ECEG successfully kick-started their sectoral debate on digitalisation

ECEG successfully kick-started their sectoral debate on digitalisation


Thanks to the high-quality input from a great variety of stakeholders, social partners of the chemical industry started working on their joint positon.

The European Chemical Employers Group (ECEG) organised an event on “Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe. Social and employment-related aspects of digitalisation for the European Chemical Industry” co-hosted by the MEP, Jutta Steinruck (S&D, Germany), Thursday, 25 February 2016, in Brussels.

Jutta Steinruck urged inclusion of Social Partners in the digital transformation process. She emphasised that Member States need to start promoting STEM skills already at a very early age, to ensure a well-skilled labour force in the future. “We need to update data protection legislation and think about new social security systems already today in the face of a rapidly changing world”.

ECEG’s president, Stephen Elliott, expressed ECEG’s support towards European Institutions in the process of digital transformation by providing sector-specific data from the chemical social partners, underlined the need for further skills development and lifelong learning.  He welcomed Ms Steinruck’s call to imply social partners in this process.

Andreas Ogrinz, who is a managing director of the ECEG’s German member BAVC added: “When talking about digitalisation we should not only think about IT skills; this also has to include soft skills, such as communication and social skills. Legislation has to adapt to reality and not vice versa.”

Speakers included Jessica Federer, Head of digital transformation at Bayer AG, Dr. Karl Pall, D-A-CH Director at Google Germany GmbH, and Jerome Beauguitte, Director of Digital Business Solutions Group (DBSG) at Sprinklr. They agreed that different and complex legal environment hinder innovation.

Eric Mamer, Deputy Head of Cabinet at the Cabinet “Digital Economy and Society” of Commissioner Günther Oettinger, touched upon changing employment structure, functioning of the labour market, disappearing and appearing jobs due to digitalisation and automation.  He emphasised that “in order to manage the digital transformation we would need a new digital social contract”.

UEAPME (employer’s organisation representing the interests of European crafts, trades and SMEs at EU level) and ECEG’s sectoral social partner IndustriAll European Trade Union, participated at the debate.
Luc Hendrickx, Director of Enterprise Policy and External Relations at UEAPME, referred to cross-sectoral social partners’ work programme 2013-2017, which foresees training and improved curricula both for managers and young workers to further develop digital skills. He emphasised that awareness raising and clear information are key.

Dr. Laurent Zibell, Policy Adviser, and Sylvain Lefebvre, Deputy General Secretary, both at IndustriAll European Trade Union, put forward their position paper on digitalisation. Moreover, they referred to promoting the capacity to abstract reasoning and logical thinking, which is needed to program robots and automated processes.

Social partners of the chemical industry currently work on the joint positon on digitalisation in the chemical industry. Signing off is planned for end of 2016.

Please find pictures of the event here: 

Coverage by our host MEP Jutta Steinruck (in German): 

ECEG is a EurActor. Here is our report on Euractiv:  

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