The EU Enterprise Directorate-General, responsible for EU enterprise policy, is organising a conference: The European leather and tanning industry and sustainable development on May 27 in Brussels. This has been organised in close co-operation with Cotance and the ETUF:TCL. The object of the conference is to take stock of the European leather and tanning industry’s progress towards sustainable development. It will examine in more detail the objectives and strategies towards achieving the goal of sustainability in its three dimensions: economic, environmental and social. The implications of EU enlargement for the European leather and tanning sector will also be discussed.

Representatives from the Commission, member states and candidate countries, members of the European Parliament and other EU institutions, participants from the social partners, consumer representatives and the specialised press are being invited. Commissioner Liikanen has confirmed he will be present for the opening session and expects to hear directly from the industry what is going wrong and what needs to be done. Wide participation has been requested. The more industry people who attend, the more relevant will be the demands.

Cotance has been working hard in shaping the programme of the conference to suit the interests of the sector. Europe’s leather industry is facing an unprecedentedly long economic downturn and many people ask themselves whether there is a future at all for the leather industry. This conference should identify key problems and also key solutions that should flow into an action plan that should guide the public authorities.

Due to the limited number of places available for the conference, potential participants are encouraged to register early. There are no registration fees, but please note that the Commission is unable to reimburse travel costs or any other expenses.

Registration to the conference has to be done via the internet, through the Commission website:

On this site, you will also find the programme of the conference in English, French and German.