Belgian Presidency of the Competitiveness Council
As Belgium assumes the Presidency of the European Union, the minister with the Walloon Government Jean-Claude Marcourt will preside over the Competitiveness Council’s industry cluster.
The Competitiveness Council is responsible for building a comprehensive approach to competitiveness and economic growth in the 27 European Member States.
It is responsible for three areas of activity:
- the domestic market
In accordance with the agreement between the Federal Government, the Regions and the Communities, the Walloon Minister for the Economy will preside over the Competitiveness Council’s industry cluster.
What industrial policy for Europe?
The Walloon presidency of the Competitiveness Council’s industry cluster is part of the European Commission’s EU 2020 Strategy. From now on this will replace the Lisbon Strategy set up between 2000 and 2010.
EU 2020 Strategy: smart, sustainable and inclusive growth
The EU 2020 Strategy places innovation and a green economy at the centre of its competitiveness model.
Companies today face a dual challenge:
- to become more innovative and competitive in order to deal with the effects of the economic and financial crisis,
- to respond to current climate, energy and environmental issues through a model of sustainable economic development.
The EU 2020 Strategy defines the key objectives to be achieved in order to overcome the crisis and transform European industry into a smart and sustainable economy which secures employment and increased social cohesion.
4 strategic areas for a European industrial policy
As required by the Lisbon Treaty, the priorities for the Belgian presidency have been defined in close cooperation with Spain who preceded the Belgian government in the European presidency and with Hungary to whom Belgium will pass the baton in January 2011.
Minister Jean-Claude Marcourt will structure his presidency on European industrial policy around 4 strategic areas:
1. Sustainable economy and competitiveness of European companies
This is what is called the “external competitiveness of companies”. In accordance with the Union's international commitment in terms of the struggle against climate change, companies face increased competition on international markets. How can these constraints be turned into opportunities and make the European economy an eco-efficient one?
Under the Belgian presidency, the European Commission will publish a European plan for research and innovation. How can innovation and research become the driving force for the European economy of tomorrow?
Minister Jean-Claude Marcourt intends to pay particular attention to SMEs. Indeed, these constitute the majority of production units in Europe.
How can we make SMEs competitive on international markets and support their capacity for innovation?
4. The European policy of clustering
How can the policy of clustering be improved to allow European companies to become more competitive on international markets? What cluster excellence model should be promoted?
Information in English on this website http://economie.wallonie.be/Competitiveness/