This figure according to Franchina, represents a 0.8 per cent year on year growth despite the difficulties of the current economic climate, putting the European market sector as the world leader by a considerable margin, with a market size almost double that of the US and Japan combined.
“Our industry employs more than 1.5 million people in Europe, including more than 25,000 scientists. Of course, the economic climate globally remains difficult, and this is as true for our industry as any other. Yet despite this, the European cosmetics industry continues to grow in real terms,” he explains.
The President goes on to highlight that demand for personal care items in the European market is stable "in spite of financial pressures, purchases of cosmetics and toiletries have remained constant."
Looking beyond our own internal market, Franchina says exports also continue to be a core strength and points to the American columnist Erma Bombeck as saying "I will buy any crème, cosmetic or elixir from a woman with a European accent".
He adds that maybe our terrific accents do have something to do with it, "but clearly the exceptional quality and consumer responsive range of our products count for a great deal more: in 2012, exports accounted for more than one third of all production."
The need for voluntary frameworks is also discussed
Elsewhere; Director-General Heerink reminded industry professionals to the upcoming changes in the regulatory framework with the European Regulation for Cosmetics legislation set to come into force on the 11th of July, and the need for voluntary frameworks spearheaded by industry to complement regulatory frameworks.
“The introduction of a EU Regulation for Cosmetics is a decisive step towards creating a strong single level playing field. For the first time, the world’s largest personal care market of more than 500 million consumers will be served by a single, harmonised piece of legislation, directly applicable in all Member States, and – no doubt – a source of inspiration for many regions in the world."
This major shift, Heerink says presents opportunities for innovation, consumer protection and competitiveness. "Our industry is determined to make it successful and will continue to pursue offering its best expertise in its implementation."
The Assembly also runs throughout the course of today in Brussels, bringing together corporate entities, national associations, international trade bodies and opinion formers from Europe and around the world.