Seventh Friends of Industry Ministerial Conference (04.10.2019)
The Friends of Industry are a group of likeminded EU Member States, that meet once a year to discuss recent developments related to industrial policy at EU Level. The group is inclusive and open to any Member State.
Since its inception in 2012 in France, the Conference has always been hosted by one of the big Member States (i.a. France, Germany, Poland, Italy). It has therefore been a special honour for Austria to be the first small Member State hosting the Friends of Industry in Vienna in 2019. Under the motto Strategic Value Chains in Transformation the focus of the meeting was put on transformative processes that are going to shape European Industry in the future. Amongst others, these include the transition towards a digital economy, the challenges and opportunities of a CO2 neutral economy and the increasing threat of unfair global competition.
As part of the meeting 17 EU Member States adopted a political declaration. The Vienna Declaration should be understood as a call for a strong and ambitious future EU-Industrial Policy that also incorporates developments in related policy areas. The focus of the paper lies on 3 transformative processes (Digitalisation – Decarbonisation – Globalisation) and already tries to put forward ideas to address these future challenges.