Industry, research & energy

Industry, research & energy

We have a vision for Europe: to put industry back at its heart. Together we can renew European industry, create jobs, shift to a more sustainable model of production and strengthen European competitiveness. Research, development and education must be the priorities, building on Europe's strengths in cutting-edge industries, environmental technologies, energy efficiency, design and innovation. As we stand on the brink of a new industrial revolution, we are committed to supporting the transformation to digitisation. We want to support small and medium-sized businesses so they can fully play their part as the engine for creating jobs and growth in Europe. 

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of our economy; they create 85% of new jobs and provide two-thirds of the total private-sector employment in the EU. We want to support SMEs in doing what they do best: boosting the economy and creating jobs.

Our priorities are:

•    better access to financing for SMEs, especially developing viable venture-capital options
•    implementing the Small Business Act to support SMEs and avoid unnecessary regulatory burdens, and modernise administrative procedures
•    export advice for smaller businesses – especially for non-EU markets.

Europe's skilled and innovative workforce is its greatest long-term competitive advantage.

Our approach is to focus on:

•    investment in people through training and professional development opportunities
•    strengthening dialogue between management and workers. Less focus on hierarchy and more on participation
•    extending cross-border collective bargaining.

it doesn’t have to hit the most vulnerable hardest. With more solidarity, investment and planning, Europe can reap the benefits and ensure everyone is protected from the risks.

We are working for: 

•    better-managed digitisation. The ‘internet of things’, 5G, cloud computing, data analytics and robotics are fundamentally transforming the way we design, produce, sell and generate value. We need to ensure we have the policies in place to tap into this enormous potential for European industry and manage digitisation for the benefit of consumers and workers.
•    a commitment to creating jobs for all – building on the existing social and employment rules to adapt to the new ways of working and promote funding for training and retraining
•    better management of industrial change and restructuring, with European legislation to guarantee employees are protected and better planning, with more information and consultation for employees
•    more help with retraining workers and rebuilding communities hit by industrial change
•    competitive clusters and innovation networks
•    modernised infrastructure
•    a bigger role for the European Investment Bank
•    a network of regional structures to strengthen European industry.

To stay competitive in a global market, Europe needs to be at the cutting edge and make the most of its advantages and potential.

Our priorities are:

•    setting up ambitious research programmes to promote sustainable jobs, growth and competitiveness
•    redirecting funding for research and innovation to prioritise solving problems that affect us all, such as health, food security and smarter, cleaner energy and transport solutions
•    creating innovative networks, bringing together universities, research labs and companies – including SMEs – to build up the whole value chain
•    shifting from fossil fuels to low-carbon alternatives – gaining greater energy independence and creating opportunities for European renewable-energy suppliers
•    developing recycling and re-use policies in a shift towards a circular economy
•    making it easier to register a patent and protecting research findings with proper copyright.

We support the European Commission’s plan for a European Energy Union to ensure a sustainable, affordable and secure energy mix, but we want to achieve more. Together we can make the transition to a sustainable and carbon-free Energy Union, create new jobs and tackle energy poverty – that’s our vision for a new Energy Union.

As Socialists & Democrats, we believe it is vital that we lead the fight for a progressive Energy Union.

Our priorities:

•    making the transition to a sustainable, decarbonised economy, based on energy efficiency, renewable energy and smart infrastructure
•    guaranteeing secure, stable and affordable energy for European industry and citizens, with a strong emphasis on creating jobs
•    ensuring clean and affordable energy for every European citizen. Today, one in ten Europeans are forced to live in energy poverty. The S&Ds have written a manifesto on ending energy poverty with real solutions built on solidarity and equality
•    guaranteeing security of gas supply. We have pushed through new rules ensuring a regionally co-ordinated approach to guarantee we have secure supplies. From now on, EU countries will have to help their neighbours in the case of a serious gas-supply crisis.
•    ending the reliance on energy imports, especially through reducing demand by investing in energy efficiency for buildings and transport, increasing the share of large- and small-scale renewables and building new infrastructure to link up Europe's energy grids in the most efficient and cost-effective way.