The Four Motors for Europe regions could play a role as a “lighthouse” for the European industrial sector

On the initiative of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region, currently holding the rotating presidency of the Four Motors for Europe, the four partner regions shared their views on reshoring, attractiveness, and industrial sovereignty over a videoconference on March 10th. As major industrial regions representing all together around 10% of European GDP, they could play a role as a "lighthouse" for industrial Europe.

©Région Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes

After an introductory speech by Philippe Meunier, Vice-President in charge of International Relations of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region, an institutional roundtable offered crossed perspectives on reshoring and the industrial attractiveness of regions.

Different approaches were illustrated by the four political representatives: Stéphanie Pernod, First Vice-President in charge of the Economy, Reshoring and Regional preference of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region; Roger Torrent, Minister of Business and Labor of Catalonia; Patrick Rapp, State Secretary of the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Tourism; and Guido Guidesi, Regional Minister for Economic Development of Lombardy. On the one hand, Stéphanie Pernod presented its regional reshoring plan pointing out two major challenges linked to recruitment and availability of land. On the other hand, Roger Torrent stressed the importance of supporting companies in their search for alternative suppliers which would contribute to achieve the objective of increasing the industry part in the Catalan GDP by 5 points (from 20% to 25%). From another perspective, Patrick Rapp presented the prerequisites its government works on in order to attract new companies and secure the supply chains, while Guido Guidesi emphasized the importance of innovation and applied research as well as the public-private approach to foster and support resilient and competitive industrial value chains.

The representatives of the labour organizations, Francesco Buzzella, President of Confindustria Lombardia, Jean-Luc Raunicher, President of MEDEF Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Salvador Guillermo, Deputy Secretary General and Director of Economy of the Foment del Treball (Catalonia) and Wolfgang Wolf, Executive Member of the Managing Board of UBW - Unternehmer Baden-Württemberg, demonstrated through concrete examples how reshoring could be an opportunity for the companies of the four regions. They presented their views on the obstacles and setbacks encountered, but also on the conditions for successful reshoring in the regions, especially measures to address the challenges of lack of qualified staff, lack of available land, digital and environmental transition, and problems related to supply chains.

Globally, all the speakers agreed on the role that the Four Motors for Europe cooperation, and more broadly European cooperation, can play in working together to achieve these objectives. They recalled the importance of discussing these issues at the European level, with a view to setting up a common framework that is conducive to regaining Europe's industrial sovereignty. The Four Motors for Europe can set an example through a new model of cooperation and more intense and frequent exchanges.

In a second time, the floor was given to the business agencies of the regions: Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Entreprises represented by Joëlle Seux, Director in charge of Europe and International; ACCIO Catalonia Trade & Investment for Catalonia, represented by Christophe Arnoul, Director France; Invest in Lombardy, represented by Marco Fedato, Head of Investment Promotion Department; and Baden-Württemberg International, represented by Claire Walter, Regional director for Western Europe, for the presentation and the official launch of the Four Motors Business Passport.

The Business Passport allows a company to develop its activities in another of the four partner regions. The services provided by the agencies to companies in their regions are made available to companies in the Four Motors region free of charge. These services include assistance with sector analysis and labour costs, utilities and real estate costs, support in finding operating sites and for administrative procedures, recruitment support, search for partners, etc. 

 After a pilot year in the four regions, March 10th, 2022 marked the launch of the Business Passport for all companies interested in developing in the Four Motors, with the support of actors who are specialists in their respective regions and allowing the integration into pre-existing networks.

Representatives of the business agencies gave successful examples of companies that have used the Four Motors Business Passport this past year.

Bruno Chiaverini, Director of International Relations of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region, concluded the event by echoing the words of the institutional speakers about the role that the Four Motors for Europe cooperation could play for the European industrial sector: that of a lighthouse serving as a guide for the rest of Europe.

The conference was moderated by Philippe Montanay, Journalist Moderator.


Watch the video of this webinar:

-in English: Webinar « The Four Motors for industry : reshoring and attractiveness » - 10 March 2022 - YouTube

-in French: Webinaire « Les Quatre Moteurs pour l’industrie : relocalisation et attractivité » - 10 mars 2022 - YouTube


Watch the video presentation of the Business Passport:

-in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes:

-in Baden-Württemberg:

-in Catalonia:

-in Lombardy: