Europe's Paper Industry Calls for EU Cooperation
July 1, 2009 - European leaders of the pulp and paper industry launched its manifesto for
competitiveness and employment during a meeting with the European Commissioner for
Enterprise and Industry, Günther Verheugen, in Brussels.
The group sounded a stark warning that
unless solutions are found quickly to respond to the economic crisis and that a more rational
policy making approach is introduced the competitive transformation of their industry, and
indeed all European industry, will be not be sustained.
Following the meeting with Commissioner Verheugen, Magnus Hall, CEO of Holmen and
Chairman of the CEPI said: “The European Union cannot afford to let the pulp and paper
sector and its related value chain slide into crisis. We must work together with the European
Commission to identify the causes of the current problems, ensure that nothing is done to
make a bad situation worse and build solutions together that deal with the real issues.”
Commenting on the manifesto, Teresa Presas, Managing Director of CEPI said, “We have
presented a clear list of areas where we believe the Commission can be forward thinking and
provide the stimulus that industry needs. It must walk the talk and be consistent with the
goals it has set for Europe.”
The key areas where the industry urges the European Commission to act include:
- Ensuring a better balance in policymaking between advocates of environmental,
competitiveness and employment interests.
- Allowing Europe to compete with lower energy cost competitors
- Creating winners not victims in the EU Emissions Trading System
- Boosting the availability of raw materials and market access
- Applying flexibility to competition rules to facilitate restructuring
- Fighting protectionism in competing countries
- Turning innovation into a reality
More than ever, Europe needs to reconcile competitiveness and sustainability for its industry
to thrive in a global market. For the European pulp and paper industry competitiveness is
economics. Meeting this challenge depends largely on policy makers.
The pulp and paper industry is an example to others in its responses to the current
challenges we face, not least in mitigating climate change. Its success is based on
sustainability. We practice sustainable forest management, pursue security of energy supply
through renewable energy, and optimise resources through the highest recycling rates. It is
a significant provider of employment, and adds economic value through the constant
harnessing and updating of new technologies.
Unless fundamental support in policy making is forthcoming the unique achievements made
by the industry in both sustainable production and consumption and the full potential to move
forward will be lost and society as a whole will lose.