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Glass sector welcomes call for EU-wide strategy

The European glass sector has welcomed a call for an EU-wide policy to boost the industry, save jobs and safeguard competitiveness.

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), which has representatives of employers, workers and other interest groups, has issued a series of recommendations.

They include the need for a policy to recognise, sustain and expand the glass industry’s success in recycling. Other proposals are:

  • an industrial policy for the sector across the EU to safeguard jobs and reinforce its competitiveness
  • recognition of the potential of glass in supporting transition to a low-carbon, energy-efficient and circular economy, with consequent business and employment opportunities
  • greater co-ordination and harmonisation across different European policies
  • acceptance that a level playing field with competitors from outside Europe is a pre-condition for the sector’s prosperity

According to the EESC, the glass industry has suffered a significant decrease in production during the economic downturn, although it is the world’s largest producer, making more than 33 million tonnes in 2012, generating revenues of €35bn (£25bn).

Glass Alliance Europe (GAE), which represents 19 national associations, welcomed the recommendations.

Glass Association

Jacques Bordat, GAE president, left, said: “A supportive and predictable regulatory environment is vital for Europe’s glass sector.

“Reforms are needed for the industry to continue providing unique and innovative solutions enabling societal aspirations and sustainable growth.

“The opinion of the EESC paves the way towards a meaningful industrial policy for the European glass sector. The responsibility of going down that road now lies in the hands of the legislator.”

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