Machado, a Portuguese textile entrepreneur, was elected the new president of Euratex, during its General Assembly on 14 June.

He takes over the presidency with a vision to lobby for more effective EU policies to boost the competitiveness of the European textile and clothing industry.

In his first comments, Machado emphasised the need for smarter European industrial policy support for textiles. He said: “The latest indicators show that European industry has lower growth rates than its competitors; this is something we have to reverse. Policymakers have to realise that the textile industry can not be a bargaining chip in global negotiations.

“We see what the United States is doing to support its industry, and we see what China is doing to support its industry. Europe has fallen behind in supporting its industry. My mandate at Euratex will be to push for an effective and smart industrial strategy,” he said.

Machado also stressed that while the EU has issued numerous sustainability and circularity regulations targeting manufacturers, successful implementation requires a stronger consumer dimension.

“If we want this strategy to be successful, we need more focus on the consumers’ dimension. That’s why Euratex has a very important role to play in lobbying for the legislative process to be carried out in accordance with the sector’s ability to adapt,” he added.

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Machado currently serves as a shareholder and director at Adalberto Textile Solutions, S.A., where he applies advanced management practices focused on innovation and sustainability. He has led the Textile and Clothing Association of Portugal (ATP) as president since 2019, earning recognition for his strategic leadership in promoting innovation and sustainable practices in the sector.

The General Assembly further recognised Alberto Paccanelli as honorary president for over a decade of commitment to Euratex and European textiles. Paccanelli welcomed Machado’s agenda and said he had “full confidence in Mario Jorge to continue on this path.”

During his 13-year engagement, Paccanelli said he witnessed a dramatic change in the industry which required a strong and united voice and over the past year Euratex has been asking the European institutions to consider different demands, such as:

  • Sustainability and competitiveness have to go hand in hand, with a realistic path of implementation
  • Imported products must comply with the same rules applied to European-made products. Reciprocity in market access is essential and has to be granted; tangible and non-tangible barriers in many interesting foreign markets, such as India, Mercosur and the US, should be dismantled
  • Companies need funding to transform themselves towards drivers of sustainability and innovation
  • Consumers must be honestly informed of product characteristics and traceability, to avoid greenwashing. Public authorities are also “consumers” of textile products (think of military uniforms); they should apply green public procurement, and not just look for the cheapest product on the market.

” We have made good progress but there is more work to be done,” said Paccanelli.

Euratex’s new presidency team include Michael Kamm (ZWilling Gruppe, Germany), Barbara Cimmino (Yamamay, Italy), Grégory Marchant (UTT, France), and Ismail Kolunsag (Cross Tekstil, Turkey). The assembly also approved new memberships for Cematex, Forschungskuratorium Textil, and a partnership with France’s Reju.

On 6 June, the EU TCLF Social Partners, CEC, Cotance, Euratex and IndustriALL Europe outlined priorities for the next European Mandate (2024-29) which they believed will complement the Green Deal and keep quality jobs in Europe.