The European footwear industry has been subject to a long period of transition since the early 1990s. EU manufacturers have maintained their competitiveness by offshoring the most costly production processes from their home countries to cheaper locations, and introducing cost cutting measures, which have included a reduction in employment within the sector.
In response to these challenges, the European Commission undertook a study on the industry that combined research, a survey of key stakeholders in the sector and case studies in nine different footwear-producing regions in seven EU countries.
The study highlighted that the EU footwear industry will continue to face a series of barriers in the coming years and identified ways in which the various stakeholders could assist the industry to address these barriers.
The study is in seven parts: a survey, five reports on specific areas of competitiveness and a synthesis report.