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EOC Group signs up for The Antwerp Declaration for a European Industrial Deal

At a European Industry Summit at BASF in Antwerp, more than 70 international CEOs from nearly 20 industry sectors handed the 'Antwerp Declaration for a European Industrial Deal' to Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. With this Antwerp Declaration, the companies commit to a sustainable industrial transition but urgently call for a supportive industrial policy that makes European industry competitive and attractive for investment again. Also, EOC Group signs The Antwerp Declaration among many other chemical companies.
The industry summit took place under the auspices of the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, in the presence of Flemish minister-president Jan Jambon and Flemish minister of Economy and Innovation Jo Brouns.

More than 70 international CEOs gathered at the European Industry Summit with representatives of European industry federations, trade union organisations and government administrations. There, they entered into a dialogue with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Prime Minister Alexander De Croo on the structural handicaps and weakened competitiveness that industry in Europe is struggling with, amid a worrying economic situation and profound geopolitical shifts.

The energy-intensive industrial sectors present - chemicals, energy, pharma, plastics and fertilisers, textiles, steel, metal, zinc, lime, cement, ceramics, paper, glass, mining, industrial gases and refineries - together represent as many as 7.8 million jobs in Europe. During a roundtable discussion co-organised by the European and Belgian chemical federations Cefic and Essenscia, business leaders stressed the need for a strategic industry policy that provides companies with a policy framework that creates more clarity, predictability and confidence.

To this end, the 'Antwerp Declaration' lists ten concrete actions. The top priority is the elaboration of a European Industrial Deal as one of the main spearheads on the strategic agenda of the next European Commission. Crucial issues include tackling overregulation, establishing a European transition fund for investment projects in the energy-intensive industry and the abundant availability of competitive low-carbon energy through strategic partnerships and robust infrastructure.

The Antwerp Declaration also focuses on developing sustainable technologies, such as chemical recycling and CO2 capture for storage or reuse, increased resource independence, boosting innovation and fuelling demand for sustainable products. Furthermore, the European single market needs to be strengthened and there is a need for a new spirit of legislation that attracts rather than inhibits investment and ensures more coherence in policy implementation.

Martin Brudermüller, chairman Cefic and CEO BASF, said. "The basic industries in Europe are struggling with unprecedented challenges: demand is falling, costs are rising, investment is stagnating and production has fallen significantly which is firmly undermining competitiveness. We want to encourage the transformation of our companies, but to do so we urgently need decisive measures that create the right framework conditions to invest in Europe. The 'Antwerp Declaration' offers a plan of action for this. By making the Industrial Deal a strategic priority, the European Union can pave the way to a resilient, competitive and sustainable Europe. It is the only way to show the rest of the world that the Green Deal works."

Hans Casier, president Essenscia and CEO INEOS Phenol and INEOS Nitriles: "This 'Antwerp Declaration' should lay the foundations for an industrial renaissance in Europe. We need a targeted industrial policy that attracts investment and keeps quality jobs and top expertise here. Otherwise, Europe risks becoming heavily dependent on other regions for many essential goods, with all the consequences that entails. We already see investments with accompanying jobs moving to other continents. The success rate of the Green Deal also depends on the level of ambition of the Industrial Deal. The chemical and life sciences sector wants to continue to make considerable efforts in the field of environment and climate, but precisely for this reason, there is no time to lose in drawing up and implementing a stimulating industrial policy at all political levels

The European Industry Summit did not take place at BASF Antwerp by chance. That is Belgium's largest chemical production centre, located in the port of Antwerp where Europe's largest chemical cluster is located. During the meeting, there was also a specific session where industry sectors interacted with Enrico Letta, the former Italian prime minister who is preparing an independent report on the future of the internal market at the behest of the European Council, and Jo Brouns, who as Flemish Minister of Economy temporarily chairs the European Council of Industry Ministers. In this way, the Belgian presidency puts strengthening the competitiveness of industry at the top of the political and social agenda.

Read more about the Antwerp Declaration The antwerp Declaration for a European Industrial Deal (

essenscia: Federatie van de Chemische Industrie en Life Sciences