EU enlargement and measures taken to promote the internal market have had a major impact on the activities of the branch groups and associations. Almost all of them are members of the European cooperation organisation for their own field, and some are also members of global organisations. Most European associations have their own secretariat in Brussels where industry representatives work in close cooperation with the EU Commission and other organisations. Through this cooperation, the special features and needs of each sector in areas such as legislation are brought to decision-makers’ attention at the EU and national level alike. The objective is to create a competitive business environment, which requires transparent and functional internal markets.
Several branch groups and associations have their own development programmes designed to improve business and technology competence. Measures are taken to continually develop cooperation with universities, other institutes of higher education, and research institutes. Projects may also be sub-projects in extensive EU funded programmes. The establishment of European Technology Platforms has helped intensify Europe-wide cooperation.