Commissioner Bienkowska at EURATEX 20th Anniversary: Textiles is a Strategic Sector in Europe
On 9 June 2016, Euratex hosted its international conference ‘Best in Partnerships’ devoted to inter-sectorial partnerships to boost European manufacturing.
The European Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs Elżbieta Bieńkowska addressed the audience in her key note: ‘Textile and fashion industry is a strategic sector in the EU and it is really performing well. The European Commission is undertaking a number of actions to meet three main challenges of the sector: innovation, international competition and skills shortage.’ The Commissioner underlined that the European institutions are expecting full engagement of industry, because knowledge about the companies' needs should drive the development of new policies and programmes.
EURATEX’s President Serge Piolat emphasised that textile and fashion sector is appreciating the European Commission’s willingness to build a dialogue with the industry. EURATEX proposed a concrete action plan to the European Commission to strengthen internationalisation of the SMEs, assure fair conditions for the European companies through stricter market surveillance, provide better access for SMEs to EU research funds and boost innovation investments at regional level through RegioTex initiative. ‘We are strongly committed to show meaningful results and we have equally high expectations of concrete actions from the policy-makers’, said Mr. Piolat.
The textile and fashion industry invited other sectors to identify common challenges and discuss new areas of cooperation. The conference was organised in a new format of Industrial Dialogues when two at a time representatives of different sectors had a free discussion between them and with the audience. The topics addressed were circular economy, creative industries, education and skills and international trade.