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Federation of Industries: “Industrial Compact“ for European Competitiveness

Published: May 5, 2014; 16:29 · (Vindobona)

The Austrian Federation of Industries (IV) considers the EU entry of Austria as the basis of prosperty and economic growth in the past years. However, now reforms are required to catch up to a global level.

The Austrian Federation of Industries considers improving competitiveness as crucial. / Picture: © Vindobona.org

“Europe, as the entire economic area, has been gradually losing ground in relation to other regions like the USA or China. In the past six years alone up to six million jobs were lost,” Georg Kapsch, President of IV, pointed out. According to the Federation of Industries, competitiveness was the order of the day. To achieve this, “enterprises need more freedom” since without them all the measures and programs of the European Union will not have any effect,” Kapsch said and stressed that industrial production, as the backbone of the European economy, had to be supported.

One of the major obstacles is the high tax burden and high energy costs, which only come at around a quarter of those in Austria. Moreover, Kapsch warned that Europe was quickly falling behind in research and development while the unemployment rate has reached a dramatically high level. The IV called it a major target for the country to take actions with regard to innovation and emerge from being an “innovation follower”.

Together with the Union of Industrial and Employers' Confederations of Europe BUSINESSEUROPE IV has developed demands for an “Industrial Compact”, which includes several measures like the establishing of an annual summit of the heads of governments and states with regard to industrial policy, the establishing of a “coordination group for industrial competitiveness” in the EU Commission chaired by the Commissioner of Industries and the broad and compulsory application of EU initiatives for examining competitiveness, among other things.