Indicators for an ambitious EU industrial strategy

The aim of this Joint Paper is to propose a short list of indicators that can be used to both assess the health of the European industry and monitor the progress made by the EU on the implementation of its industrial strategy. The indicator list is composed of two sections: the headline indicators and those linked to the pillars of the Joint Reaction Paper previously presented by Industry4Europe. The indicators are simple and intended to be applied in combination to answer specific questions that may be relevant for different scenarios.

The role of indicators in delivering an industrial strategy

The selection and use of indicators should be a critical tool, designed to both highlight success points and reveal weaknesses that require remedial action through a revised strategy.

The use of a single indicator has limited value and responsible interpretation should come from indicators used in combination. The use of an indicator such as employment is important, however presentation in isolation yields no insight into productivity, skills level and potential negative societal changes. This is particularly relevant as digitisation and automation change the nature of employment, which could undermine priorities without careful assessment.

While not listed as a specific indicator, sustainability is an important cross-cutting factor. Indicators are able to assess the growth of the EU circular economy, creating products that can lead market developments internationally and maintain the EU’s reputation for sustainable innovation. This list of indicators reflects the long term, multi-pillared priorities of the European Union and role of industry in achieving those priorities. Europe has clearly stated priorities for the 2015-19 period, which will evolve and mature towards 2030. These include:

  • Jobs, growth and investment
  • Energy union and climate
  • Deeper and fairer internal market
  • Balanced and progressive trade policy to harness globalization