The Federation of European Producers of Abrasives (FEPA) welcomes the updated EU Industrial Strategy published on 5 May which takes into account the exceptional and unprecedented circumstances that European industries are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stefan Sjöberg, FEPA President, said: “Abrasive products are used in practically all areas of our economy and daily lives, so as an industry we have seen how drastically COVID-19 has impacted many of the economic sectors. An update to the existing Industrial Strategy was much needed in view of the vulnerabilities exposed by the ongoing crisis, and we welcome the strong focus on the measures aimed at ensuring the European industry’s competitive edge. European abrasive manufacturers will play an important role in the sustainable and steady economic recovery and the achievement of the EU Green Deal goals.”
The updated EU Industrial Strategy will provide the much needed policy framework for coordinated action to help industries recover and implement the twin green and digital transitions. Many industrial sectors in Europe are more than ever in dire need for urgent help from the EU both in terms of financial support to address the crisis’ short-term impact, as well as long-term structural measures to boost competitiveness. The European abrasive industry will play a significant role in achieving the vision of the Strategy and developing a strong industrial base in the EU, because abrasive products are crucial elements in the production processes of almost all of the 14 key industrial ecosystems.
FEPA especially welcomes the European Commission’s efforts to further strengthen the EU Single Market and improve its functioning. Protecting the free movement of goods, services, capital and workers is essential, and the COVID-19 pandemic has shown the importance of finding ways to ensure its stability in crisis situations. Therefore, FEPA welcomes the proposal to establish a Single Market Emergency Instrument.
FEPA emphasizes that effective market surveillance is key to ensure a level playing field for European manufacturers, therefore it welcomes the Commission’s determination to strengthen and increase the market surveillance capacity in view of the increased amount of non-compliant and dangerous products.
FEPA supports the plans to better analyse Europe’s challenges and strategic dependencies, as well as the co-creation of green and digital transition pathways for relevant ecosystems, in most of which European abrasive manufacturers are essential part of the supply chain. With the SEAM Program (Sustainable European Abrasive Manufacturers), a voluntary industry sustainability program, FEPA is already putting sustainability at the core of its vision of the industry’s future development.
FEPA agrees with the Commission’s view that global technological leadership goes hand-in-hand with leadership in standard-setting. This is why FEPA will continue to be very active in EU and international standardisation efforts. It will be very important for the EU to develop an ambitious EU strategy on standardisation.
FEPA believes that a close dialogue between policy-makers and the industry will be the key for the success of the updated EU Industrial Strategy. FEPA and its members are ready to further support the European Commission in the implementation of the Strategy.