ECRN bears unique features within the European scene as a network of public authorities with a specific focus on the development of the chemical industry. We believe that Europe can build an environment for a thriving chemical sector and that regions play a vital role for that as they bring concrete examples and experiences to the European policy making bodies.
We also have a passionate belief that in an increasingly interconnected world and markets, the role of cooperation and connectivity is more important than ever before. By working together we strive to facilitate better policy making, better conditions for regional cooperation, and more investments and shared capacities.
The chemical industry undergoes transformations that ask for new forms of engagement – governments on all levels, the private sector, research and NGO organizations, together with the citizens. We need platforms where these stakeholders are brought together. As a network of chemical regions focused on cross-border and cross-sectoral cooperation, ECRN has already been providing such platform.
- We organize regular internal and public events, together with the European Institutions – European Commission, European Parliaments, and Committee of the Regions – as well as with regional partners. Our aim is to provide a platform where regional actors can raise the awareness about common challenges and exchange ideas of possible solutions, within the domains of Bioeconomy, REACH regulation, Digitalization of Industry, Management of Chemical parks and internationalization, Sustainable Chemical Production, etc. We gather experts from public, private and research sector and support them to identify how they can be complimentary to each other and what they can learn from each other in terms of policies and strategies, research work, industrial partnerships, emerging value chains and markets. In this way we build connections and linkages between sectors, actors and across borders.
- Furthermore, by creating these linkages, we facilitate the transfer of concrete know-how. The accomplishment of this aim has been supported by the European Commission, which involved ECRN members in the study Analysis of policies in chemical regions to support the competitiveness of the chemicals industry. The final report was used by ECRN to look at practical steps for implementing its recommendations across member regions.
- Taking part in the shaping of EU policies is a network priority. Regions act as test beds for new innovative solutions, approaches or policy strategies and their experiences on the ground should be leveraged by the EU institutions when building EU-wide policies. In this regard, ECRN has been involved in the collection of regional inputs for the European Commission and the European Committee of the Regions. An example in this regard is the participation of ECRN in the High Level Group on the Competitiveness of the Chemicals Industry, chaired by the Commissioner for Enterprise and Industry Policy at this time, Mr. Verheugen. We have developed political statements and position papers on important topics such as the European Industrial Strategy, the Emission Trading System (ETS), SMEs, Bioeconomy, and Cohesion Policy (see more on our position papers page). ECRN is recognised as an important chemical stakeholder by the European decision makers and its position is strengthened by regional political support.
- We believe that regions can benefit greatly by investing in common projects or by taking part in EU initiatives. Thus, we raise awareness about and engage our members in EU funded projects and initiatives, and provide platform where the reached results and gained knowledge are shared. ECRN members participate in Interreg and Horizon2020 projects to leverage common smart specialization priorities and benchmark best practices. They also take part in the Initiative European Sustainable Chemicals Support Service, implemented by the European Commission, to promote sustainability in Europe's chemical industry.