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Document 31994Y1206(01)

Council Resolution of 21 November 1994 on the strengthening of the competitiveness of Community industry

OJ C 343, 6.12.1994, p. 1–4 (ES, DA, DE, EL, EN, FR, IT, NL, PT)

In force


Council Resolution of 21 November 1994 on the strengthening of the competitiveness of Community industry

Official Journal C 343 , 06/12/1994 P. 0001 - 0004

COUNCIL RESOLUTION of 21 November 1994 on the strengthening of the competitiveness of Community industry (94/C 343/01)


Bearing in mind

- the Commission communication of November 1990 on industrial policy in an open and competitive environment,

- the Commission's White Paper of December 1993 on growth, competitiveness and employment,

- the Commission communication of July 1994 entitled 'Europe's way to the Information Society: An action plan',

- and the Commission communication of September 1994 on 'An industrial competitiveness policy for the European Union',


- that continuing high unemployment in the Community constitutes one of the gravest problems faced by the Community and its Member States,

- that a competitive and innovatory industry in the Community is a prerequisite for lasting economic growth and the creation of new jobs,

- that industrial production and services increasingly complement each other and that, consequently, a competitive industrial sector is indispensable in order fully to exploit the possibilities of job creation in the service sector, and vice versa,

- that economic and social cohesion and the competitiveness of European industry are linked in that a competitive European industry can contribute to cohesion and cohesion can provide industry with the benefits of a wider commercial and geographic base,

- that, notwithstanding the important role of public authorities, the maintenance and improvement of competitiveness is primarily the task of business and that all parties involved in industry bear a large amount of responsibility for the necessary structural adaptations,

Recalling that:

- in accordance with Article 130 of the Treaty establishing the European Community, it is for the Community and the Member States to ensure that the conditions necessary for competitiveness in industry exist,

- according to Article 130b of the Treaty, the Community's policies and actions shall take into account the objectives set out in Article 130a and shall contribute to their achievement,

- and that, in accordance with Articles 3a and 3b of the Treaty, all economic policy-measures of the Community and the Member States must also be consonant with the principle of an open market economy with free competition and the principle of subsidiarity.


1. NOTES that the principles embobied in the Commission communication of November 1990 on industrial policy in an open and competitive environment have held good and that important objectives set at the time, such as the virtual completion of the common market, finalization of the Uruguay Round, the adoption of the fourth R & D programme have since been achieved,

2. would POINT OUT that these principles have been reflected in various Council resolutions and conclusions, and/or in several Commission communications concerning small and medium-sized enterprises, industry and the environment, industrial cooperation and specific sectors such as electronics and information technology, biotechnology, textiles, aeronautical and motor industries,

3. UNDERLINES that accelerated technical progress, increasing globalization of markets, intensification of international competition and the increasing importance of environmental protection require greater efforts from all those with responsibility in the economic, political and social field in order to facilitate the necessary structural adjustments, inter alia to ensure a sustainable development, and to create new jobs,

4. EMPHASIZES the special structural challenges faced by Community regions whose development is lagging behind and refers in this context to the fifth periodic report on the social and economic situation and development of the regions in the Community,

5. is CONVINCED that it is necessary to avoid distortions of competition and to promote the opening up of markets both within and outside the Community, and that measures to preserve obsolete structures and measures not compatible with GATT principles by any of the partners concerned are inappropriate as a means of promoting the adaptation of industry to a changed world economic and technological environment,

6. would EMPHASIZE that the framework conditions for competitiveness and competition must be improved so that, in the context of the global marketplace, the European Union remains an attractive location for business leading to the creation of new firms and new jobs,

7. WELCOMES the rapid progress made in implementing the action plan which the European Council adopted in December 1993 on the basis of the Commission's White Paper on growth, competitiveness and employment and refers to its conclusions concerning improvement of the competitiveness of European industry adopted on 22 April 1994,

8. AWAITS with interest the presentation before the beginning of December of the final report of the Christophersen Group concerning trans-European transport, energy and environmental networks,

9. REFERS to its conclusions of 28 September 1994 with regard to Europe's way to the overall Information Society,

10. RECALLS its resolution of 10 October 1994 on giving full scope to the dynamism and innovatory potential of small and medium-sized enterprises, including the craft sector and micro-enterprises, in a competitive economy (1),


1. WELCOMES the Commission communication on 'An industrial competitiveness policy for the European Union' in which the new challenges facing Community industry are analysed and objectives and possibilities for action in the second half of the 1990s are outlined, and takes note of the conclusions drawn by the Commission from its analysis,

2. CONSIDERS that an industrial policy for the European Community should be market-driven and respond to the global challenges with the aim of a substantial improvement of the competitive position of the European industry in global markets,

3. CONSIDERS that action by the Community and the Member States within the framework of their respective powers is particularly urgent in the following spheres:

(a) creation of stable, economically-viable framework conditions especially by

(i) consistent alignment of Member States' policy on Community convergence targets and resolute pursuit of budgetary consolidation at all State levels;

(ii) implementation of the Economic and Monetary Union in accordance with the criteria laid down in the Treaty and taking into account the results of the European Council in Edinburgh;

(iii) limiting the financial and non-financial burdens on business, inter alia to reinforce their investment capability, and with that also the capability of industry and the service sector to create new jobs;

(iv) long-term reliability in all areas of government action, taking into account the need of the industrial and service sectors to improve competitiveness;

(b) Eliminating unnecessary bureaucratic burdens for enterprises, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises, by

(i) the most rapid removal possible of unnecessary provisions and instructions as well as simplification of administrative procedures;

(ii) examination of the proposals to be submitted, on the one hand, by the independent working party of experts on deregulation matters set up at the request of the European Council, and, on the other hand, by the Committee set up in accordance with the Council resolution of 10 October 1994 and consideration of appropriate actions, i. e. in order to achieve a better functioning of the internal market;

(iii) implementation of appropriate measures to improve the efficiency and flexibility of employment markets;

(iv) cutback of burdens still existing in connection with cross-border trade in the internal market;

(v) improved cooperation between Commission and administrations of the Member States;

(c) ensuring undistorted internal and external competition through

(i) consistent and coherent application of competition rules and strict controls on aids;

(ii) improved transparency of the Commission's aid controls and continuing consideration of a horizontal approach;

(iii) strengthening and developing the open, multilateral world trade system, in particular prompt implementation of the results of the Uruguay Round so that the World Trade Organization can take up its duties on 1 January 1995;

(iv) further strengthening of the functioning and opening up of the European internal market;

(v) systematic idenfication of barriers to trade and investment in third countries and a strategy for tackling them;

(vi) correct and timely implementation of harmonized rules in order to remove remaining barriers to internal trade;

(vii) abolition of existing and prevention of potential discrimination against European industry deriving from unilateral measures or bilateral market access agreements between third countries;

(viii) examination of improvement of international competition rules and practices in order to preclude restrictions in international competition by collusion among firms or by State intervention;

(d) Strengthening of industrial cooperation with the third countries most concerned and in particular those with which the Community has for historical and cultural reasons traditionally had closer ties, by

(i) backing of efforts by partner countries to establish stable, free enterprise framework conditions;

(ii) examination of the proposals announced by the Commission for industrial cooperation with those countries and accelerated implementation of appropriate measures;

(e) promotion of intangible competitive factors, with respect to the increasing complementarity of physical and non-physical investments, by

(i) improved efficiency of the activities provided for under the fourth framework programme on research and development activities and increasing participation of small and medium-sized enterprises in R & D programmes and access to their results with the aim of strengthening the scientific and technological bases of Community industry;

(ii) establishing a favourable environment for cooperation between enterprises of different Member States in the industry and service sector, in particular in research and development, and making it easier to carry out projects involving collaboration between industry-related research establishments;

(iii) taking into account economic and social cohesion;

(iv) encouraging industry to adopt quality principles;

(v) speeding up of the standardization process;

(vi) facilitating the exchange of experience and information on vocational training with the aim of achieving as high standards as possible in vocational training throughout the Community;

(vii) taking fuller account of environmental needs without impairing the international competitiveness of European industry;

(viii) persevering with the structural adjustment of European industry to which the Structural Funds, in particular within the framework of industrial transformation, can make a positive contribution, while respecting the powers that the Regulations on the Structural Funds confer on the Member States.



1. to be guided by the principles listed above in all industrial policy initiatives and proposals;

2. to take them into account when reporting to it annually - inter alia, on the basis of the information obtained for the panorama of European industry - on the development of the competitiveness of European industry as requested by the Council in its conclusions of 22 April 1994;

3. to take into account the growth and job potential of industry and the service sector as well as barriers to their realization and reflect these issues in the reports to be prepared for the European Council meeting in Essen;

4. to submit a report to the Council of the findings of the national contact points mentioned in the Council resolution of 10 October 1994;

5. to examine the issue of delocalization and to report upon the results to the general directors of industry;

6. to take immediately the measures necessary to establish, in collaboration with industry and with national administrations, a database on the obstacles faced by European companies in third countries;

7. to report to it at its next meeting on the measures taken by the Commission to implement the resolutions and conclusions adopted by the Council on industrial policy matters since 1990;

8. to submit to it for its next meeting a schedule for the drafting of appropriate proposals formalizing the initiatives announced by the Commission in its communication on 'An industrial competitiveness policy for the European Union' in the areas of intangible investments, industrial cooperation, competition and modernization of the role of public authorities.

(1) OJ No C 294, 22. 10. 1994, p. 6.