The EU Commission’s Industrial Policy Communication was launched today and is warmly welcomed by CEPI – the Confederation of European Paper Industries. The expectations from the paper industry are high, in a time of economic crisis and political and financial uncertainty, in which a clear direction is needed.
We call upon Vice President Tajani to implement a strong industrial policy, integrating other policies in a coherent way, and shaping them to reverse the current trend of de-industrialisation, shrinking investments and industrial employment contraction.
The paper industry has a clear strategy to develop its own competitive advantages and strengths. By using natural and renewable raw materials, creating record recycling rates, using its knowledge of the value chain, utilising new business models such as industrial symbiosis and by setting a vision for resource efficiency in the CEPI 2050 Roadmap, the paper industry is already part of the new industrial revolution described in the EU Communication. It also ticks off all the boxes for the bio-economy, with the potential to deliver bio-based products, rightly highlighted as an important focus area in the communication.
The paper industry is supplying the European market, and at the same time has one fourth of the global market share. Paper is “made in Europe” as 91% of its raw materials are sourced in Europe and its suppliers are large European companies. But a number of policies and practices are putting the raw material supply at risk and a robust and consistent policy approach is needed in this area.
Investment in new technologies and innovation are of paramount importance. “We, the paper industries, believe that one size does not fit all. We are starting our own work on breakthrough technologies that will allow our factories to release resources that can be invested in new added value products” said Teresa Presas, CEPI Director General. “The communication on EU Industrial Policy must be more than an update. It has to set the grounds for sector specific policies”. The support for the Bio-based industries Public Private Partnership is a clear sign of direction, which is appreciated by CEPI.
No long-term growth and sustainability goals can be achieved without industry. Industry is a real partner to contribute to growth and jobs in Europe, provided it gets the right legislative pro-investment environment. Only coherent, stable, competitiveness proofed policies and legislation, taking into account business values, investment cycles and the strategic importance of value chains can reset virtuous conditions to manufacture in Europe.
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Note to the Editor
European Commission Industrial Policy press release: http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/12/1085&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en
CEPI aisbl – The Confederation of European Paper Industries
The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) is a Brussels-based non-profit organisation regrouping the European pulp and paper industry and championing industry’s achievements and the benefits of its products. Through its 18 member countries (17 European Union members plus Norway) CEPI represents some 520 pulp, paper and board producing companies across Europe, ranging from small and medium sized companies to multi-nationals, and 1000 paper mills. Together they represent 25% of world production.