SD Paper

Social partners

Social dialogue in this sector covers activities defined by NACE (Rev. 2), classes 17.1 and 17.2: 

  • manufacture of pulp, paper & paperboard
  • manufacture of articles of paper & paperboard.

The EU paper industry employs about 650,000 people (Eurostat, 2014 Labour Force Survey data) in some 20,000 firms (Eurostat, 2013 Business Statistics). The sector - including 520 pulp, paper and board-producing companies and 1000 paper mills – accounts for 25% of world production.

Major challenges include:

  • falling demand for certain products (e.g. newsprint)
  • the shift towards CO2-neutral energy production

The move to more efficient use of raw materials, combined with the need for a forest fibre industry that manufactures pulp, paper and other wood-based products to contribute to a low-carbon economy, will lead to a demand for new skills and qualifications. This means more training  and retraining for the workforce.


Key areas

The Committee is currently focusing on:   

  • skills & qualifications, education & training
  • health & safety – updating good practices
  • EU industrial policies (e.g. climate & energy policy, the circular economy)
  • competitiveness (e.g. discussing innovation & technological development, the bioeconomy)
  • EU trade policy.


(copied from EC - Sectoral social dialogue)