Dear Readers

Normally, I would now have been getting you in the right mood for the TBE Congress and the Annual Meeting of the German clay brick and tile industry in Berlin in June 2020. Conference hotel, evening and accompanying programme were booked and a discussion event, with high-calibre speakers, on the climate neutrality of the European brick and tile industry by 2050 was organized. But then with Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the global pandemic caused by this came one of the biggest challenges of our time, undoing the plans for 2020.

With regard to Europe, almost all countries have been hit hard. In individual countries production plants and construction sites have been closed – in Germany, at least the construction sector has been largely spared so far. Nevertheless, the economic crisis that the pandemic has now triggered won’t leave our industry unscathed. No one can yet say how deep the cuts will eventually be for the clay brick and tile industry and how far we shall be able to overcome the European recession that can hardly be averted now. It is certain, however: As the brick and tile industry, we shall do everything to remain an economic driver for housing construction – even after COVID-19. Despite many uncertainties, I firmly believe that together we shall be able to overcome this crisis.

Despite all the worry at the current time, we are not neglecting our key issues. The European Commission is working intensively on the implementation of the Green Deal and, accordingly, an EU that is as greenhouse-gas-neutral as possible by 2050. In addition, the process on the BREF amendment for the ceramics industry is starting up – here the best available technologies for the reduction of emissions are to be reviewed. Keenly anticipated is also how the benchmarks for the next EU emission trading period from 2021 turn out and whether further tightening of regulations will be imposed in this context. Moreover, in Europe, discussions are underway on climate duties, an amendment of the Energy Tax Directive and the plan of action for the recycling economy, just to mention a few points.

To overcome all these political challenges, we should also create occasions to which we can look forward. We have therefore agreed with TBE that the industry conference in Berlin should not be cancelled completely, but postponed for one year. Please note 17/18 June 2021 as the new date. I am looking forward to welcoming you to a varied programme.

Stay healthy!


Matthias Frederichs
General Secretary
Federal Association of the German Brick and Tile Industry Regd.


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