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Council discusses future of European industrial policy

The Council of the European Union discussed, during an open debate on 29 April 1999, future areas of actions for European industrial policy. Particular emphasis was placed on several key areas, including financing possibilities for innovation and new technologies. During this...

The Council of the European Union discussed, during an open debate on 29 April 1999, future areas of actions for European industrial policy. Particular emphasis was placed on several key areas, including financing possibilities for innovation and new technologies. During this open debate, acting Commissioner Martin Bangemann presented his communication on the competitiveness of European enterprise in the face of globalisation. While the Council welcomed the Commission's communication, emphasis was placed on four areas, which might be of special relevance for future industrial policy work: - Financing possibilities, and the environment for start-ups, innovation, new technology and risk-taking all need to be developed and improved. Of particular importance here is better access to science and the results of research, particularly for SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises), and protection of inventions through the development of patent law; - From the economic point of view, even greater advantages could be derived from the internal market by further reinforcing it, for example through developing the framework conditions for the Information Society; - It is in Europe's interest to develop further human capital and enterprise culture, in particular to encourage the spirit of enterprise in young people; - Particular attention should be paid to modernising competition policy against the background of globalisation. The Industry Council called upon the Commission, together with the Member States, to continue reviewing European industrial policy against the background of globalisation, and to submit a package of proposals to the various Councils.

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