After a first meeting in Bucharest last April, which had the “Industry” as main theme, this second seminar has brought together 68 participants who discussed in-depth about the social and societal issues the industry will have to deal with. This time the attendance was doubled mainly for two reasons:  firstly, the seminar was held in conjunction with the COTANCE General Assembly Meeting and the FFTM Council meeting, virtually making all French tanners attending; and secondly, the seminar in April was such a success that the expectations for this second appointment were very high.

Delegates of major brands, parent sector associations, think tanks, research and educational organisations joined the representatives of both sides of the industry. Among the speakers, Xavier Royer, Director of the Textile-Leather-Fashion department of OPCALIA (a French institution for professional training), highlighted the importance of skills development for the leather industry and the entire leather value chain.

Emmanuelle Butaud-Stubbs, Delegate General of the French Union of Textile Industries and member of the European and Social Committee since 2010, stressed the importance of the results of the EU Social Sector Dialogue. Sylvain Lefebvre, Deputy Secretary General of IndustriAll-European Trade Union, underlined the risks of social dialogues that certain EU policy developments entail.

The Seminar was closed with the intervention of COTANCE’s Vice-President, Jean Claude Ricomard, who is to retire from his sectorial functions after 15 years of promoting and supporting the European social dialogue.

The next two seminars will be held in Portugal and in the UK, in October and December 2015 respectively.