Brussels is well and truly back to school - and since last week the corridor chatter has been all about the new class of Commissioners, as President-elect Ursula von der Leyen presented the candidates for her new team. Individual names must still be confirmed by the European Parliament, but the structure of portfolios already sheds light on what to expect from this incoming Commission. With the creation of three new ‘Executive Vice President’ roles focusing on climate, digital and the economy respectively, we have an insight into what will be driving the College’s work. It’s an important sign: these three priorities will be crucial if the EU is to master the challenges ahead – and they are also areas where Europe’s technology companies can contribute decisively to success.
But where does industry figure more concretely in the Commission’s new agenda? To some extent, this is still a case of ‘wait and see’. While a dedicated senior portfolio for industrial policy is lacking, Ms von der Leyen’s mission letters to her team outline the objective of defining a ‘long-term strategy for Europe’s industrial future’. This is something we at Orgalim have long been calling for, convinced that the future of Europe is inextricably linked to the future of its innovative technology industries. There is no time to waste in injecting fresh thinking into how the EU framework can best support a strong and future-proof industrial base. Orgalim stands ready to engage from day one.
For now, the ball is in the court of the European Parliament as MEPs prepare to put candidate Commissioners to the test in the upcoming hearings. Navigating a changed political landscape, the freshly elected Parliament will have a critical few months ahead. With engagement with MEPs an important part of our work, Orgalim will be at the Parliament in both Strasbourg and Brussels this month to facilitate dialogue between parliamentarians and industry representatives through the platform of the European Forum for Manufacturing (EFM). On the agenda: enabling European industry’s global leadership – something that will be vital if policymakers are to deliver for the EU and its citizens over the next five years.