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European Industry Days 2018: digitalisation seen as disrupting force, Single Market could be given a new push

The European Industry Days 2018’s main event took place last month in Brussels. The event was high level and little happened in terms of real announcements but the gigantic changes ongoing with the digitalisation of the industrial sector and a renewed drive within the EU Commission to push for a more integrated Single Market.

“Technologies shouldn't be the ones to shape the future. The future of our economy must be shaped by people," said EU Commissioner for the Internal Market and Industry and one of Euralarm's top interlocutors at the European Commission. This reflected the mood of the two days of debate, where digitalisation took centre stage, but was seen as much as an opportunity as a major disruption.

Digital transformation and, in particular, the move to more digitalised industrial processes, was indeed at the centre of all the debates. Almost half of the various sessions taking place during the EU Industry Days focused on new technological developments, digitalisation and artificial intelligence.

A session in particular focused on the construction sector: ‘Construction- Towards an inclusive digital strategy.’ The debates revolved around the consequences of the fragmentation of the construction sector and how digital innovations such as BIM are bringing various actors together. 

 

During her speech, Commissioner Bienkowska made a point to remind her audience that over its 25 years of existence the European Single Market had been the source of economic growth and jobs for Europe and emphasised the importance of EU's Industry sector, representing two thirds of European exports and featuring major strengths at a global level.

However, she said, "we have more to do. There are still too many gaps, especially on services." Further, she explained that too often, the proposals that the Commission  put forward to integrate European markets were watered down: "there are too many areas where Member States adopt laws but do not do enough to implement or enforce them. So instead of one giant Single Market, we still have fragmentation into national mini markets. This needs to change." She then enumerated various initiatives, not all relevant to Euralarm's Members which was the Commission was taking in that direction. Most interesting is probably the goods package, which will make it easier to sell high quality products across Europe. 

Read the full speech of Commissioner Bienkowska during the EU Industry Days.

 

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