‘We cannot abandon these workers who fall victim to deep restructuring processes in regions that are already deeply affected by protracted processes of de-industrialisation and longstanding social hardship. They need to be re-integrated into the labour market without any delay. Therefore, speeding up viable and high-quality projects is a matter of urgency. The EU is a social market economy and we must aim for inclusive and sustainable growth based on quality jobs’ Sylvain Lefevbre said.

The delegation from industriAll Europe was led by Deputy General Secretary, Sylvain Lefebvre and met Head of Cabinet of Commissioner for internal Market and Industry, Tomasz Husak as well as representatives from DG Growth. The Commission promised that the European task force for Caterpillar, composed of the different Commission services, will do whatever is needed to develop and finance ideas in support of projects that contribute to economic and social reconversion. The task force will, in coordination with regional authorities and stakeholders, mobilise all available European funds and instruments, and coordinate efforts and speed up procedures. 

The long-term industrial policy of the Commission was also discussed. IndustriAll Europe called on the Commission to shift into a higher gear and to develop a consistent industrial policy based on clear targets and objectives, taking into account the deep transformation industry is currently undergoing. The Commission responded that a European Industry Day will be organised on 28 February for that reason. This high-level conference will be used as a lever to develop visions and strategies on regional and industrial transformation. On basis of the results of these discussions the Commission intends to issue a communication on industrial transformation before the end of the year.