European social partners commit to supporting both sustainable employment in the European chemical industry and Brexit negotiations

Today, the President of industriAll European Trade Union, Michael Vassiliadis, and the President of the European Chemical Employers Group (ECEG), Yves Verschueren, signed a joint declaration on Brexit, to assist the negotiation process and work jointly with all stakeholders involved to strengthen the European chemical industry. In addition, they signed the ‘European framework of action on sustainable employment and career development’ which aims to reinforce the social dialogue at EU level. Furthermore, a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding on Responsible Care (RC) between industriAll Europe, CEFIC and ECEG has also been signed, with the aim of reviewing progress and exchanging information on the consistent implementation of RC in Europe.

The signature of the ‘European framework of action on sustainable employment and career development’ marks the end of a two-year EU funded project, Roadmap 2015-2020. It includes a toolbox containing examples of best practice within the sector from different EU Member States on a variety of issues, such as how to attract young people to the sector, aspects of ensuring well-being at work, work-life balance, age management, healthy workplaces and lifelong learning.

More than 100 delegates are gathered in Brussels today on this occasion, serving as further proof of the effectiveness of the national and European-level social dialogue.

“The joint document that you have endorsed today is built on what you have achieved together over the past 13 years. The focus of your joint work could not be any more relevant: globalisation, digitalisation and demographic ageing are profoundly changing your sector. I am convinced that trusted social partnership at all levels will help us to better face the challenges ahead. The priorities you have put forward for your ambitious work will indeed be crucial in terms of strengthening our social market economy. The chemical industry is a major asset for the European economy. I am confident that your sector faces a bright future, to 2020 and beyond” affirmed Marianne Thyssen, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Mobility and Skills.

This final conference of the European Sectoral Social Partners is the proof of a fruitful dialogue spanning 13 years. We endorse the framework of action on sustainable employment today to show our commitment not only towards employees and employers, but also in view of activities at global level, e.g. the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Together with our social partner industriAll Europe, we believe that not only can we fulfil the commitment made in 2015 - with the launch of the Roadmap project - but that we can also propose solutions for meeting the global SDGs and contribute to the international discussion”, declared Yves Verschueren, President of the European Chemical Employers Group.

“Today, European Sectoral Social Dialogue in the Chemical industry is at its peak and the commitments of the social partners have paid off. Together with ECEG, our European federation has delivered a promising joint framework of action to meet the expectations of industrial workers for quality jobs, whilst at the same time facing the challenging realities of this leading sector,” stated Michael Vassiliadis, President of industriAll European Trade Union.

Delegates also touched upon changes related to demographic ageing, as well as on the numerous impacts of digitalisation on the future generation of workers and the manufacturing industry in Europe.

Through their current actions and commitments, the social partners aim to make an effective and long-lasting contribution to the future of the European manufacturing industry.

Please find the corresponding documents here:

For more information contact: Sylvain Lefebvre and Emma Argutyan-Kahlmeyer.