Europeans Industrial Policy

This survey of European industrial policy aims to set out and explain the great significance of European integration in determining (changes in) structure and performance of industry in the EU. This influence is explored from the policy side by analysing the transformation of the framework within which both EU and Member States' industrial policy can be pursued. Empirical economic analysis is not included because this BEEP Briefing was originally written for a handbook in which other authors were assigned a range of industrial economics subjects. In the last 25 years or so, the transformation is such that the nature and scope of industrial policy at both levels of government has profoundly changed as well. Indeed, the toolkit of measures has shrunk considerably, disciplines have been tightened and the economic policy views behind industrial policy have altered everywhere. The pro-competitive logic of deeper market integration itself is rarely questioned nowadays and industrial policy at the two levels takes on different forms.

The survey discusses at some length the division of powers between, and the complementarity of, the Member States' and EU levels of government when it comes to industrial policy, based on a fairly detailed classification of industrial policy instruments. The three building blocks of the wide concept of industrial policy as defined in this BEEP Briefing consist of the EU framework of market integration, EU horizontal industrial policy and its EU sectoral or specific counterpart. Each one is surveyed at the EU level. Preceding these three sections is a discussion of three cross-cutting issues, namely, the indiscriminate use of the 'competitiveness' label in the EU circuit of business and policy makers, the relation between services and EU industrial policy and, finally, that of European infrastructure. One major conclusion is that, today, the incentive structure for industry and industrial markets is dominated by the stringency of the overall EU framework and to some moderate degree by the horizontal approach.

  • Authors: Jacques Pelkmans
  • Year: 2006
  • Organisation: College of Europe
  • Publisher: E. Elgar
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