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Sectoral social dialogue - Textile and clothing

Social partners


Employees' organisations Employers' organisations
industriAll European Trade Union The European Apparel and Textile Organisation


Social dialogue in this sector covers:

  • manufacture and production of textiles and clothing.

In the EU, the textile and clothing sector employs around 1.8 million people (almost 1% of the EU workforce).

The industry is competitive in areas such as technical and industrial textiles, non-woven products and high-quality fashion.

Job opportunities are geographically spread, and the workforce is skilled in the use of new technologies.

Challenges include:

  • tariffs and other trade barriers which deter small businesses from trading internationally
  • the environmental challenge posed by the extensive use of chemicals in the sector
  • job losses, particularly in the textile sub-sector, which is less oriented towards private consumption than the clothing sector.

Focus areas

The Committee is currently focusing on:

  • external trade negotiations
  • labelling and marking of fibres
  • anticipating industrial changes
  • European skills council for textile, clothing and leather
  • follow-up of EU initiatives and communications

Activities and meetings

Check the library entries for this sectoral social dialogue committee.


  • Joint declaration on responsible awarding of contracts (2008)
  • Joint recommendations on "better anticipation and management of industrial change and sectoral restructuring (2007).

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


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