Competitiveness in a global economy- A challenge to trade discipline?
At a unique seminar held today in Brussels – 16 major European manufacturing sectors*, 4 national employers associations* and 5 European trade union bodies* – will raise their collective voice on the European Union’s future reforms on trade defence. This unprecedented public event specifically addresses Trade Commissioner Mandelson’s now 18-month old reflection process. The seminar is timed to coincide with the Commission’s expected release of the Commission’s reform proposals later in the month. The joint statement of the 25 above mentioned representative institutions organising the seminar is as follows:-
“First, this alliance wishes to highlight the fact that the Green Paper consultation process clearly showed that the vast majority of parties – but especially EU industry and EU trade unions – consider that the EU trade defence system did work well and does not require fundamental transformation.
Second, any eventual proposals for changes or transformations must be passed by the democratic processes of the Council’s consideration. European industry cannot accept changes to key concepts and practices without these going through the proper scrutiny and approval of the Council. We must have a restoration of confidence, predictability and certainty with the old rules or with any new EU rules.
Thirdly, we can foresee and accept some improvements in transparency, consultations, and the speed and efficiency of the administration of the EU trade defence instruments. But under no circumstances, can we foresee or accept any unilateral disarmament by the EU of its defence against unfair trade”.
A seminar organised on Thursday 8 November 2007 in Brussels by the representative associations of sixteen industrial sectors in Europe, the European Trade Union Confederation, European industrial trade union federations and the representative associations of the German, Spanish, Italian and French business communities in the context of the reflection process on trade defence instruments launched by Commissioner Mandelson in May 2006. Enterprises represented by the organising associations primarily belong to the mines, metals, chemicals, fertilisers, textiles, paper, wood-working, automobile, household-appliance and ceramic industries, whose annual turnover in the EU amounts to about 1 850 billion euros and which directly employ 8.2 million people.