Industry: a branch of economy The process in which industry becomes the leading branch of economy, is called industrialization.

Most important industrial regions of Europe a developed in the 18th-19th cent. at the time of the exploitation of coal deposits Where coking coal and iron ore appeared a rapid industrialization began

Largest industrial regions are installed at the old mining areas:e.g.:

  • Black Country
  • Meuse Valley (Belgium)
  • vicinity of Lille
  • Lorraine
  • Asturias
  • vicinity of Bilbao
  • Ruhr & Saar region

Ruhr region as an example of all

– characteristic polycentric urban agglomeration

  • hard-coal-based
  • 4/5 of the coal mined in Germany
  • 1 of crude oil and steel production comes from here
  • Nearly 1 of Germany’s chemical production- exhausted iron mines (Rhine schist mountains) assisted the expansion- navigable canals of the Rhine of the ind. district
  • Rhine and its tributaries are not enough to supply the water demand of the region a industrial water is re-used (water recycling)
  • most important ind. branches are in connection with coal mining
  • coke (koksz) is a dominant factor in the location of metallurgy
  • they import Swedish, African and Brazilian ores
  • power plants (erőművek) which are fed by hard coal provide electric power
  • heavy industry: – great consumer of rolled steel plates – manufacturing of mining machines
  • metallurgical and power plant machinery
  • railroad
  • military equipment
  • chamber gas is used for making chemical products and glass works
  • old plants were converted in oil refineries- petrochemical industry settled here a gets raw-material through pipelines a pushes coal chemistry into the background
  • textile factories a employing female labour force a processes mainly the synthetic fibres (műszál) produced nearby

Structural crisis of the last 3 decades:

1.) since the 1950’s aamount of coal mined decreased to 1 a the amount of employees decreased to 1/3
2.) increased use of artificial materials and special metal alloys a demand for steel decreased worldwide
3.) up-to-date technical procedures appeared blast furnaces:

  • located near iron ore mines
  • combines which obtained inexpensive raw-materials from overseas a advantageous situation
  • operate right near the Rhine ports (e.g. Duisburg)
  • operate in cities lying farther from the waterway (e.g. Dortmund)
  • Coal & steel crisis a many jobs disappeared in a short time
  • migration
  • Ruhr region had to attract new, up-to-date branches of industry by offering various advantages (e.g. Opel Works settled here)
  • expansion of chemical industry and electrotechnics
  • cities became more attracting

But crisis is still not solved, outmigration and unemployment still exist.

Economic stagnation in other areas as well(e.g. traditional textile industry regions):

  • around Lille and Lyon in the vicinity of Liverpool and Manchester
  • more and more companies cannot withstand the competition (with the cheaply produced goods in developing countries)
  • have to be closed
  • unemployment decline of outmigration the European