A place-based approach to EU industrial policy

This article was published under the 2015-2020 European Committee of the Regions mandate, with an additional report under the current mandate.



Last updated
6 December 2021

Adoption at CoR Plenary

Adopted at CoR Plenary in July

Adopted at CoR Plenary in December


December 2018
Appointment of the rapporteur

March 2020
Appointment of the rapporteur

During a European Committee of the Regions Plenary session, Jeannette Baljeu explains what is being discussed, what she’s working with regards to her report and her work at the European level.


December 2021

Discussing industrial strategy at the European Committee of the Regions plenary, rapporteur Jeannette Baljeu called for a reinforced territorial dimension of the EU’s strategy: “Europe must give cities and regions the tools to take ownership of the twin digital & green transitions. We won’t achieve the EU Green Deal objectives without a decarbonised & sustainable European industry”. 

In the news: Provincie Zuid-Holland and on Dordrecht.net.

May 2021 – Update for the opinion on an industrial strategy for Europe

Following the COVID-pandemic, the Industrial strategy needed to be updated. The report will focus on resilience and supply chains but also on ecosystems and still calls for a place-based approach. 

A new industrial strategy for Europe

Baljeu will respond to the European Commission proposal for a new industrial strategy for Europe, promoting a place-based approach and facilitating uptake of innovation across regions.

A place-based approach for the Industrial Policy:

  • The opinion focused on how an EU industrial policy strategy could be implemented using a territorial or place-based approach, the role of regional and local authorities in that regard and how their role can be supported by EU initiatives. It also addresses how a low carbon and circular economy can be a driver of innovation and new business and employment opportunities in a regional and local context.

Making Industrial Policy in Europe more Place-Based

The report:

  • calls for a coordinated European approach to ensure that European industry remains
    innovative and competitive.
  • stresses the key role of regional and local authorities in establishing large-scale industrial
    cooperation that goes beyond ad-hoc initiatives and contributes to strengthening
    European value chains. Overall, a more holistic, multi-sectoral approach should be
    adopted that seeks to identify and harness local strengths and capabilities.
  • underlines that the transition of companies to more sustainable and resource-efficient
    business models will both help the environment and provide competitive advantage. The
    place-based approach can contribute to a low carbon and circular economy that is a driver of
    innovation and new business and employment opportunities in a regional and local context.


The ECON secretariat together with the OECD organized on 29 January 2021 a webinar on Entrepreneurial societies make resilient regions. It was followed by a discussion with rapporteur Baljeu on the SME Strategy and a speaker from the OECD on local and regional aspects of relevance of the project.

Jeannette Baljeu will bring the CoR position in the CEPS Task Force on a New Industrial Strategy which aims to provide intelligence for the updated industrial strategy announced by the European Commission for Q2 2021.


12 – 14 October

“Regions can lead the new industrial strategy for a greener Europe” says Jeannette Baljeu after her report was adopted at the European Committee of the Regions. In a special interview on the website of the CoR, Baljeu answers six questions on the role of local and regional governments in the new European Industrial strategy. Jeannette Baljeu underlines that a new place-based dimension is needed in order for regions and cities, as the governments closest to citizens and business ecosystems, to take ownership of the twin green and digital transitions of their industry.


5 December

During the European Committee of the Regions plenary, Jeannette Baljeu engaged with European Commissioner Schmit in charge of Jobs and Social Rights:

“I believe that if industry is to become “fit for the future” and maintain and improve its crucial contribution to prosperity and employment we need to also focus on the transition that is needed for new skills.”

She advised that regional and local authorities take leadership to ensure the availability of new skills to support the transition of industry by facilitating industry-educational institutes collaboration and that this is supported by a European strategy. 

2 July

At the Knowledge Exchange Platform “Regions and cities in the driving seat of the “Industry 4.0” revolution” in the European Committee of the Regions, policymakers, experts from local, regional and European levels in Brussels discussed how to approach social challenges and to make sure that everyone in Europe benefits from the ongoing transformation. 

Rapporteur Jeannette Baljeu (NL/Renew Europe), Commissioner in the Province of Zuid-Holland, was one of the panelists and said: “For Europe to remain competitive and make a successful transition to a zero-carbon and digital economy we need to strengthen regional and local ecosystems by cooperating in the whole value chain and connecting these ecosystems throughout all European regions.”

26 June

Debate & approval at the Plenary of the European Committee of the Regions.

“A place-based approach for European Industry is crucial if we want to remain competitive and face challenges such as the transition to a zero-carbon and digital economy. Therefore, we need to strengthen regional and local eco-systems by cooperating in the whole value chain and connecting these eco-systems throughout all European regions. Cooperation of local and regional stakeholders is key in this as we all face these challenges. We can learn from each other and grow the European Industry in a sustainable way to a stronger, more innovative and competitive European Union”, says rapporteur Jeannette Baljeu (NL/Renew Europe).

6 March 

Zuid-Holland covers Baljeu’s work on an EU Strategy for Industrial Policy, after the workshop in which she engaged with different experts about the future of such an industrial policy. “As regional government we have an important role to connect the regions and different industries with one another. That’s why it’s important to have a place-based industrial approach in the EU” says Baljeu. 

15 February

Participants – representatives of cities and regions as well as think tanks, NGOs and associations working in the field of industry and related areas – were encouraged to concisely explain their views on the topic and take an active part in the exchange during the Stakeholder’s consultation  in the European Committee of the Regions.

After the introductory presentation by Michele Alessandrini from t33, representatives of several regions and associations participated in 4 different moderated sessions and discussed the possible input of cities and regions to the EU industrial policy. Topical discussions included clusters, circular economy, cross-border links

Mr. Pietro Celotti and his colleagues from the consultancy company t33 gave a short presentation of a study on “Implementing a place-based approach to EU industrial policy strategy” which the CoR has commissioned.

5 February 

Baljeu speaks at a stakeholders’ session organised by Eurochambres during the EU Industry Days 2019. The topic is “Thinking circular – How to make SMEs fit for the Circular Economy”.

Jeannette BALJEU


Additional documents

Download the opinion

Download the opinion
(A new Industrial strategy for Europe)

Download the opinion
(Updating the new Industrial Strategy for Europe)

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