In Antwerp, European industry kicks off fight for its future

(EurActiv, 20 Feb 2024) A high-level industrial competitiveness declaration attended by EU heavyweights has kicked off a public debate about how far Europe should go in supporting domestic industries, and how green goals and industry can be meshed together.

On 6 June, Europeans will flock to the polling stations to elect a new European Parliament, reshuffling the EU’s executive. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is aiming for a second term, and betting on an industrial competitiveness agenda to make her case.

On Monday (19 February), she announced her bid. A day later, she appeared in Antwerp to meet a coalition of 73 industry leaders.

“Von der Leyen’s visit to Antwerp was clearly an election campaign stop,” said Philipp Jäger, a policy fellow at the Berlin-based think-tank Jacques Delors Centre.

In the ‘Antwerp Declaration for a European Industrial Deal’, presented to von der Leyen, CEOs and 15 industry associations said “there is an urgent need for clarity, predictability, and confidence in Europe and its industrial policy”.

In the brewing clash between sustainability advocates and industry leaders who insist on competitiveness, the Antwerp declaration is a stringent 10-point plan that signatories hope will restore European industry to its former glory..

External link

EurActiv, 20 Feb 2024: In Antwerp, European industry kicks off fight for its future