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11 March 2024

EUROPUR Signs the Antwerp Declaration for a European Industrial Deal

Brussels, 11 March 2024

On 20 February 2024 in the Belgian city of Antwerp, 73 industry leaders from nearly 20 industrial sectors signed the ‘The Antwerp Declaration for a European Industrial Deal’. As of today (11 March 2024), over 450 companies and over 140 trade associations have signed the declaration. 

The ‘Antwerp Declaration’ is a call to Member State Governments, the next European Commission and Parliament for urgent need for clarity, predictability, and confidence in Europe and its industrial policy. In difficult economic circumstances, the Declaration outlines 10 urgent actions for restoration of competitiveness and keeping jobs in Europe, whilst making European industry resilient and more sustainable, further supporting the climate goals indicated in the Green Deal. It was presented to the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen and to Belgian Prime Minister, Alexander De Croo.

EUROPUR, The European Association of Flexible Polyurethane Foam Blocks Manufacturers, fully supports the Antwerp Declaration. Like many other sectors, the European flexible polyurethane foam industry is faced with the most severe economic downturn in a decade, mainly due to external factors out of our control – like rising energy costs and increased inflation. The latter had an effect on rapid fall in demand, while the former has caused the delocalisation of the production of some of the main raw materials used in our industry to other parts of the world, mainly in Southeast Asia. We see this as a long-term threat to our industry. Europe needs to have a stable supply of chemical raw materials, both traditionally and sustainably sourced.   

As mentioned in the Declaration, although maybe not as prominently as it should be, there needs to be a level-playing field among various global actors. This includes safeguards and protection against unfair competition from other parts of the world. Finally, the European (flexible polyurethane foam) industry is for a large part composed of SMEs. To allow them to compete on the domestic and international market, an ambitious industrial policy should take their specificities into account, especially when it comes to administrative burdens and increased reporting obligations of all sorts.


EUROPUR is the European Association of Flexible Polyurethane Foam Blocks Manufacturers. Our members operate the vast majority of flexible PU foam plants in 28 European countries and produce over 80% of the flexible polyurethane foam made in the region. The way members operate is as diverse as is the PU industry: some members sell foam blocks only, some create semi-finished products and some make mattresses, furniture and other consumer goods directly. Additionally, over 60 organisations from the flexible PU foam supply chain are Associated Members, from raw materials and additives suppliers to machinery manufacturers and various service providers ranging from laboratories to recycling companies.