On 10 March 2020, the European Commission launched a European Industrial Strategy with a clear mandate to support EU industry to lead the transition towards climate neutrality and increased connectivity and digitalisation across all EU sectors and Member States. One day after the announcement of the EU’s industrial strategy, the World Health Organisation (WHO) agency classified the COVID-19 health crisis as a global pandemic.

Background to the EU Industrial Strategy

The EU’s industrial strategy includes measures to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups and accelerate the digital and green transitions, while promoting employment and reducing regulatory barriers to the organisation. In this context, the strategy also addresses the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the European economy and society, including its impact on various ecosystems, companies and SMEs. Small and medium-sized enterprises have been particularly affected by the COVID-19 crisis: 60 % reported a decrease in annual turnover and total revenues in 2020 and around 1.4 million SME employees were made redundant. Around half of companies are expected to invest less in 2021, while trade between EU Member States decreased by 24 % in the second half of 2020. According to current estimates, the COVID-19 pandemic has reduced the EU economy by more than 6 %. In addition, the COVID-19 crisis has forced Europe’s borders to close, temporarily halting the free movement of people, goods and services, disrupting global supply chains, shifting demand and reducing the availability of essential products and services.

Key priorities

  • Maintaining European competitiveness in a global context and ensuring a level playing field in Europe and beyond.
  • Achieving climate neutrality by 2050.
  • Shaping Europe’s digital future.


  • Launching actions aimed at supporting and strengthening the resilience and stability of the European Single Market, including:
    • Single Market Emergency Instrument to support European fundamental freedoms and availability of key products and services
    • Deepening the EU single market by harmonising standards, strengthening the digitalisation of market surveillance and other measures to support the development of SME entrepreneurship.
  • Monitoring and governance to offer support for European open strategic autonomy, anticipate supply chain shortages and improve European autonomy in key areas. Other measures in this regard include:
    • Creating diverse international partnerships and facilitating global trade and investment between the EU and the EU to strengthen Europe’s resilience
    • Supporting industrial alliances as a tool to attract private investors and stimulate the creation of business partnerships and innovation models in a transparent and open manner, in line with EU competition rules, which aim to stimulate employment and more jobs. In this context, the European Commission is launching alliances between industrial stakeholders in the fields of data, edge and cloud computing.

Actions and measures

  • Action Plan on Intellectual Property to support the EU’s technological sovereignty and strengthen action against intellectual property theft and cybercrime.
  • Promoting fair competition at home and abroad and maximising the use of the TDI toolbox.
  • A comprehensive set of measures aimed at modernising and decarbonising highly energy intensive industries and supporting sustainable and smart mobility sectors.
  • Preventing carbon leakage and increasing the supply of low-carbon energy by removing market barriers.
  • Support the development of strategic digital infrastructures and key enabling technologies.
  • Clean Hydrogen Alliance and planned future alliances for low carbon industry and for industrial clouds and platforms and raw materials.
  • Proposing further legislation and guidance on green public procurement.
  • A renewed focus on innovation, investment and skills.



Source: European Digital Skills & Jobs Platform


Website link

EU Industrial Strategy

Digital technology / specialisation

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Cybersecurity
  • Internet of Things
  • Big Data
  • Blockchain
  • Robotics
  • Augmented Reality
  • Virtual Reality
  • High Performance Computing
  • Machine Learning
  • Cloud Computing
  • 5G
  • Telecommunications
  • WiFi
  • Quantum Computing
  • Software
  • Mobile Application Development
  • Web Development
  • Microelectronics

Digital skill level

  • Basic
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced
  • Digital Expert

Geographic Scope - Country

  • European Union

Type of initiative

EU institutional initiative

Target audience

  • Digital skills for the labour force.
  • Digital skills for ICT professionals and other digital experts.