CECOP is the European Confederation of Industrial and Service Cooperatives, representing around  40,000 cooperative enterprises over 16 European Countries. Cooperatives in our network cover a wide range of activities from the production of “net-zero technologies” to energy intensive sectors. Their business mode combines long-term vision, sustainability and adaptability to new economic and societal challenges.  

We welcome the European Commission’s  proposal for a Net-Zero Industry Act (NZIA) as it ambitions to support investment in net-zero technologies, simplify the regulatory system, foster skilling, re-skilling, and upskilling of workers, and facilitate European industry’s transition towards low-carbon producing technologies. However, we consider that the proposal fails to capture some  needs as well as to include all relevant actors   

  • Energy intensive sectors:
    • Energy intensive sectors provide materials which are indispensable for the manufacture of the Net Zero Technologies and at the same time they are key users of such technologies. Unfortunately the Net Zero Industry Act focuses almost exclusively on the manufacturing side of specific technologies. The Net Zero Industry Act requires a full value chain approach to take into account the role of energy-intensive industries.
    • A same logic of simplification of the regulatory system, of training and reskilling, and of job creation should apply to the entire value chain – and thus to industrial end users too.  
  • Funding:  
    • EU and national funding should support investment in the production of Net zero technologies and conditions to access to EU and national funds must be simplified, especially for SMEs 
  • European Net Zero Industry Academies:
    • Should include all business models in the creation, implementation, and recognition of the learning programs, including cooperatives.  
    • Industrial cooperatives, with their specific characteristics must be able to co-design the learning programs to match their requirements.  
  • Net Zero Europe Platform
    • Representatives from all industrial ecosystems should be involved, including the proximity and social economy ecosystem.  
    • Industrial cooperatives will be able to promote their experience in fostering quality jobs in the net-zero technologies sectors. 
  • Social criteria in the NZIA: 
    • The social criterion introduced in Article 10 on the selection of Net-Zero Strategic Projects should be spread out to the rest of the selection measures, including in the public procurements covered by the proposal in article 19.
    • The social criteria in Article 10 should be compulsory to ensure that NZSP fosters the creation of quality jobs.
    • Develop the “resilience” criterion and include social economy enterprises that are at not at risk to delocalize their activities