The European paper sector currently accounts for 22% of world production and employs over 180,000 people. It is of vital importance to maintain Europe’s industry competitiveness and provide jobs and continuous growth within Europe.

Since early 2022, due to the high energy costs, pulp and paper mills throughout Europe have been forced to take difficult decisions and temporarily stop or significantly reduce their production. This creates a huge threat to jobs and competitiveness within the global market. Workers and citizens across Europe are suffering due to skyrocketing inflation and high energy bills. The energy and cost-of-living crisis have proven that strong social dialogue and collective bargaining are a must.

Cepi and industriAll Europe call for urgent action to safeguard the European pulp and paper sector and protect jobs in Europe, while also working towards climate neutrality and an internationally competitive pulp and paper industry.

Cepi and industriAll Europe : 

  1. Agree to fully respect social dialogue at all levels, in line with national or European legislation.
  2. Commend companies for continuing investments in both their plants and their people, and call on public authorities to swiftly support industrial decarbonisation projects and the related energy infrastructure.
  3. Urge for the unlocking of financing instruments to implement energy efficiency programmes and the switch to renewable and low-carbon energy sources to reduce Europe’s dependency on fossil fuels.
  4. Insist on a design for Europe’s electricity market that is fit to support the transition to net zero, reinforces solidarity between Member States, ensures the secure and affordable supply of low-carbon electricity for industry and households, and preserves and creates high-quality industrial jobs in Europe.
  5. Ask for the mobilisation of available resources to provide financial stress relief for industries in need, facing the energy price crisis, such as a SURE-like EU solidarity mechanism and/or remaining funds from the NEXT Generation EU recovery package, with strong social conditionalities in place.
  6. Call on all stakeholders to work together to ensure a Just Transition for any paper worker or region impacted by the green or digital transition
  7. Hope that the Green Deal Industrial Plan can steward European industry through these turbulent times and recall that public support must be linked to social conditions to guarantee fair transition, with worker participation and collective bargaining, fair pay, quality jobs and high social standards.

Read the full statement here