Innovation is the best way to increase productivity and achieve growth. The European Union has to improve its existing support for research and innovation. Current funding (one tenth of the EU budget) should be increased by at least a fifth of the budget, even though this is still not enough. Member States should also increase their investment in education. If around 45% of European citizens have no more than basic digital skills, there will be a considerable amount to do. IndustriAll Europe also reminds not to forget the importance of continuous upskilling including several proposals already made (ie. Joint paper industry project).

The question is not ‘To change or not to change’; it is how to change. Change is necessary but it should not be a jump without a parachute. To avoid social disruption we need a just transition and regulation. If we cannot prevent crowd sourcing platforms from escaping their social and fiscal duties, this will lead to the greatest swindling in modern history. We need legislation and collective agreements. The “Invisible Hand” must be made visible and real.

(*) EURASHE is the European Association of Institutions in Higher Education and it represents universities of applied sciences and university colleges.

IndustriAll European Trade Union represents the voice of 7 million working men and women across supply chains in manufacturing, mining and energy sectors across Europe. We aim to protect and advance the rights of the workers. Our federation has 177 trade union affiliates in 38 European countries. Our objective is to be a powerful player in the European political arena vis-à-vis European companies, European industries, employers’ associations and European institutions.