Competitiveness and Trade


competitiveness and trade
03 Jun.2013 ,

BUSINESSEUROPE’s proposals for an industrial compact - A pro-industrial growth framework

Position paper

Executive summary:

Europe must enable industry to compete more effectively within the Single Market and global context to create jobs and generate sustainable growth. This requires a realignment of EU policies in support of industrial competitiveness.
Increasing industry’s share of production to 20% by 2020 would create at least 400.000 new jobs a year, reversing the losses of recent years. Alongside those new jobs in the industrial sector, many more jobs would be created in the supporting service sector.
The strategy paper builds on the first set of horizontal policy recommendations published by BUSINESSEUROPE in “Manufacturing a prosperous Europe” (date February 2013). It puts forward a series of concrete policy proposals in nine policy fields of strategic importance where progress is needed for a pro-industrial growth environment.

BUSINESSEUROPE’s 5 key recommendations to support industrial competitiveness:

  • Open global markets

An ambitious and competitiveness-driven internal and external trade policy agenda is a priority for growth. Fighting protectionism and opening foreign markets should be the leitmotiv of an ambitious EU free trade agenda.

  • Get the balance right in energy and climate policy

The EU needs to reassess its approach to energy. The high cost lessons from the current EU policy need to be fully addressed while taking game changers as the shale gas revolution in the US and the very limited progress in global climate talks into account. This requires an energy policy that addresses security of supply and climate/environmental concerns in a cost-competitive manner and that promotes significantly improved coordination of member state energy mix strategies.

  • Finance future industrial growth

Improving access to corporate finance is vital for industrial companies and economic growth. These actions need to be underpinned by steps towards the implementation of the banking union. European financial market reforms need to balance safeguarding financial stability and financing needs of companies without generating undue negative impacts on lending. Furthermore, the market-led development of alternatives to traditional bank finance must be supported.

  • Secure the supply of raw materials at competitive prices

European industry is heavily dependent on the import of critical raw materials and energy. It is essential to reduce export restrictions on raw materials applied by some resource holding countries and to ensure that EU environmental and other legislation does not inadvertedly undermine the import of primary or secondary raw materials into Europe.

  • Translate skills into employment

The availability of a skilled workforce, in particular people with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) skills, is an essential to improve industrial competitiveness and innovation. Europe must increase the number of students and graduates in STEM  subjects. In addition, the principles of work-based learning as apprenticeships and dual learning elements must be included as well as strengthened in Member States’ existing systems.

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26 Mar.2013

Sulphur limits in marine fuel: temporary exemptions and costefficient accompanying measures are the solutions

A new directive(1) bringing the European Union's regulation on marine fuel sulphur content in line with international requirements set out under the international maritime convention on pollution prevention known as MARPOL entered into force on 17 December 2012. The objective of this directive is to address the problem of air pollution from maritime transport by lowering sulphur emissions.

The European paper industry is extremely concerned by the impact of these measures on competitiveness and jobs in the 13 EU Member States bordering the SECA(2), while no substantial environmental and health benefit is to be expected because of the resulting “modal back shift” – from maritime transport to road transport. To the contrary, subsequent higher GHG emissions are expected(3) in contradiction with the EU White Paper on Transport.

In a previous position paper(4), the European paper industry expressed its support to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) efforts to address the problem of air pollution from maritime transport at global level by lowering sulphur emissions. Some European paper companies have even been in the forefront to reduce voluntarily sulphur emissions since the 1990s.

Because of the lack of low sulphur fuel and technical devices that could lead to actual reduction of sulphur emissions more cost-efficiently by 2015, the implementation of these measures is expected to have a cost of around 300 million euros for the pulp & paper industry located in the North of Europe related to an estimated increase in shipping costs of 20-45% further to a 50-80% price increase in marine fuels. The threat on RoRo and RoPax vessels is very serious as they represent between 30% and 60% of the volumes transported from/to Finland and Sweden. The cost is expected to reach 4 billion euros for the whole economy of these countries per year from 2015, mainly due to the substantial increase of the onshore diesel price(5). Thousands of direct jobs will be put at risk, as well as numerous indirect jobs. These rules will, as trade barriers do, disturb substantially supply chain management and trade flows and further distort competition within the EU and with foreign countries.

The problem is the too tight time schedule and the lack of alternative solutions. Exhaust-gas cleaning system – the scrubbers - technology has improved, but so far there is only a limited number of test installations in operation and no manufacturing company can guarantee its functioning with the harsh conditions at sea. Because of technical and cost reasons, only a limited number of vessels could consider this technology as a possible solution. In the long term, LNG is among the most promising solutions from an environmental and economic aspect. That’s the reason why CEPI supports the launching by the EU Commission of a Clean Fuel Strategy(6) but as technology implementation and infrastructure are proceeding relatively slowly, it won’t be an option before 2020 at the earliest and only new vessels will be in a position to benefit from it by that time.

Several European countries expressed their concerns regarding the potential impact on their economy and were of the opinion that ways to mitigate the impact of these measures should be explored, including temporary exemptions in IMO as it is the only realistic option at present.

The EU Commission, which is conducting an impact assessment study - to be available end 2013, should help identify pragmatic solutions to mitigate the impact on the European industry’s competitiveness. To this aim, the EU Commission’s ‘Toolbox’ should be further developed to allow cost-efficient solutions, while a boost should be given to low sulphur fuel supply and abatement technologies. Member States and EU Commission should indeed support investments in these areas but also in LNG infrastructure on the long term. In the meantime, no fine should be imposed on companies by Member States.

The set-up of a platform(7), aiming at getting expertise and recommendations of stakeholders – including industry representatives and shippers, on the implementation of the Sulphur directive is crucial and the European paper industry can give a valuable contribution.

The EU Commission has adopted in October 2012 an ambitious Communication on Industrial Policy aimed at boosting the competitiveness and output of its manufacturing sector and have its share increased to 20 percent of GDP by 2020, up from 16 percent today.

In a context of severe economic recession, CEPI urges Member States and EU Commission to help identify pragmatic solutions and not penalise industrial sectors that depend heavily on maritime transport.

For more information, please contact Bernard Lombard, CEPI Competitiveness & Trade Director, at, Tel: +32 2 627 49 00



1 Directive 2012/33/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 November 2012 amending Council Directive 1999/32/EC as regards the sulphur content of marine fuels.
2 The Sulphur Emission Control Area includes the Baltic Sea, North Sea and English Channel, i.e. Finland, Sweden, Norway, the Baltic States, Poland, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, and to some extent United Kingdom and France.
3 Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics’ study “Die weitere Reduzierung des Schwefelgehalts in Schiffsbrennstoffen auf 0,1% in Nord- und Ostsee im Jahr 2015: Folgen für die Schifffahrt in diesem Fahrtgebiet“, September 2010.
4 “Marine fuel: Lowering sea transport emissions requires pragmatism and flexibility”, CEPI Nov. 2010.
5 Consequences of the EU Sulphur Directive, SWECO, October 2012.
6 Proposal for a Directive on the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure, COM(2013) 18/2.
7 The European Commission proposed the set-up of the European Sustainable Shipping Forum.


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26 Mar.2013

Commission's proposal for a general data protection regulation-Position of the paper and print value chain

Our associations are part of the paper and print value chain - including paper manufacturing, paper converting, printing, postal services and direct marketing – and are committed to safeguarding the protection of personal data.

We acknowledge that recent globalisation trends and technology developments create the need for a review of the existing legal framework, i.e. Directive 95/46/EC on Data Protection, to ensure the privacy of personal data of European citizens. In this context, we welcome the Commission’s proposal for a general data protection Regulation as published on 25 January 2012.

The European strategy for growth and competitiveness emphasises the need for the development of the single European market with free movement of goods, services, labour and capital. With data being an integral part of this process, the ability to use and move data within the European Union must be considered as an essential requirement of a revised legislation. A balance needs to be found between consumer protection requirements and businesses’ development needs.

The review of the existing framework is primarily aimed at tackling the growing development of online technology. However, in doing so, the risk is to destabilise the more ‘traditional’ side of the communication industry, which is not being questioned for its ability to protect personal data.
As members of the paper and print value chain, we herewith wish to address some aspects of the proposed Regulation affecting postal direct mail.

“Legitimate interest” and “right to object”

We welcome the Commission’s proposal acknowledging the “legitimate interests” of the controller to process data (article 6) and retaining the “right to object” for data subjects at any time of the processing of personal data (article 19). And we strongly support the application of the latter to postal direct mail purposes (article 19.2) as it ensures the safeguarding of the efficient legal framework, which has been in place for nearly two decades and which has been complemented with self-regulatory initiatives from the business community.

In order to safeguard the efficient legal framework applicable to the postal direct mail, it is crucial that the “legitimate interest” of the controller to process data is being maintained and the “right to object” is not being replaced by a “prior consent” approach.

Measures based on profiling

Article 20 of the proposed Regulation relates to the activities of profiling. We are surprised to see that companies’ legitimate interest for doing profiling is not recognised in the draft legislation.

Profiling allows for the identification of categories of individuals (not for the identification of individuals), thereby ensuring that companies target the right audience with relevant information. Without profiling, the postal direct mail business will effectively become a doorto- door mail drop service. This is not in the interest of consumers, nor of companies, who would have to support unnecessary costs.

While profiling has indeed become more complex with the advent of OBA, (online behavioural advertising), the Commission must not ignore traditional profiling activities that remain valid today. Banning all profiling activities would seriously hamper businesses’ capacity to advertise, via postal direct mail, products and services to the relevant customer, thus limiting offers on the market and preventing customers from having a choice and getting the best out of the internal market.

Consequently we are of the opinion that the companies’ legitimate interest for doing profiling should be recognised as proposed in the Recommendation CM/Rec(2010)13 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on the protection of individuals with regard to automatic processing of personal data in the context of profiling.

CEPI – Confederation of European Paper Industries –
FEDMA – Federation of European Direct and Interactive Marketing –
FEPE – European Envelope Manufacturers Association –
INTERGRAF – European Federation of Print and Digital Communication –
Paper Chain Forum –
POSTEUROP – European Postal Operators –

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06 Mar.2013

Industry Forum - CEPI 2050 Roadmap: the strategic role of the value chain


The 2nd Industry Forum organised by CEPI brought together key players in the pulp and paper value chain, to discuss synergies as well as short term and long term objectives set out in the 2050 Roadmap. The European pulp and paper industry is facing problems, particularly on the graphic side, while packaging and tissue markets seem more promising. These problems, combined with macro-economic problems, present major difficulties for the European pulp and paper industry, which needs to face increased costs and be creative at the same time, said Berry Wiersum CEO of Sappi Fine Paper Europe in his welcome speech. The paper value chain needs partnership. The strategic role of the value chain in exploring synergies and passing through the benefits is a primary condition to achieve profit.

Petri Vasara's keynote speech focused on constant re-invention which, according to him, is the norm for the forest-based industries; a paper plant will probably look quite the same in 2050, but it will differ thanks to resource efficiency and by-products use. There is not one unique model for future developments and we should not be afraid of partnership and collaboration along the value chain.

The central point of the discussion between printers and paper producers was the need for more trust. There is a need to talk more to each other as industry sectors and not only as companies, individual suppliers and customers. This is already happening but there is still room for progress. There are 3 Cs to apply: cooperation, coordination and competition. It is all about an evolution rather than a revolution. Sustainability can and should be the industry’s edge.

The next panel focused on customers and the need for an improved dialogue between them and the packaging industry. Customers are driving changes with challenging demands. The following panel, composed of suppliers, addressed the necessity for the creation of platforms where suppliers and customers can enjoy fruitful dialogue and identify short-term and long-term challenges and their related solutions. A top priority should be the an improved use of resources. In the paper industry, resource consumption can be substantially diminished by improving and rationalising the production process. Suppliers should be more pro-active and bring solutions that contribute to this rationalisation process.

The debate which followed revolved around the current economic crisis and the fact that the legislative environment does not help the industry. Over-regulation and legislation unpredictability in European policy should be reduced to offer support to the industry, as seen in the USA. The future of the industry and the value chain depends on today’s choices. New minds are needed to make change happen in the industry.

The final point on the agenda was Marco Mensink's presentation of the Two Team Project ( Teresa Presas, CEPI Director General wrapped up the event, reminding the participants of CEPI’s role: to bring the various actors of the value chain together and move forward.

The event included inspiring talks and discussions. The programme as well as the three presentations from the event are available below.



Keynote speech – The future: a permanent reinvention, Petri Vasara, Pöyry Consulting

- Printer: Nigel Stubley, Northend Creative Print Solutions
              Robert McClements, Grange Consulting

- Paper producer: Terry Hamilton, Norske Skog
                          Henrik Sjölund, Holmen Paper

Panel I: Customers at the centre of choice and engagement

Philippe Diercxsens, Danone

- Response from paper packaging producer: Jurgita Girzadiene, Smurfit Kappa

Panel II: Chemical and machine suppliers: unexplored synergies?
- Chemical supplier: Jay Hunsberger, AkzoNobel
- Machine supplier: Jouko Yli-Kauppila, Metso
- Paper producer: Massimiliano Vannucchi, Sofidel
                          Kai Vikman, Metsä Board Corporation

Two Teams to breakthrough, Marco Mensink, CEPI


Photos from the event:

Jacki Davis, Moderator

Petri Vasara, Pöyry Consulting

Nigel Stubley, Northend Creative Print Solutions, Robert McClements, Grange Consulting, Terry Hamilton, Norske Skog, Henrik Sjölund, Holmen Paper

Philippe Diercxsens, Danone, Jurgita Girzadiene, Smurfit Kappa

Jay Hunsberger, AkzoNobel, Jouko Yli-Kauppila, Massimiliano Vannucchi, Sofidel, Kai Vikman, Metsä Board Corporation

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14 Nov.2012

Enabling the bio-economy: The future has begun

A strong European bio-economy will make a significant contribution to Europe's competitive position in global markets, as well as to its low-carbon future. It will create wealth and jobs. But this cannot happen without the pulp and paper industry and its development into the forest fibre sector.


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