European optimism. The European Footwear Confederation (CEC) is confident about 2022. In its view, the ability of shoe manufacturers to innovate and satisfy consumers by creating high quality products creates the conditions for recovery in the coming year. But on one condition: that governments, at EU and member state level, take the right decisions to support the sector. This was the summary of CEC general annual meeting on November 25.
But on one condition
“Joint efforts will ensure that European footwear companies remain competitive – are the words of President Luis Onofre -, prosper and become attractive to a new generation of talent”. 2020 and 2021 were two difficult years for the sector. To fully recover, footwear manufacturers have stated the need to operate in a more stable and predictable economic environment. To create this environment, CEC maintains a constant and quality dialogue with the various national governments and Brussels. The aim is to ensure that member countries use NextGenerationEU funds where they are most needed.
Thankfully, no duties
CEC welcomed the suspension in the States of the proposed duties increase on certain products, including shoes, imported from Europe. The association is now focusing on the European Commission’s recent proposal to revise the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) scheme. This is the EU’s instrument to promote the protection of human and labour rights in developing countries. For footwear manufacturers, however, it needs to be changed, particularly in product diversification, which is essential for building sustainable economies. “Footwear should be treated in the same way as textiles and clothing with regard to automatic protections”, is CEC’s position taken up by Revista del Calzado. In addition, CEC states that effective implementation, transparency and monitoring are key to the effective functioning of the GSP. Another demand is the urgent ratification of the EU-Mercosur Free Trade Agreement.