Education and training are crucial to maintain and strengthen the competitiveness of the footwear industry. The process of creating a shoe requires artistic and technical talents as well as specific know-how to combine handcraftship with the new opportunies brought by new technologies and digitalisation. A quality shoe undergoes numerous stages of production before it is completed. The exact number of operations involved can vary drastically but often go beyond 200, depending on the selected production methods and the tools used. In this relation, the process of shoe creation has changed during the years and alongside the master craftsman, new technologies have appeared to support the manufacturing process.
The CEC, together with other European partners, participates in European projects under the ERASMUS+ programme the European Commission’s programme supporting education, such as Fit to Comfort, Learn2Work, Shoes made in the EU, Knowledge4Foot, High-End-Shoe, Digital TCLF 2025, Skills4Smart TCLF Industries 2030, etc. In the context of a continuously evolving industry, reinforcing and updating the skills and competences needed by companies are the core objectives of these projects.View more
Climate change is a reality, and we are constantly being reminded by the increasing natural catastrophes happening around us. Policy makers, industry and citizens are progressively understanding the dangers it represents, and wish to react to make a difference in improving the sustainability of the planet and natural resources.
Different initiatives and labels have been developed. At European Level, the Commission is pursuing a Circular Economy Action Plan which establishes a concrete and ambitious programme and provides measures from the production phase to packaging waste, consumption and waste management. These measures have the aim to bring benefits for both the environment and the economy by promoting the re-use, repair and recycle of products.
Sustainability is a concept also part of the Circular Economy Action Plan that is starting to deliver and for which consumers are showing increased interest when purchasing a pair of shoes.View more
The European footwear industry has a long tradition in production and retail of innovative, creative and high-quality products, developed in accordance to the consumer needs and trends.
While being one of the most handcrafted industries in Europe, it has learned to take advantage of the advanced technologies to develop cutting edge products.
The CEC follows the European policy and initiatives as well as the legislative process, and participates in the dialogue with the European Institutions in all issues that can have a direct impact on the sector. Since early 2017, the CEC has been part of an alliance of industry associations called Industry4Europe, which is pushing for a comprehensive industrial policy strategy at European level.View more
Intellectual Property Rights Policy
Among CEC’s priorities are also IPR enforcement and fighting against counterfeiting. Global markets bring challenges and threats to intellectual property right for the European footwear industry threats to intellectual property rights.
The need for IPR protection and enforcement is crucial for the footwear industry in order to preserve the European quality and tradition in the footwear manufacturing, and to promote sustainability and free and fair trade.View more
Social policy and social dialogue play an important role in supporting and transforming the industries by addressing the impacts of digitalisation, globalization, shifting employment patterns and upskilling people working in the TCLF sector. In view of significant drivers of change that will affect the TCLF industries in the future, social dialogue comes as an essential need and help to address the challenges and to take advantage of new opportunities while working sustainable.
Social partners participate in initiatives such as the OECD Roundtable on Due Diligence in the Garment and Footwear Supply Chain. This yearly meeting gathers business, government, civil society and trade union representatives to discuss the application of due diligence in the garment and footwear supply chain and to consult the implementation of the OECD 2018 Due Diligence Guidance in the Garment and Footwear Supply Chain.View more
International trade is essential for businesses that aim at increasing their opportunities to grow. In the European footwear Industry, exports to non-EU countries have increased by 51% in quantity and by 125% in value from 2009 until 2018. Such results respond to the recognition of high-value products by consumers around the world.
In order to promote the access to markets outside Europe, CEC collaborates with the European Commission to promotes the signature of Free Trade Agreements with strategic markets for the footwear sector.
CEC follows closely the development of trade negotiations and any challenge or barriers to trade that could affect the European shoes. In this regard, CEC attends regularly Civil Society Dialogue meetings organised by the European Commission where expresses its concerns or recommendations in order the achieve the best deals for European Shoes.View more