Electrical and electronic engineering industries (EEI) include electrical devices, radio equipment and telecommunications industries. Examples are mobile phones, the mobile network infrastructure, tv sets, power supply units, wireless routers, maritime radars, sensors, and much more.
EU policies affecting electrical and electronic engineering industries (EEI) cover 3 major areas.
1. Electromagnetic compatibility: regulated by the electromagnetic compatibility directive (EMC), covering all equipment that can generate or be affected by electromagnetic disturbance.
2. Low voltage electrical equipment: regulated by the low voltage directive (LVD), covering health and safety risks caused by electrical equipment of specific voltage ranges.
3. Radio and telecommunication terminal equipment: regulated by the radio equipment directive (RED). It applies to all products using the radio frequency spectrum.
Challenges faced by the sector
The European EEI needs to overcome the following challenges
- Production, product development and research relocating to East Asia and the resulting shortage of engineers and high-skilled personnel in advanced technologies
- Loss of skilled labour due to cuts in production costs
- Access to credit from financial institutions
- Lack of progress in energy supply infrastructure
- Lack of progress in energy efficiency (buildings, transport networks and industrial production)
- Investments in research and development (R&D): crucial to compete with the USA, Japan and China
- The development of smart technologies (smart grids, IoT, remote security, etc.)
- Unfair competition caused by non-compliant goods. Surveillance authorities have shown that compliance regulations need more effective enforcement. Especially in low-tech/low-cost market areas where compliance gets less attention due to price pressure