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Sectoral social dialogue - Footwear

Social partners


Employees' organisations Employers' organisations
industriAll European Trade Union European Confederation of the Footwear Industry


Social dialogue in this sector covers:

  • the manufacture of footwear.

In 2011 the footwear sector employed more than 270.000 people.

The sector consists mainly of networks of micro and small enterprises. Companies with more than 500 employees account for less than 15% of the workforce.

The EU's competitive advantages lie in the high quality of production in technical, design and fashion-related terms and the development of sought-after brands with a strong image.

The footwear sector is being restructured due to the globalisation of markets, deregulation, trade liberalisation and technological change. There has been an sharp decline in the number of firms, and consequently also the number of jobs in the industry.

Focus areas

The Committee is currently focusing on:

  • corporate social responsibility
  • trade developments
  • market access
  • marking of origin
  • protection of intellectual property rights.

Activities and meetings

Check the library entries for this sectoral social dialogue committee.


  • European framework agreement/code of conduct: A charter of the social partners in the footwear sector. (adopted 2000, co-signed 2006 by organisations representing the footwear distribution sector).
  • Joint declaration on adopting origin marking for footwear imported from non-EU countries (2006).

See also "European sectoral social dialogue – recent developments" (2010 brochure).