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Orgalime[1] (derived originally from the French Organisme de Liaison des Industries Métalliques Européennes) is the European Engineering Industries Association, speaking for 40 trade federations representing companies in the mechanical, electrical, electronics and metalworking and metal articles industries of 23 European countries. The industry employs about 11 million people in Europe and represents some 28% of the output of manufactured products and a third of the manufactured exports of the European Union. Orgalime was elected Number 1 Manufacturing sector association in Brussels in 2015 and nominated in the top 5 Trade Associations in Brussels the same year. The Orgalime Director General was furthermore awarded the Association Leadership Award in 2017.[2] Since November 2015, Tomas Hedenborg, CEO of Fastems, is the President of Orgalime.[3]


Orgalime was formally created in late 1954, therefore pre-dating the official European Union project. Founding associations came from Austria, Belgium, France, West Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the UK, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway. Meetings and informal collaboration between industries had begun in 1948, and although initially created as an informal club without any financial demands, the organisation became increasingly structured and eventually developed a secretariat in the early 1950s. Various other engineering groups had been created at the same time as the European Coal and Steel Community developed, such as MEFTA and COLIME. Orgalime members decided in 1960 to incorporate the groups into Orgalime as working groups.[4] Orgalime has since been registered on the Transparency Register operated jointly by the European Commission and the European Parliament.[5]


Orgalime represents a large distribution of industry in Europe. The engineering industry is the largest industrial branch in the EU, with a turnover of some €2,000 billion in 2016. The industry furthermore accounts for over a quarter of manufacturing output and a third of the manufactured exports of the European Union.[6]

Orgalime works in a multi-layered manner.

  • It provides information to its members concerning the activities of the European Union and international bodies of direct relevance that impact the operations of the engineering companies operating in the EU.
  • It provides information and opinions to the European institutions on policy and regulatory issues.
  • Provision of a wide range of customised services to different sectors of industry, notably for the monitoring, analysis and dissemination of relevant information published by regulators and for the organisation of congresses and events.
  • Production of publications to provide the European engineering companies with model general conditions and documents to help draw up business contracts and give practical advice on frequently occurring legal questions, including in the context of European directives and regulations.

The majority (90%) of the companies represented are small and medium-sized enterprises covering a broad industry cross-section in terms of product, market segment and geographical spread. Whilst a significant part of the output of the engineering industries are either capital goods or destined for Business-to-business transactions, there is also a large consumer goods output, particularly in the electrical and electronic branch.[7]

Orgalime is part of an extensive network at European level which includes the Confederation of European Business (BUSINESSEUROPE), other branch federations, a sister organisation CEEMET representing the employers in the engineering industry, as well as a number of individual European sector committees/associations representing the interests of individual engineering products or product lines.

As part of its service, Orgalime publishes a range of standard conditions of contract for:

  • the supply of mechanical, electrical and electronic products (S2012), released in its new format in March 2012;
  • the supply and erection of mechanical, electrical and electronic products (SE01); and
  • turnkey projects / EPC.[8]


Due to the nature of the companies and sectors that Orgalime represents, its secretariat works on a large number of issues. There are several departments all working on respective topics, including:

With the advent of Industry 4.0 (also known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution), Orgalime has been vocal about the digitisation of industry in Europe. The association has provided input on the European Union’s current strategy of a Digital Single Market.[9] The association has furthermore called on the European Institutions to develop an industrial strategy - a call that was coordinated with some 130 European industry associations in 2016 and 2017.[10] President of the Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker announced in his State of the Union (European Union) Speech on Wednesday 13 September 2017 that an industrial strategy would be implemented.[11]

Orgalime has worked closely on the trade issues, notably the recent CETA agreement as well as TTIP. Orgalime has strongly supported EU trade strategies with a focus on shaping globalisation and improving competitiveness of the EU’s industrial base.

The association has notably worked on proposals for a more resource efficient Europe, encouraging the use of low carbon, energy efficient, environmentally friendly, and overall sustainable energy systems. Orgalime closely monitors the development of the European Horizon 2020 programme and has already organised debates concerning the Future Framework Programme 9. Innovation and research have been prioritised by Orgalime in its messages to the European Institutions.

In 2014, Orgalime launched a Vision Paper ‘Technology for the World – Manufactured in Europe’ to present the European Commission and the European Parliament with Orgalime's vision for the future of the engineering industry. The Vision Paper was updated in 2016 to coincide with the Commission's mid-term review of its framework programme. [12]