The European Machine Tool Industry Assn. (CECIMO) has committed to support an expansive policy to promote and support a growth-oriented industrial strategy across the EU. The “Joint Declaration for an Ambitious EU Industrial Strategy” was introduced last month and already has been endorsed by 125 European manufacturing associations.

The Declaration announced in mid February calls on the European Commission and the European Parliament and the Competitiveness Council to reaffirm a commitment to achieving 20% of GDP from industry, within an “ambitious and realistic” timeframe; to adopt an “action plan” for tackling the challenges that EU industrial sectors face, including specific steps and milestones; and to commit to implementing this Action Plan in a timely manner, and regularly report on progress.

The context of the Joint Declaration is the on-going effort by manufacturers in the EU to persuade policymakers and regulators, at the European Commission and in EU member states, to take a strategic approach to industrial economics, comparable to efforts in other regional markets. “There has been no better time to reaffirm Europe’s commitment to manufacturing, innovation and jobs. European associations representing 125 manufacturing sectors are ready to offer their cooperation to the European Institutions,” according to CECIMO director general Filip Geerts.

CECIMO — a Brussels-based union of trade associations for over 1,500 companies across the European Union, companies who are responsible for 97% of machine tool production in the region — has long advocated coordinated efforts to promote EU industrial growth.

“If European machine tool builders want to keep up with market trends, they need to be increasingly agile, develop new solutions that match the changing needs of machine tool users, and focus on incremental innovation, offering continuously improved goods and services to customers,” according to Luigi Galdabini, president of CECIMO and managing director of Galdabini SpA, a forming machine and press builder.

“Consequently,” he continued, “technology centers spread across Europe can join forces with manufacturing SMEs (small and midsized enterprises), and help them in responding to these evolving demands. At strategic level, machine tool builders need more policy instruments that foster the link between research and business, and they also call for incentives, which underpin cross-border collaboration in Europe and support the internationalization of manufacturing SMEs,” Galdabini added.