CEI-Bois General Assembly 8th June 2021

The European Confederation of the Woodworking Industries held its first General Assembly meeting of the year on 8th June 2021. Due to the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions the meeting was held online.

The Latvian Forest Industries Federation decided to re-join CEI-Bois as a Member in 2021. Mr Kristaps Klauss, Executive Director of the Latvian Forest Industries Federation recalled that although there is no doubt that wood in construction is overall perceived as a climate friendly material compared to other construction products, ongoing discussions at EU level raise concerns on future raw material supply. It is essential to provide a holistic vision to the EU Institutions and defend the interests of our Industry. In joining CEI-Bois, the Latvian Forest Industries Federation wants to play its role in collaborating with other sectorial organisations in creating favourable conditions and policy to enhance the role of our industries in the development of a green economy.

The CEI-Bois General Assembly expressed gratitude in the trust placed in them by their Latvian colleagues and looked forward to collaborating with them in delivering a united front at the EU level on the different issues and challenges ahead. CEI-Bois now counts 22 European and national organisations from 16 countries.

The General Assembly was opened with a presentation by Prof. Pekka Leskinen, Head of the Bioeconomy Programme at the European Forest Institute (EFI) on the topic of ̈European forests for post-fossil economÿ. During his intervention Prof. Leskinen – emphasised about the environmental benefits related to the Substitution effects of wood-based products in climate change mitigation. Healthy forests and wood production are the two sides of the same coins. Additionally, he recalled the key role that the Forest-Based Sector can play in creating a socially fair and green transition in Europe as well as its potential to replace ̈fossil ̈ jobs in many European regions and sectors.

Any future trend that companies will face is already discussed in Brussels. Providing reliable and effective information, together with building alliances with people who share common goals and concerns, is at the heart of the CEI-Bois lobby strategy. The CEI-Bois team provided its Members with an accurate description of the ongoing activities of the Confederation (from environment to trade, including technical legislation, R&D and social affairs) focusing on how the EU Wood Industry can influence policies and legislations in the European arena.

The winter CEI-Bois General Assembly meeting will take place on the 26th of November 2021 in London, in the framework of the “Festival of Wood from the Forests” hosted by the UK Timber Trade Federation.