Our approach to Industrial Competitiveness and Market Performance

The European Competitiveness and Sustainable Industrial Policy Consortium (ECSIP) is the consortium of European consultancies that has been executing assignments in two active Framework Contracts (FWCs) for the European Commission in the last six years. The most recent Framework Contract in which ECSIP has a lead position, is the FWC on Industrial Competitiveness and Market Performance.


About the FWC Industrial Competitiveness and Market Performance (2012 – 2016)

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The framework contract has been launched against the background of the reverberating economic and financial crisis, the European Commission’s EU2020 Strategy presents the EU as being at a “moment of transformation”. At this critical juncture, the Strategy argues that policies are needed not only to redress the losses arising from the crisis but, also, to respond to structural challenges, and to cope with the increasing speed of global and technological change. The Communication “An Integrated Industrial Policy for the Globalisation Era: Putting Competitiveness and Sustainability at Centre Stage” provides an outline for an industrial policy agenda for the coming years that seeks to place both competitiveness and sustainability at a centre stage.

Towards this end, the Communication proposes to enhance “competitiveness proofing” of policies as part of a strengthening of “smart regulation”. On the one hand, this includes strengthening the ex-ante analysis of the impacts of all policy proposals with a significant effect oncompetitiveness. While, on the other hand, stepping-up ex post evaluation of the effects of legislation on competitiveness, both at the level of individual measures and the general regulatory framework in particular policy areas.

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Hence, the general purpose of the proposed framework service contract on “Industrial Competitiveness and Market Performance” is to complement the actions set out in the Communication on industrial policy (see above) by providing the European Commission with analytical work to support policy making and monitoring. The studies implemented under the framework service contract will provide input to:

  • Assess existing EU industrial and related policies;
  • Formulate future EU industrial and related policies; and
  • Monitor EU industrial performance.

The second FWC (which has been closed already) ran from 2007 until 2012 and covered mainly sectoral competitiveness studies. More information on this FWC below.

About the FWC Sector Competitiveness (2007 – 2012)

In our globalised world, competitiveness of a sector allows an industry to maintain and improve its position in the global market. Sectoral competitiveness can thus be seen as a measure of “fitness”, both in performance and in its outlook. Key is a sector’s relative productivity and its ability to create value-added.

Competitiveness of a sector has two main dimensions:

  • Vertical, relating to the “fitness” of the sector’s internal dynamics vis-à-vis the global marketplace, i.e. company-level strategies and business models.
  • Horizontal, relating to the “fitness” of the business environment, i.e. regulatory environment and other framework conditions.

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The vertical dimension is mainly controlled by the (private) actors in a sector, whereas the horizontal dimension is considered mostly external to the individual or collective business operations. The horizontal dimension can, however, partly be influenced by policy makers.

Developing effective competitiveness policies and programmes at sector level demands an in-depth understanding of the complex factors that drive the competitiveness of economies, sectors and clusters. It also requires a strong appreciation of how public agencies can best use scarce resources to maximise opportunities and respond to challenges.

Providing such in-depth insights into the drivers of competitiveness for a certain sector in order to design effective policies is the overall objective of the FWC Sector Competitiveness Studies.

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