Industrial policy has been a cornerstone of economic policy in europe after the world war and the transformation of basic industries like coal and steel were key issues at the beginning of european integration. In the 1970s and 1990s industrial policy shifted toward support of high-tech industries. In the seventies the importance of a more systemic view came up, policy had to address the specific weaknesses of the innovation system. The lisbon agenda finally combines competitiveness with social and environmental goals. Industry plays an important role in generating welfare and industrial policy is in different forms and sorts back, high on the agenda.