European Industry strongly committed to sustainable development

The Union of Industrial and Employers Confederations of Europe (UNICE) confirms strong commitment to EU’s sustainable development strategy

Mr. Fabrizio d'Adda, Chairman of UNICE's Environment Committee and CEO of Italian company Enichem, pointed to the key contributions European industry is making. "Autonomous initiatives by companies remain the principle source of cost-effective progress in many environmental areas", he said.

According to European business, the guiding principles for this new approach to environmental policy-making should be the following:

  • achieve the greatest possible effectiveness by concentrating on carefully chosen priorities and place technological innovation at the heart of environmental strategy
  • use instruments which maximize economic efficiency in pursuit of individual environmental objectives
  • ensure coherence between economic, social and environmental objectives.

Questioned about UNICE's position on climate change, President Jacobs stressed that his organisation does not support the US reversal of policy on Kyoto. On the other hand, he admitted that European industry would like to re-open the debate on the use of nuclear energy in order to reach the Kyoto targets, as was done in President Bush's new energy plans.


During a press conference on Wednesday 23 May, the Union of Industrial and Employers Confederations of Europe (UNICE) confirmed its strong commitment to the EU's sustainable development strategy. In its manifesto "EU environmental policy-making for sustainable development", UNICE urges for a fresh approach to policy-making by dropping the "command and control" approach and adopting an "unprecedented level" of stakeholder involvement to "integrate economic, societal and environmental concerns better in environmental policy-making".


The EU's strategy for sustainable development is one of the main topics on the agenda of the Gothenburg Summit on 15-16 June. The European Commission recently (15 May) published its Communication on sustainable development, defining a strategy to reconcile economic growth, social cohesion and environmental protection (seeEURACTIV 17 May 2001).


The sustainable development strategy will be one of the main discussion points for EU leaders during their Gothenburg Summit on 15-16 June. The European Parliament will have a debate on an own-initiative report (report Hulthen) on Wednesday 30 May.


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