Using the opportunities offered by digitalisation

European industry Using the opportunities offered by digitalisation

Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President François Hollande and Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, have met with 20 leading European industrialists. They looked at the challenges posed by digitalisation for industry.

Meeting with leading representatives of European industry

The opening statements of the President of the European Round Table Benoît Potier, François Hollande, Angela Merkel and Jean-Claude Juncker

Photo: Bundesregierung/Denzel

In a separate meeting Greece’s financial situation was discussed at the Federal Chancellery.

Before the meeting with chief executives and chairpersons of major multinational companies of European parentage, Chancellor Angela Merkel declared that, " Digitalisation is at the top of the agenda. It is a question of "the conditions that must be in place for us to be successful with digitalisation." It is firstly a question of investment, but also of legislation that takes account of both data privacy and of the potential for adding value, said Angela Merkel. The meeting was attended by the chief executives and chairpersons of 20 leading European companies that belong to the European Round Table of Industrialists.

Financial crisis in Greece
Following the meeting, Angela Merkel, François Hollande and Jean-Claude Juncker met with Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank and IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde. They discussed the current status of the ongoing talks between the Greek government and the various institutions. They agreed that every effort must be made to press ahead. They have been in very close contact with one another and of course with the Greek government over the last few days, and intend to stay in touch.

Shaping "Industry 4.0" together

In her opening statement at the meeting with leading industrialists Angela Merkel focused on the issue of "Industry 4.0". She stressed that there are a large number of initiatives in individual member states, but no common approach in terms of how we aim to harmonise everything at European level." She pointed out, "We have a population of 500 million and we can do it if we act together. If we are fragmented in our action, it will be difficult."

The Chancellor summed up, "We will be discussing financing issues, matters relating to ‘Industry 4.0’, data privacy and protection and big data management, as well as aspects of the telecommunications package – from roaming charges to net neutrality." Above all it is a question of listening to the representatives of industry and drawing the appropriate conclusions, said Angela Merkel.

Setting the scene for the Digital Single Market

Recently the European Commission published its strategy for a Digital Single Market. The ever faster pace of digitalisation is changing customer expectations, business models and supply chains in manufacturing industry. It allows us to leverage efficiency potentials and raises questions regarding employment in future. We must come to terms with this structural change. Exchange with high-ranking representatives of industry is an important element in setting the scene at political level.

At the start of May the European Commission presented its strategy for the European Digital Single Market. The Commission is pursuing three goals: consumers and businesses should be given better online access to digital goods and services. An environment should be put in place where digital networks and services can prosper, and Europe’s digital industry should be seen as a driver for growth.