The space for an industrial policy in Europe

22  September 2016    10:00 am CEST

Mario Pianta, University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Italy


wiiw, Rahlgasse 3, 1060 Vienna, library (2nd floor)


After the 2008 crisis, European economies are moving towards a serious divergence in terms of industrial capacities, making it more difficult to achieve the Europe 2020 goals of developing high-knowledge economic activities, expanding industry, reaching environmental sustainability and achieving greater convergence. In order to address these problems, several proposals for a return of industrial policy and public investment have recently emerged, including some action from the EU with the Juncker investment plan. The presentation will discuss the policy space that exists for a new industrial policy in Europe, taking into account the problems posed by the current institutional settings, rules on competition and State aid, restrictions for the use of Structural Funds, and also the opportunities opened up by the flagship initiatives ‘An integrated industrial policy for the globalisation era’, ‘Smart specialisation’, and the European Fund for Strategic Investment. A wide ranging proposal for a new European-level industrial policy will be presented, targeting activities associated to environmental sustainability, appropriate ICT applications, and health and public services.

Background papers include:

M. Pianta, M. Lucchese, L. Nascia, What is to be produced? The making of a new industrial policy in Europe, Report for the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, 2016,

M. Lucchese, L. Nascia, M. Pianta, Industrial policy and technology in Italy, WP University of Urbino, 2016,

Mario Pianta is Professor of Economic Policy at the University of Urbino. He was a member of the Centro Linceo Interdisciplinare of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Italy’s Academy of Sciences, Braudel fellow at the European University Institute, visiting fellow at the London School of Economics, and visiting fellow at the Université de Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. He has worked on economic growth, inequality, innovation, and economic policy alternatives for Europe. His latest book is Explaining inequality with Maurizio Franzini, Routledge, 2016),