Cefic Urges EU Leaders to Embrace Framework for Industrial Competitiveness

Feb. 20, 2024
Environmental group says industry is putting 'polluters' profits over public health.'

The European Chemical Industry Council, or Cefic, joined other industrial sectors Feb. 20 calling on EU leaders to adopt a framework for industrial competitiveness.

Leaders from about 20 industrial sectors presented the document, called The Antwerp Declaration for a European Industrial Deal, to Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

The Antwerp Declaration outlines 10 actions, including integrating the EU Industrial Deal into the broader European strategic agenda, securing raw-material self-sufficiency, streamlining legislation and simplifying the national subsidies framework, known as state aid.

It also calls on the EU to “transform Europe into a global leader in providing abundant and affordable low-carbon energy through strategic partnerships and robust infrastructure.”

"Basic industries in Europe are grappling with historical challenges: demand is declining, investments in the continent are stalling, production has dropped significantly, and sites are threatened," said BASF CEO and Cefic President Martin Brudermüller. "We want to drive the transformation of our companies. For this, we urgently need decisive action to create the conditions for a stronger business case in Europe."

Ahead of the summit, the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) issued a statement questioning the motives of the industry leaders.

"This event heightens an obvious concern: the prioritisation of polluters’ profits over public health and the environment,” said Tatiana Santos, head of chemicals at EEB. "Moreover, in an astonishing display of disregard for the welfare of citizens, this event is taking place in one of the most polluted regions in the world, in the house of BASF, an international chemical giant and a major contributor to global pollution."


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