10 March 2003 14:45 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (CNI)--The leaders of Europe’s chemical producers’ and chemical workers trade unions warned on Monday that excessive regulation in a proposed new industrial policy for an enlarged European Union (EU) could spoil competitiveness and employment conditions across Europe.
The two presidents - Cefic’s Eggert Voscherau and European mine chemical and energy workers’ federation (EMCEF) president Hubertus Schmoldt - also urged the EU to cultivate a strong manufacturing base and stronger co-operation to underpin the policy.
Their views were presented in Brussels today at a conference to discuss the new industrial policy initiative being advanced by European Commissioner for Enterprise and the Information Society Erikki Liikanen.
Both Voscherau and Schmoldt welcomed the development of a coherent industrial policy but warned against 'regulation overkill' .
Schmoldt commented, in a paper presented by EMCEF director general Reinard Reibsch: "This [excessive regulation] would then create the threat of eroding growth and employment losses while having counter productive effects on social and environmental policies. A sustainable industrial policy giving equal consideration to economic, social and ecological aspects should avoid this from the outset."
Voscherau and Reibsch addressed their comments to Liikanen, who attended the conference.
They also called for a strong manufacturing base. Cefic’s Voscherau said that today in Europe, priority appears to be given to the development of a knowledge-based economy and an information and service society. However, he said a service industry can only survive together with a competitive manufacturing industry. "We therefore need to maintain a strong manufacturing base in Europe," he commented adding: "Innovations in the chemical industry are a prerequisite for the success of our customers in other sectors."
Voscherau told conference delegates: "The European Council set itself the objective at its 2000 Lisbon Summit of making the EU the most competitive and dynamic knowledge based economy in the world by 2010."
"We the social partners in the chemical industry, consider a coherent and sustainable industrial policy the key to achieving the Lisbon goals."
"I fully support the EU Commission for particularly focusing on this objective in the development of industrial policies both at European and at national levels," he said.
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