Abschied Jürgen Janssen


"It never got boring."

Jürgen Janssen leaves the Textile Partnership after 6 years

Since 2016, Jürgen Janssen has been Head of the Textile Partnership Secretariat, which is provided by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. Janssen, who holds a doctorate in agricultural economics, has already worked for GIZ in various capacities and is now moving to Ramallah. We asked him a few farewell questions.

Noor Naqschbandi (see introduction below) will take over as head of the Partnership Secretariat.

What have been the three biggest changes in the Textile Partnership over the last five years?

The most important thing was the Steering Committee's decision in 2017 to switch to the due diligence approach to achieve the goals of the Partnership. Here, the Steering Committee has shown real foresight: The clear commitment to the due diligence approach has contributed in no small way to the fact that the Partnership companies are much better prepared for the current and future requirements in the implementation of due diligence and the associated obligations to provide evidence.

Closely related to this is the increasing importance of joint implementation projects in the production countries of the German and European textile and garment industry. Thematically, we are increasingly aligning ourselves with the requirements for the implementation of due diligence. Examples are our projects on Complaints Mechanisms, the payment of higher wages or the general improvement of working conditions, especially for women (PI Tamil Nadu).

We were also able to further develop our cooperation network in the sector. Here, the Corona pandemic has acted as a trend accelerator for all participants towards more division of labour, cooperation and coordination. This development is continuing, and the Partnership would like to play an active role here, especially in order to achieve a greater impact in the countries and at the same time limit the effort for the companies and organisations involved.

What are you especially proud of?

That the Partnership has established itself as a lively learning and dialogue platform in which the actors - companies, associations, the German government, trade unions, NGOs and standard organisations - not only talk about each other, but also with each other and jointly seek (and find) solutions. This makes it possible, for example, for German companies and NGOs to participate in a structured way through the Partnership in the development towards industry-wide complaints mechanisms, to be part of the discussion on a new framework for fair purchasing practices or to participate in current strategies and approaches of the Fashion Charter for Climate Action on Climate Protection .

What challenges is the Partnership facing?

The challenges for the Partnership reflect the challenges we face as people, businesses, organisations and societies. For many actors, it is a balancing act between the need for change and their own abilities to successfully manage these changes. This applies in particular to companies, but also to the other Partnership members as well as the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), which continues to support the Partnership.

The discussion on the EU Textile Strategy and its implementation will certainly play a central role. In addition, there is a second balancing act: that between coping with the acute crises, some of which acutely threaten the existence of companies (above all Corona, the Ukraine war, the energy crisis) and the strategic, long-term challenges. In view of this, climate change is pushing its way to the top of the agenda with unpleasant tenacity.

What do you wish the Partnership and its members for the coming period?

At least three things,

  • that the federal government continues to promote the Partnership as an offer of support to business, trade unions and civil society and thus supports the necessary and desired change.
  • that business, trade unions, civil society and the federal government continue to work in a trusting, constructive dialogue to find solutions to the major challenges that the industry continues to face.
  • good luck in achieving our goal of a social, ecological and corruption-free textile and garment industry that creates long-term value and benefits all stakeholders.
Your "last words" as head of the Textile Partnership Secretariat?

The basis for the work in the Partnership is the trusting cooperation between the actors. Creating the basis for this is a very central task of the Partnership Secretariat. This also requires trust, trust in the fundamental neutrality and integrity of the secretariat, in the quality of the professional and methodological support and in the correct assessment of current and prospective developments in the sector and its environment. This trust has been placed in us over the past years - also as an advance payment. I would like to express my sincere thanks for this and for the many exciting moments in the Partnership. In any case, it never got boring.

Farewell words from the steering committee
Noor Naqschbandi takes over as head of the Textile Partnership Secretariat

Noor Naqschbandi has been working for the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH for over 10 years and has been involved in various schemes and projects, including the German Global Compact Network. From 2015 to 2018, he was programme manager of the Alliance for Integrity, which is also a multi-stakeholder initiative. Thus, he brings experience in working with different stakeholder groups. As Cluster Coordinator in India (2020-2022), he has had occasional exposure to the Partnership Initiative in Tamil Nadu.

"I am looking forward to the exciting work in the Textile Partnership and to going into action together with the members. Not only do we want to be the first point of contact for social and ecological responsibility for companies in Germany, but we also want to strengthen joint activities in the production countries."