Industrial policy in the EU: A guide to an elusive concept
‘Industrial policy’ is a concept which is championed by some and vilified by others in the EU. But lacking a clear definition, industrial policy is so elusive that it prevents a constructive debate from taking place. Conceived as guide, this paper explores the meaning of industrial policy for the EU. Building on a recently proposed OECD definition, the different policies at the EU, national and regional level that are constitutive of the ‘EU industrial policy’ are presented. While we cannot ignore its shortcomings, the industrial policy framework can be useful. Broad as it is, the concept underlines the need for coherence across policy fields and across levels (regional, national and EU). And it calls for sound analysis and greater coordination, in particular, for those sectors, technologies and tasks whose promotion is deemed a strategic priority for the EU as a whole.
(Photo credit: European commission)