During the month of March, the European Council met to underline the importance of a strong and competitive European industrial base, building on the Commission’s recent Communication on the new reform package for the future EU industrial policy. At the occasion of the first meeting of the AER Working Group on Investment, Business and SMEs held on 17 March at the Press Club Europe, the Assembly of European Regions (AER) representatives:
- acknowledged the role of innovation as a key growth factor for Europe’s industry.
- recommended a serious governance shift, placing regions at the heart of Europe’s innovation and industrial policy.
- identified territorial attractiveness and education as two of the major challenges for European regions to make innovation happen and save the industrial sector.
- insisted on the need to create a culture of entrepreneurship, including a debate on risk and failure.
During this year, the newly created working group will focus on issues such as SME internationalisation, how to attract investment and how to foster entrepreneurship, with the overall goal of contributing to enhance the link between regions and SMEs.