“Berlin Declaration” – Ministerial Conference of the Friends of Industry
Please find attached the “Berlin Declaration” signed today by 18 Member States (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia and Spain) on the occasion of the 5th Ministerial Conference of the Friends of Industry. You will also see below the Press Release published by the German State Secretary for Industry Matthias Machnig.
The Ministers of Economy and/or Industry of these 18 Member States interestingly state that “it is essential to prepare an adequate answer of the EU to the industrial strategies of third countries, based on the principle of mutually beneficial trade and investment and rules based trade with our partners at both multilateral and bilateral level, whilst ensuring that a level playing field is maintained and strengthened. It is vital to address challenges that are raised by competitive foreign industries which are supported through tools that are not in accordance with their obligations under international law or the applicable principles of the EU internal market including EU competition law and find an appropriate and balanced response”.
They also declare: “in the field of public procurement and foreign investment, where the EU shows a significant higher level of openness compared to other countries, we need to deepen and take forward the debate on how to enhance reciprocity as we strive for openness of market access to safeguard a level playing field”.
To better achieve these goals, the 18 Ministers “reiterate the necessity for the European Commission to draw up a new industrial policy strategy” and insist once again “for an extensive industrial policy strategy to be presented in time for the spring meeting of the European Council in 2018”.
In this sense, this Berlin Declaration can be seen as another important step forward in the framework of the major advocacy campaign initiated last February by UNIFE with the Joint Declaration for an ambitious EU industrial strategy co-signed by 127 other European Associations.