How do industrial transitions succeed? - Transatlantic considerations on drivers for economic development

19 December 2018
Robin Huguenot-Noël (External expert), Alison Hunter (Senior Adviser to EPC on regional policy, regional innovation and industrial growth), Marta Pilati (Policy Analyst) and Fabian Zuleeg (Chief Executive and Chief Economist)

The territorial and socioeconomic impact of globalisation and technological change aggravate disparities and fragmentation among EU regions. Some of them are not well equipped to address these challenges and are struggling to adapt to new economic structures. In older industrial regions, dominant policies – supporting an agglomeration logic or a 'leapfrog' into highly innovative economic sectors – show significant limitations.

The case for EU action is strengthened by the negative economic, social, and political spillovers generated by regional inequalities. The EU should clarify the added value of its action and critically review the contribution of EU policies and programmes to successful industrial transitions. In that regard, the EU should build on a bolder experimentation approach, drawing on existing initiatives, to identify what works in managing industrial transformations.

A more tailored approach to regional development should be promoted in order to better match ambitions to local endowments.

The development of a new narrative and supporting framework for EU regions in industrial transition is vital to deliver a new economic dynamism across the EU’s diverse territories.

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