In the framework of this opinion a hearing (Changes and prospects for the textile services sub-sector in Europe) was organized in Brussels, on 11 May 2010.
Please click on "Related sub-themes" below to see other opinions on this topic.
Gist of the opinion
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) stresses the importance of the textile services industry in Europe, whose development shows promise, both in economic and technological terms, and is closely related to local operating contexts and employment situations.
The EESC calls on the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions to launch a pilot initiative to map the size and geographical distribution of businesses in the sector and living and working conditions, as well as the extent of the sector's informal economy.
The application of European social and environmental standards in procurement, with full, transparent implementation of the relevant provisions, is, in the EESC's view, a prerequisite for the healthy development of the sector.
The EESC calls for the annual work programmes under the 7th Framework Programme for RTD, the multiannual competitiveness and innovation programme, and the Structural Funds to give sufficient consideration to innovation projects in the sector, particularly as regards efficiency and saving of resources, integrated logistics and traceability of products supplied, not least using Galileo applications.
The EESC calls for the European standards bodies to draw up technical regulatory standards applying to the whole sector which are increasingly advanced from an environmental, social and technological point of view, to ensure high-quality products, processes and services, reflected in improved working conditions for staff.
The EESC attaches importance to the exchange of good practices, such as the establishment of bilateral bodies, present in various countries, which have successfully brought about development in respect of human resources in the sector.
The EESC stresses the importance of a European campaign for safety at work, economic, social and environmental transparency in the textile services industry and better working conditions and employment prospects in the sector, with full implementation of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, in particular trade union and collective bargaining rights.
The EESC recommends to the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission that a strategic framework for the textile services industry be defined, exploiting the fact that its economic development and growth in the areas of production and employment are fully compatible with the sustainable growth targets provided for by the 20/20/20 targets for 2020