €180BN Euros per year. We are setting the benchmark in the EU on environmental, health and safety standards. Yet, the EU is allowing domestic manufacturing to be replaced by imports, which do not come close to meeting these standards. At the same time investments and jobs are being lost in the European economy every single day,” Mr Nitzschke pointed out.
“It is essential that we have fair competition and fight for the application of free and fair international trade rules,” stressed Mr Nitzschke. “That is why so many European industries have lent their support to the Joint Declaration, which must be seen as an urgent call to action to support jobs and growth in European industry,” he concluded.
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About AEGIS Europe
AEGIS Europe brings together nearly 30 European associations representing a broad variety of industries including traditional industries, consumer branches, SMEs and renewable energy sectors, accounting for more than €500 billion in annual turnover and millions of jobs across the EU. This industry alliance, made up of leaders in sustainable manufacturing and social and environmental responsibility, is committed to European manufacturing as the fundamental driver of innovation, growth and jobs in Europe.
For more information, visit www.aegiseurope.eu.