Glass for Europe has set out a policy manifesto for the next mandate of the European Commission and Parliament.
The association for Europe's manufacturers of building, automotive and solar-energy glass has set out policy measures that need to be developed in the next 5 years to trigger the Renaissance of the European flat glass industry.
The document, entitled "Glass for Europe's Industrial Renaissance", includes proposals such as: The development of an energy labelling scheme for windows, to support the market uptake of advanced glazing solutions; and the promotion of building glass recycling to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions from glass manufacturing.
Globally, it calls on EU policies to ensure a level-playing field between EU and non-EU manufacturing industries, and a reform of the EU climate and energy policies to ensure that Europe's low-carbon objective becomes a growth-driver for EU industries.
The flat glass industry is a forward looking industrial player in the European economy, manufacturing in Europe high-tech products essential to low-energy buildings and fuel efficient cars.
However, the on-going economic recession has hit the industry hard and puts the future of European manufacturing facilities and thousands of jobs in jeopardy.
In turn, this will affect Europe's innovation lead in this field. Bertrand Cazes, Secretary General of Glass for Europe, notes "In view of the current market situation in Europe, the fundamental issue for EU decision makers is whether or not in ten years high-tech flat glass products will still be manufactured in Europe or imported from outside
"We strongly believe that there is a future in Europe for the manufacturing of high-tech glass products but this requires a shift in EU policy and the implementation of very concrete measures" he added.