On 8 October 2014 a European Parliament Ceramics Forum (EPCF) welcome lunch for MEPs was held at the European Parliament. The aim of the event was to introduce the EPCF, formerly chaired by Malcolm Harbour (IMCO Chair) and Lord Michael Cashman, to the new Parliament so as to continue the constructive discussions between industry and policymakers.
Hosted by the new EPCF Chair MEP Paul Rübig, the event was an overwhelming success with over 60 participants. 16 MEPs attended the lunch including five from Portugal, four from the UK, two from Germany, and one from Austria, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain.
Dr Rübig welcomed participants and introduced the EPCF’s new Vice-Chairs. Cerame-Unie President Alain Delcourt then gave an overview of the European ceramic industry and the relevant policy areas as detailed in the Ceramic Industry Manifesto. Mattia Pelegrini, Head of Cabinet of Commissioner Ferdinando Nelli Feroci, reiterated the Commission’s commitment to fostering growth and jobs and to manufacturing and SME-driven industries like ceramics.
One of the EPCF’s Vice-Chairs is MEP Antonio Tajani, EP Vice-President and former Vice-President of the European Commission and Commissioner for Enterprise and Industry. At the lunch he emphasised the importance of the EU ceramic industry and the necessity to balance climate and industrial policies so as not to harm the industry. Moreover, he encouraged the EU to pursue free and fair trade and fight against unfair trade practices like dumping.