Alison Grace

Alison Grace


Friday, 19 July 2019 14:57

This week it has been reported that Pearson Education, the world’s largest education publisher operating in more than 70 countries, will phase out printed textbooks in favour of e-textbooks. This is, of course, a blow to the printing industry and its value chain who produce such products, but it is overwhelmingly more damaging for students and for the future of education in general.

Printed texts are proven to be vital for learning

Printed learning materials play an essential role in the education of students – even for so-called ‘digital natives’. There is a wide and rapidly growing body of independent academic research carried out on this topic which clearly demonstrates that urgent action must be taken to ensure students’ reading comprehension and critical thinking skills are not irrevocably damaged by the rapid and unsubstantiated phasing out of printed reading materials in schools. See the recently published results of the COST Action E-READ Initiative and its concluding Stavanger Declaration for an overview of such research.

The E-READ initiative established that print readers have a better recall of temporal relations between events and are able to more correctly reconstruct the plot of a text than screen readers. It was also found that the advantage for print was larger under time constraints and that scrolling resulted in a significant digital disadvantage. In addition, readers were more likely to be overconfident about their comprehension when reading on a screen, particularly when under time pressure. These effects were stronger for more complex texts.

Crucially, the digital disadvantage during elementary school was found by this initiative to be two-thirds of the yearly increase in reading comprehension. This means that students potentially only progressed one-third as much as they would have done had they been reading on paper instead of on a screen.

Digital materials absolutely occupy an important place in our education systems. They can provide many learning benefits. However, supporting the reading of longer single texts and long-form reading of more complex informational texts are not among those benefits. Reading these types of texts in print is proven to be significantly better for concentration, vocabulary-building and memory.

The whole education sector in Europe and beyond will be affected by Pearson’s decision to phase out printed textbooks, potentially hindering the full development of educated, critical thinking citizens in our society for decades. According to Pearson boss John Fallon, the reason for the decision is that “[o]ver half our annual revenues come from digital sales”. So clearly monetary considerations have been prioritised by Pearson over the educational benefits to students of their products.

What can we do to safeguard printed textbooks?

Education must be safeguarded and learning methods used in schools must be based on sound research. Policymakers need to ensure that print reading is prioritised over digital reading in schools unless or until there is a proven learning advantage of digital. This is currently not the case for longer, more complex texts like many textbooks. Inaction on a political level risks the long-term and irreversible degradation of students’ reading comprehension and critical thinking skills.

As Pearson is a market-leader in the field of education publishing, this is a very worrying development. Following Pearson’s decision, it has become more urgent than ever to promote reading in print and to publicise the wide body of research on this topic – to policymakers, educators and society alike. Print is vital for the future of education.

Social Dialogue

Wednesday, 03 July 2019 08:38

Intergraf is the social partner representing employers in the European graphical sector. The aim of social dialogue is to ensure a continued dialogue between employers and workers and to improve European governance through the involvement of the social partners in decision-making and the policy implementation process. For Intergraf, this means that we work closely with our counterpart trade union, UNI Europa Graphical & Packaging, and the European Commission on social issues which affect our industry.

Intergraf and UNI Europa Graphical, with the support of the European Commission, established a European sectoral social dialogue committee in 2013. Before this date, the social partners had regular meetings and exchanges of information and cooperated in the past in various ways. Since beginning social dialogue, we have intensified collaboration, working together on various projects and joint initiatives. Importantly, the European sectoral social dialogue of the graphical industry will tackle subjects of importance to the sector as a whole, but will not interfere with the autonomy of the national social partners in determining terms and conditions of employment in their national contexts.

Intergraf members and other stakeholders are invited to join two Working Groups and one Plenary of the graphic industry's European Social Dialogue Committee annually.

Upcoming meetings (2019):

  • Working Group, 21 November 2019, Brussels




Work Programme 2019-2021

You can download the full 2019-21 Work Programme of our Social Dialogue Committee here. it includes sections on:

  1. The technological, social and economic situation and trends of the sector at EU level
  2. Digitisation
  3. Demographics
  4. Skills and Follow-up of the 2013/14 joint EU project “Future skills in the graphical industry”
  5. New business models and follow-up of the 2010 joint EU project on “Best practices in socially responsible restructuring of printing companies”
  6. State aid and unfair competition
  7. Image and Environment


Primary contact: Alison Grace

Annual Economic Report

Wednesday, 03 July 2019 08:26

Stay informed of the latest graphic industry economic trends with the Intergraf Economic Report. Download the order form (see how below) and get your report today - we're waiting for your order!

Our Economic report ‘The Evolution of the European Graphic Industry’ provides statistical information for the European Union (EU28), as well as Norway and Switzerland.

It provides an overview of available data on the European graphic industry (e.g. turnover, number of employees and companies, production values, trade), as well as highlights about the economic development of sectors which are relevant to the printing industry (ink, paper, publishing, books, press, energy and postal markets). It also shows historical developments and comparisons between countries.

Official consolidated statistics made available by Eurostat are the main source of information used. The report also features a contribution from our partner Smithers Pira’s ‘European print market review’, which includes a 4-year forecast. Information on current trends in selected European countries is provided by Intergraf’s member federations.

The report is available FREE OF CHARGE exclusively for printing companies belonging to one of Intergraf’s member federations.

You can order the latest report by downloading the appropriate order form below and returning it completed to Laetitia Reynaud, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Order the 2019 Intergraf Economic Report

Download sample pages of the 2019 Intergraf Economic Report here.


Primary contact: Laetitia Reynaud

The Keep Me Posted EU team has participated in a series of meetings with outgoing MEPs who have offered important support to the campaign for the last 5 years. They urge new MEPs to offer similar support.

Keep Me Posted EU is committed to working together with MEPs in the new Parliament to protect the citizen’s right to choose between paper and digital communications. The campaign has received strong support from MEPs during the last 5 years, some of whom the coordinating team met with recently to offer our thanks and discuss the future of the campaign.

Heinz Becker MEP (EPP, Austria) stated that “I want to recommend all new MEPs [...] to cooperate with this idea because all of our citizens deserve to have the choice between digital and mail communication.” Lucy Anderson MEP (S&D, UK) also encouraged “any new Member of the European Parliament to help with this campaign, to support it, and to talk to all of their constituents about it and why it matters.”

You can watch the MEPs’ full video messages in our Video Gallery and/or find out more about the Keep Me Posted campaign here.

Cees Verweij, President of Intergraf, has been appointed in the name of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, Ridder in de Orde van Oranje-Nassau by the Mayor Maarten Divendal of the council De Ronde Venen.

Congratulations to Intergraf’s President, Cees Verweij, who has been honoured with a royal commendation in the name of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands: Ridder in de Orde van Oranje-Nassau.

This honour was bestowed to recognise Cees’ many years of service to the Dutch and European printing industries. Cees recently retired as Chairman of the Dutch printing association KVGO, a position he has held since 2008. Before this, he was the owner of a large label and general printing company in the Netherlands with over 100 employees: Verweij Printing. Cees has also been President of Intergraf since 2017, Vice President before this from 2015, and a Board Member since 2009.

Cees will continue in his position as Intergraf President until 2020, after which a new President will be elected from among the Board Members.


Thursday, 23 May 2019 13:19

Intergraf works hard for the European graphic industry. From policy and events, to campaigns, communications and governance, find out how we support the sector in our annual Activity Report - available now!

For information about the work and activities of Intergraf over the past year, look no further than our Activity Report. This publication carefully collects and presents an overview of our EU policy work (competitiveness, environment, packaging and social affairs), as well as the campaigns we are involved in, the communications and publications we distribute, the industry events we organise, and the support we offer to special interest groups. The report also shares information about how the association is governed. This year's report is extra special because it is presented in our new brand.

Intergraf has had a very busy year, with activities carried out on preparations for the EU elections, rebranding and improvements to our communications, as well as ongoing work on EU policy, campaigns and Social Dialogue. Download your free copy of our Activity Report here to find out more about how we’ve supported the graphic industry this year.

European Printed Packaging Trends: Market Report (2019)

FREE for printing companies who are members of Intergraf via their national association. €250 for suppliers and non-members. Contact Alison Grace for your copy.

European Magazine Market Report (2018)

Friday, 28 June 2019 13:10

European Magazine Market Report (2018)

FREE for printing companies who are members of Intergraf via their national association. €250 for suppliers and non-members. Contact Alison Grace for your copy.

European Direct Mail Market Report (2016)

FREE for printing companies who are members of Intergraf via their national association. €250 for suppliers and non-members. Contact Alison Grace for your copy.

European Book Market Report (2015)

Friday, 28 June 2019 13:04

European Book Market Report (2015)

FREE for printing companies who are members of Intergraf via their national association. €250 for suppliers and non-members. Contact Alison Grace for your copy.

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