We need quality jobs in competitive European industries. Giving up on Europe’s industrial base means importing industrial goods from regions outside Europe that have less stringent environmental rules.
Today, ECEG and industriAll European Trade Union, the representative European Social Partners in the European chemical, pharmaceutical, rubber and plastics industries in Europe, hosted a breakfast meeting in the European Parliament with MEP Dennis Radtke. The aim of the gathering was to outline their political priorities for the next mandate period of the European Parliament and European Commission.
The Social Partners emphasized that the chemical industry provides solutions for tackling climate change by providing know-how and breakthrough technologies. How can Europe keep its forerunner position? It requires long-term strategies that bring together industrial and environmental policies and that ensure a supply of a highly skilled workforce. Europe must play a strong role investing in research, development and innovation – efforts at the national level are not enough. Attracting greater numbers of young people to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects and investing in continuous learning are also common tasks of social partners and policymakers at national and European level alike.
Luc Triangle, General Secretary of industriAll Europe emphasized “We need quality jobs in competitive European industries. Giving up on Europe’s industrial base means importing industrial goods from regions outside Europe that have less stringent environmental rules. This will only increase the global carbon footprint.” He underlined further that the social partners have a joint responsibility to prepare workers for the changes lying ahead. “We know that jobs are at stake and that jobs will change. We must prepare our members today through training, skilling and upskilling”.
There was broad agreement about the need to move towards a more balanced discussion. Dennis Radtke regretted that political debates around climate policies had become emotionally charged and one-sided. Consequently, “we are destroying wealth and the solutions that only industry can provide to tackle the challenges.”
There was also agreement on the role and responsibility of Social Partners and Social Dialogue. Dennis Radtke reminded that the Lisbon Treaty enshrines Europe as a social market economy. Consequently, Social Dialogue must be re-launched and be given centre stage.
For more information and further comment please contact senior policy adviser Maike Niggemann.