The European textile industry is concerned about the future legal framework for the sector
A year ago, the European Commission presented the EU Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles, a roadmap setting the rules to gradually move the sector towards a greener economy. The European textile industry is now issuing a warning to European politicians. Remaining "cautiously enthusiastic" about the implementation of the process, the sector's representatives have identified four problematic points in relation to what has been happening on the Old Continent over the past year.
Faced with the EU's initiative (available to read here), the Euratex confederation lists four pitfalls to be avoided along the way. Starting with the consistency of the sixteen that are currently on the table. The industry is calling for these rules to be technically applicable at a minimum cost for SMEs, for whom the future rules will represent new expenses and additional work.
"We are asking for a realistic timetable and a "competitiveness test" for each legislative text before it is adopted," the confederation said.
The sector also points out that, in view of the many changes announced, information and support for businesses will be essential. And it is calling for specific support for the sector from the European Union, including a renewed demand for affordable energy: Euratex calls on the EU to translate its "good intentions" into action.
To stimulate and protect the local sector, sustainable and quality textiles and clothing must also benefit from competitive advantages, according to Euratex, which proposes, for example, a different VAT rate, strict rules for public procurement, and closer cooperation between manufacturers, brands and consumers.
Distortion of competition is not forgotten. The confederation's appeal calls for imported products to comply with the legal framework applied to European production. "Market surveillance must be massively strengthened - also targeting online sales - but this would require considerable efforts on the part of the Member States, which are not available at present," deplores Euratex.
With 154,000 companies, the European textile sector employs 1.47 million people. The sector generates almost €53 billion in exports each year.
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