European luxury goods association ECCIA (European Cultural and Creative Industries Alliance) has welcomed a new action plan designed to support the industry until 2020.

The action plan was presented by Antonio Tajani, EU Commissioner for Enterprise and Industry, during a high-level lunch organised by British luxury trade association Walpole.

The plan puts forward a number of initiatives to continue support for the European luxury sector.

“In these times of crisis, what we need is to restore growth based on European values,” said Tajani.

“The European high-end cultural and creative industries deserve to be recognised as one of the key sectors of Europe’s industry and key drivers of growth and jobs in Europe.”

Welcoming the plan, ECCIA president Armando Branchini pointed out that European high-end industries represented output of EUR440bn (US$598bn), or 3% of Europe’s GDP, and employed more than 1.5m people.

“ECCIA is delighted that the European Commission reiterates its support to the establishment at EU level of an appropriate legal framework to enable European high-end industries to strengthen their contribution to Europe’s growth and jobs,” he added.

Meanwhile, ECCIA announced that Branchini will be replaced as president on 1 January 2014 by Michael Ward, member of the board at Walpole British Luxury and managing director of Harrods.