l At the general assembly and annual conference of CEPE, the European Council of the Paint, Printing Ink and Artists’ Colours Industry, held June 5-6 in Copenhagen, Denmark, president Neville Petersen addressed the new-found closeness between the European paint industry and the EU agencies. He said the increase in European legislation relevant for the European paint and printing ink industry has resulted in closer cooperation between CEPE and EU authorities. “Working together to respond to the expectations of our members, the paint and printing ink manufacturers, requires a strong CEPE organization speaking with a single voice on behalf of the industry,” Mr Petersen said.
As usual, CEPE’s annual conference featured presentations on a wide range of topics, including the position of Denmark in the EU, the effects of EU enlargement and the evolution of society. Speakers included Bodil Nyboe Andersen, governor of the Danish National Bank; Lykke Friis, director of European affairs at the Confederation of Danish Industries; Bent Mogensen, managing director of Rockwool Scandinavia A/S, and Rolf Jensen of Dream Company A/S.
During the general assembly, CEPE’s secretary general Jean Schoder addressed two of the most important issues for CEPE and the industry in the last 12 months: the draft Product Directive on VOC reduction in decorative coatings and varnishes and vehicle refinishing products, and the European Chemicals Strategy, in particular the REACH system.
“The action program developed over the last year by the CEPE decorative paints and vehicle refinishes groups helped win the support of other industrial sectors and customers organizations. The Commission Proposal issued in December 2002 was very close to CEPE expectations,” Mr. Schoder said. Concerning the new Chemicals Strategy and the REACH project presented recently by the commission, Mr. Schoder said since the publication of the White Paper in 2001, CEPE has been very active within the commission industry working groups together with other concerned industry associations. The concerns of the industry about this project (the costs involved in testing and reporting, the reduction of the number of available raw materials and consequently the risk of less innovation, the competitiveness of the European manufacturers in the global market and the defense of the intellectual properties) were addressed to MEPs at an event in the European Parliament on April 29, 2003.
Also during the general assembly, Neville Petersen was re-elected president for a three-year term. In addition, Colin Armstrong was re-elected for another three-year term on the executive board and Gerd Kissau and William Wulfsohn were named replacements for Wolfgang Straehle and Richard Laible, respectively.
The next CEPE general assembly will be held in Barcelona, June 3-4, 2004. More info: Véronique De Clercq,