In a January message to the European plastics conversion industry, Alexandre Dangis, the Managing Director of the industry's Brussels based trade body, EuPC, outlined actions taken by EuPC in a series of high-level meetings with the European Commission and the European Investment Bank to secure support for the industry and to highlight the strategic importance of the plastics conversion sector in a balanced manufacturing economy.
In December 2008 an EuPC delegation of European CEOs supplying the automotive industry visited the EU Commission DG Entreprise, Automotive Unit to highlight the critical situation facing the industry.
'Thousands of job losses in the automotive supply chain and many bankruptcies are ongoing as the start-up in January was very weak' said Dangis.
Dangis's message was that EU and Member State support for the automotive industry should also be made available to component suppliers because of the close integration of the supply chain and the strategic importance of retaining the skills of component manufacturers within the EU.
'The financial crisis is now being followed by an industrial crisis and the EU Members States and the EU Commission need to assist all EU companies to navigate through these very difficult waters' continued Dangis.
This was reinforced by a meeting held with members of the cabinet of Günter Verheugen, Vice-President of the European Commission on January 16th.
EuPC also had talks with the European Investment Bank on 21st January to ensure access to funding in the supply chain and Dangis invited a representative of the bank to attend EuPC's National Plastics Association meeting to be held on March 10th. EuPC and EuPR, the European Plastics Recyclers' Association, have been invited by the European Commission's DG Environment to discuss the wider consequences of the economic difficulties on plastics recycling markets. The Commission has been appointed by the EU's Council of Environment Ministers to provide solutions and actions in order to support recycling in this economic turmoil.
Dangis said 'European plastics convertors have been leaders in innovation and investment, but through no fault of their own convertors are facing a crisis due to the downturn in the economy and the plight of downstream users such as automotive manufactures. It is essential that the EU and member state recognise the importance of this sector and assist European firms through the this unprecedented economic uncertainty The plastics industry has so much to contribute the long-term viability of user industries and to the resolution of broad issues such as climate change, it is vital that government's facilitate as much support as possible.'
Source: European Plastics Converters (EuPC)