On 10 March 2020, the European Commission presented its strategy in one of its key priority areas: the New Industrial Strategy, SME strategy and several initiatives to improve the functioning of the Single Market. Below is a summary of the key elements of relevance to the recreational boating industry. EBI will be engaging with the EU institutions to ensure inclusion of the boating sector in the implementation of the strategy.
The main objectives of the strategy are to address the environmental transition, which links it to the European Green deal, and digitalisation. It has a high level of ambition to maintain and grow Europe's industrial leadership. A number of initiatives are announced:
The European Commission recognises that Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) are crucial to address the key challenges for Europe and support the New Industrial Strategy. Its dedicated SME strategy is based on three pillars: 1) Support for transition to sustainability and digitalisation, 2) Reducing regulatory burden and improving market access and 3) Access to financing. A number of initiatives are announced:
Action Plan for implementation and enforcement of the Single Market
Based on a separate report on the barriers to the Single Market, the Commission published an action plan to address these and better enforce the Single market. The conclusion from the report for the Commission is that compliance with single market rules is lacking with too many barriers for businesses. The Action Plan focuses primarily on national authorities, but has some relevance to industry. A number of initiatives are announced:
All documents can be found in full here.
The European Commission released its flagship Industrial Strategy and SME Strategy yesterday. European Boating Industry (EBI) welcomes these and their potential to support the recreational boating industry in Europe to sustainably grow, create employment and further develop the sector’s global leadership and environmental transition.
The European Commission presented its new Industrial Strategy that recognises the value of industry and wants to support them in being “future-ready”. It aims to tackle the challenges of environmental transition, as well as digitalisation. It recognises Europe as the “home of industry” and industry as “central to Europe’s future progress and prosperity”. The strategy announces a number of initiatives to support industry to grow and maintain its leadership.
The European Commission also released its SME strategy at the same time. It aims to support small companies in transitioning to sustainability and digitalisation, as well as addressing regulatory burden and improving access to financing. EBI Secretary-General Philip Easthill commented on the announcement “The EU Industrial Strategy is an important step to ensure the long-term growth of Europe’s industry. With over 95% SMEs in the boating industry, we particularly welcome the focus on smaller companies that are the backbone of European industry. We look forward to engaging with the European Commission on shaping the industrial ecosystem in the boating sector and turning this strategy into concrete actions.”
EBI is a member of the Industry4Europe coalition of over 150 industry associations. Launched three years ago, it advocates for an ambitious industrial strategy that helps Europe remain a hub for a leading, smart, innovative and sustainable industry, and that provides quality jobs and benefits all Europeans and future generations. The Coalition published its Joint Paper ‘A long-term strategy for Europe’s industrial future: from words to action’ in which it presented concrete policy proposals.
The Conference was organised by the Croatian EU Presidency and Industry4Europe, a coalition of over 150 industry associations promoting a strong EU industrial strategy. EBI is a longstanding member of the coalition and was a sponsor of the event held on 21 January in Brussels.
Several high-level speakers from the EU institutions spoke at the event:
Key points addressed during the event were the role of European industry to implement the European Green Deal, the importance of small and medium-sized companies, and industry as backbone of the European economy. The EU should lead in innovation and developing the products, technologies & business models of the future.
The European Commission published recommendations by a group of experts, the Strategic Forum on Important Projects of Common European Interest, to boost Europe's competitiveness and global leadership in six strategic and future-oriented industrial sectors: Connected, clean and autonomous vehicles; Hydrogen technologies and systems; Smart health; Industrial Internet of Things; Low-carbon industry; and Cybersecurity.
Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEIs) comprise innovative research projects that often entail significant risks and require joint, well-coordinated efforts and transnational investments by public authorities and industries from several Member States. The aim is to invest jointly in Europe's industrial strengths and assets to generate jobs and growth across sectors and regions and strengthen the EU’s role on the global stage. In addition to recommendations specific to each of the value chains, the report also identifies horizontal enabling actions:
The report is part of the Juncker Commission's efforts to strengthen Europe's industrial base and will contribute to the next Commission's work on a new long-term strategy for Europe's industrial future.
For more on this initiative, please see the factsheet and the full report.
The Recreational Craft Directive regulates key aspects of boat building, as well as that of certain components. The latest revision dates from 2013 and has been applicable since January 2016.
The Directive contains review clauses, meaning that the European Commission is obliged to review the Directive and its application with the possibility of proposing legislative changes. This process is due to formally start in early 2020 and will likely end in 2022. It will include reports analysing the Directive and a potential legislative proposal to change the RCD. This would then be subject to the legislative process in the Council and European Parliament. The review will likely focus on the feasibility of exhaust emission reductions, potential requirements for evaporative exhaust emissions, the current design categories and potential need for further subcategories. A third-party study will provide the underlying basis for the review and will be awarded to a contractor towards the end of 2019.
Members have been informed about the review and are asked to provide input to EBI by mid-December. EBI will closely follow the review process and engage with it in order to represent the recreational boating industry. Any questions or input should be brought to the attention of the EBI Office.
European Boating Industry is pleased to announce that Industry4Europe, an initiative we strongly support and are proudly part of, is moving forward!
The coalition has issued a Joint Call to the candidates for the 2019 European Elections, which is now available on the new Industry4Europe website for 27 Member States! Several of our members co-signed their national version as well.
Do not forget to download the EU version of the manifesto here.
The objective of these manifestos is to encourage the candidates to the next European Elections to put Industry as the top priority during the next institutional cycle, which will last from 2019 to 2024, and to put forward an ambitious long-term industrial strategy for the Continent. Over 130 industry associations are part of the coalition and, by circulating the manifesto, the message will echo all over Europe and will help raise awareness on this key issue.