Italian employers’ associations and trade unions representing the Italian textile, clothing, tanning, leather, footwear and eyewear sectors called on the newly elected European parliament to form a bipartisan working group to defend their industries. Together they have an annual turnover of about €70 billion, of which €38 billion is achieved outside Italy, and employ 757,000 people.

The trade associations SMI, AIMPES, Anci, Anfao, Fiamp, Tessilivari, Casartigiani, CLAAI, CNA Federmoda and Confartigianato Moda, as well as two unions signed a document urging a series of interventions including the traceability of products with the introduction of mandatory «made in» labeling of all fashion goods imported in the European Union from non-EU countries.

The parties also want further reciprocity and transparency in international trade. They are pushing for the Doha round of trade talks to ensure the respect of working and environmental conditions, the limitation of regular import duties at a maximum of 15 percent and the elimination of other trade barriers.

The other measures called for include the continuation of the current anti-dumping measures on Chinese and Vietnamese leather shoes, the creation of a «European fund for globalization» assisting companies in sectors affected by the outsourcing trend, support for employment and training, respect of REACH commitments by non-EU countries, a relaxation of rules compelling textile companies to participate in the European trading system for greenhouse gas emissions and the protection of intellectual property rights.

The election for the European parliament was held on June 4-7 in the 27 countries forming the European Union. The conservative European People’s Party preserved its position as the largest bloc in the house. The parliament will have reinforced powers if the Lisbon Treaty is approved by all member states.