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A dying industry – or not? The future of the European textiles and clothing industry
Michael Keenan Ozcan Saritas and Inga Kroener
The authors
Michael Keenan (E-mail: michael.keenan@man.ac.uk) is Research Fellow, and Ozcan Saritas (E-mail: ozcan.saritas@ man.ac.uk) and Inge Kroener (E-mail: ingakroener@lycos.com) are Research Associates, all based at PREST, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK.

Introduction
Over the last 15 years, the European textiles and clothing sector has undergone large-scale restructuring. Modernisation of the industry has progressed considerably, productivity has increased, and production has been reoriented towards high-quality articles with a greater accent on innovation. However, this restructuring has also entailed a reduction of approximately onethird of the workforce. Further developments likely to affect the sector over the coming decade include EU enlargement, increased competitiveness resulting from innovation, research, skills, quality and creation, and, most significantly, the elimination of import quotas in 2005 and the challenges and opportunities of a new round of multilateral negotiations. In this article, we first provide a brief overview of the European textiles and clothing sector. This is followed by the presentation of five key drivers that are likely to have a major impact on the sector over the coming decade. For each driver, three diverging “outlooks” are offered. The article concludes with a discussion of policy options and actions being implemented and/or considered by the European Commission (EC) to reach a desirable future for the sector.

Keywords
Textile industry, Clothing, European Union, International trade

Abstract
The textiles and clothing sector employs millions of people in the European Union (EU) and has a combined annual turnover of more than e200 billion. Over the last decade or so, more than a million jobs have been lost in the industry, partly through modernisation, but mainly as a...

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