The European Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials has taken full speed with the first round of meetings having taken place in Brussels over the last weeks. The EIP’s objective is to contribute to the 2020 targets of the EU Industrial Policy, to increase the share of industry on GDP to 20% and improve resource efficiency by securing the sustainable supply of raw materials in Europe. The High Level Steering Group met on 12 February with the presence of three Commissioners, Ministers of several Member States and CEO’s of European industry. Representing the European Paper Industry is Mr. Ramon Alejandro Balet, President of SAICA. He is supported by Guillermo Vallès Albar from SAICA.
The European paper industry has engaged in the European Raw Materials Initiative from the beginning in 2008, pointing at the challenges of our raw materials supply:
• Increasing competition for wood as a renewable yet finite resource, partly induced by European renewable energy policy.
• Paper for recycling, which constitutes half of the Industry’s raw materials supply is increasingly exported to Asia.
• There is still potential in increasing the mobilisation of wood and paper for recycling, but which is not yet exploited.
The calls from the European paper Industry have been heard and renewable materials such as wood, paper and natural rubber have been included in the Commission Communication on Raw Materials in 2010.
A Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP) of the EIP will be elaborated in the first half of 2013. CEPI will work in close cooperation with the FTP, the woodworking industry and the European Commission to contribute to the SIP with its priorities. In the second half of 2013 the Commission will publish a Communication on the Strategic Implementation Plan and start preparing for the implementation phase of the EIP by publishing calls for commitment.