Luncheon-Debate with Antonio Carrascosa, Director of Resolution Planning and Decisions of the Single Resolution Board (SRB)

On May 28, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg organized a luncheon-debate at Cercle Münster in Luxembourg with Antonio Carrascosa, Director of Resolution Planning and Decisions of the Single Resolution Board (SRB), under the topic “The role of the SRB within the Banking Union”.

The event was attended by the Ambassador of Spain in Luxembourg and a score of representatives of financial institutions, European institutions and business executives.José Luis Rodríguez Álvarez, Vice President of the Chamber, gave a few words of welcome and introduced the speaker, Antonio Carrascosa, highlighting his recognized professional career.

Then, Carrascosa began his speech by presenting the SRB and explaining its main functions, such as avoiding the contagion effect in the case of a bank with problems, determining if it should be liquidated or trying to resolve it and, in this case, avoid that the taxpayer ends up carrying the cost of said resolution. The main tools to solve a banking entity consist of: “BAIL-IN“, cut the value of liabilities, and the sale of less profitable business lines to improve the general solvency and liquidity position.

The rest of the intervention was about reflecting on the lessons he learned in cases in which the SRB had to decide a resolution.

He stressed as a first lesson that the resolution model collides with the so-called “medium” banking because its financing model is not compatible with the current regulatory reality. Under this new paradigm, banks that have only capital and deposits in their liabilities are difficult to solve. The only alternatives are to merge or disappear.

Managing liquidity before resolution is also important. It may be the case of entities without solvency problems, but due to a trust problem, a crisis is triggered, and a resolution must be made. Carrascosa highlighted the purchase by Banco Santander of Banco Popular, injecting double the amount that the SRB could have provided. The absence of a buyer may pose a serious problem of credibility and liquidity.

Some of the alternatives considered as SRB’s liquidity backstop, which is access to financing of last resort, are the European Stability Mechanism and the European Central Bank, with which the ideal would be to have an agreement to deal with the problem of liquidity after a resolution.

There are two currents in Europe when it comes to managing bank risk. On one hand, there are the countries that propose the risk mutualization through a line of credit guaranteed by a European public institution. On the other hand, there are countries that prefer the reduction of risk exposure over mutualization. They are not two opposite currents, but complementary. The difference of both approaches is more about which one should be applied first.

The SRB exists as a European resolution institution and it is related to the European Central Bank and the European Commission. Everything that favors, such cooperation between institutions to make decisions quickly, is fundamental. Its representatives are from the Council and the European Parliament. This regulatory framework reassures the citizen. Carrascosa, highlighted as fundamental the role of national authorities, executors of the decisions taken, with the capacity and experience to face a resolution.

It has been shown that the information provided by banks is very important. To be able to take decisions, they try to move forward so that in an online way banks provide all the necessary information to assess an entity or do a bail-in if necessary.

As a final point, Antonio defended the transparency of the Institutions towards citizens, although, clarifying that before a resolution, confidentiality must be absolute.

After the intervention, the participants had the opportunity to ask their questions to Antonio Carrascosa. Once the event was over, the president of the Chamber, Juan Rodríguez Villa-Matons, awarded the Director in gratitude for his participation in the Luncheon-Debate

Luncheon-debate with Nicolás Pascual de la Parte, Ambassador Representative of Spain to the NATO

Last 19th of April, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg organized a luncheon-debate hosting Nicolás Pascual de la Parte, the Ambassador Representative of Spain to the NATO. The theme was “Transatlantic security: new threats and opportunities”. During the event, company directors, members of the Chamber and representatives of public institutions were the principal participants. The luncheon-debate was sponsored by the consulting and technology company Indra.

David Luengo, the director of Indra office in Brussels, was in charge of the presentation. He expressed the concerns of the company to face the new global challenges and thanked the speaker for his effective work in his different responsibilities through the years in Brussels.  Juan Rodríguez Villa-Matons, the President of the Chamber, expressed his satisfaction about being able to count on an experienced diplomat as Nicolás Pascual de la Parte. As for the speaker, he reminded having taken part in previous events organized by the Chamber and reminded that he was willing to take part to future events.

Nowadays, the socio-political situation of the main international actors has caused incertitude because of the struggle with the fixed rules established during the 20th century between the different States.

Fortunately, the presentation of Pascual de la Parte was about the actual unpredictability and the actual new threats at a global level: on one hand, there is the revisionist change of Russia, and on the other hand, the radicalization of the Islamic jihadism.

The Ambassador focused mostly on these two aspects.

The relations of trust between Russia and the NATO have been affected, which represents a “threat” to the East of Europe. This “threat” has been evidenced through the occupation of Crimea, the unstable situation in Ukraine and the suspension of the international agreements about short-range missiles. The NATO has enhanced its military presence in the Baltic nations, such as Poland, with the deployment of carrier strike battle groups and it supports its most vulnerable members facing this new situation.

The second aspect developed by Nicolás Pascual de la Parte was jihadism and the Islamic terrorism.

The application of the Occidental models – being the communist one or the liberal one – in the Arabic countries during the 20th century caused a general frustration when realizing that none of these models was able to get out the society of its underdeveloped economy. Some social groups took advantage of this situation by using religion to obtain political favors, through a rigorist and fundamentalist interpretation of the Islam, converted into violence in order to achieve the political objectives. The NATO has strengthened their security cooperation with the ally countries which feel threatened, by advising and increasing the defensive capacity.

It has been agreed that every country will increase its defense budget and will bound stronger political ties with the allies of the south and the east.

Finally, Pascual de la Parte ended its speech by talking about the non-conventional threats about which the NATO must adapt itself progressively. For example, threats about cyber-security, fake news and hybrid threats.

As the themes were recent, the participants, who took actively part to the debate and the Q&A round, were really interested.

Again, the Chamber wants to thank the Ambassador for its participation and hope to see him again in future events.


Luncheon- Debate with Cecilio Madero Villarejo, Deputy Director General at The European Commission Competition Directorate General

Last 11st of April, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg organized a luncheon-debate with Cecilio Madero Villarejo, Deputy Director General of the Directorate General for Competition, about “Trends of the European Commission Competition Policy”. The event was attended by executives from various companies, members of the Chamber and representatives of Spanish public bodies.

The President of the Chamber, Juan Rodríguez-Villa Matons, reviewed the academic and professional career of the Director and thanked him for his participation in the event.

Madero began by highlighting the active labour of the European Commission, based on the hard work of people who are truly involved, and who operate as a united and strong organization. Hereafter, he explained that the mission of the General Directorate for Competition is to guarantee a fair and equitable open market, along with the rights of citizens.

Regarding competition policies, he expressed the will to continue along the same lines, adapting to the new technologies and economies, such as ITC, IT and e-commerce. Regulations need to go hand in hand with the changes in the market and the economy, so the justice is done in a way that is fair to all parties.

Antitrust is an issue that the Commission must regulate and control to support the freedom, the democracy and the equality of the market and the companies. In this regard, the Director explained several complex investigations and the new measures that were underway.

Afterwards, in the round of Q&A, the participants raised their issues to the Deputy Director General related mainly with the regulation applied to Big Data and the necessary adaptation due to the constant innovation of the market and the economy.

Finally, Juan Rodríguez-Villa awarded the Deputy Director General in gratitude for his participation in the luncheon-debate.

Luncheon-debate with Phil Hogan, Commisioner for Agriculture and Rural Development

Last 22nd of March the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg organized a Luncheon-Debate with Phil Hogan, Commissioner of Agriculture and Rural Development about “Common Agricultural Policy: Added Value for the Future of Europe”. Among the attendees there was the President of the Chamber of Commerce of Córdoba, representatives of the REPER, Chamber members, business executives and also representatives of the Spanish autonomous delegations in Brussels.

The President of the Chamber Juan Rodríguez-Villa Matons reviewed the career path of the Commissioner and thanked for his participation in the event, as well as his interest for the Spanish economy.

Afterwards, the Commissioner expressed being very thankful for attending to the Luncheon-Debate, highlighting that Spain values and cares about rural areas and considers always the agricultural economy. He remarked his six official stays in Spain during which he had the opportunity to meet with representatives of various sectors of the agricultural industry.

Hogan emphasized the importance of the agricultural sector in Spain, being the country of origin of 15% of the exports of the European Union. He highlighted Spanish products such as wine and citrus, which help agricultural growth.

Then he detailed the treaties that the EU has around the world related to agriculture. He also commented that the EU has in process policies for the renewal and innovation of farms, the search for fair trade and measures that are flexible for different sectors of agriculture.

During the questions and answers, the participants raised their questions to the Commissioner regarding different policies and treaties that are being carried out, such as negotiations with MERCOSUR or the need for agricultural market regulation.

Finally, Juan Rodríguez-Villa and Ignacio Fernández de Mesa, President of the Chamber of Cordoba, awarded the Commissioner in gratitude for his participation in the Luncheon-Debate and his work heading the Agriculture and Rural Development Commission.

The President also wanted to make a special mention to Baralides Wines, sponsor of the wine at the event.

Luncheon-debate with Luis Planas Puchades, Secretary General of the European Economic and Social Committee

Last February 7th, the Chamber of Commerce organized a luncheon-debate with Luis Planas Puchades, Secretary General of the European Economic and Social Committee under the title The European Union and Spain in 2018. The event counted on the presence of the Ambassador of Luxembourg and some 20 representatives of the European institutions and companies’ directors.

Juan Rodríguez-Villa Matons, President of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg pronounced some welcome words and introduced the speaker, bringing to light his recognized professional career.

He also thanked him for his ongoing collaboration with the Chamber through the past years.

Immediately, Luis Planas started his intervention by underlining two essential points: the European elections of May 2019, and the future presidency of the European Commission.

Regarding the first point, he reminded that after the Brexit, 63 seats of the European Commission will be free, thus, having arisen divergent opinions about the future of the Commission. On the one hand, there are people considering it as an opportunity to establish the German electoral system, and on the other hand, those who opt for the redistribution.

For the moment, there are some proposals made in the Parliament which suggest increasing the number of seats of all the member states (for example, increasing them from 54 to 60 in Spain).

Regarding the presidency of the European Commission, he mentioned that Spain clamis that the best choice is a government formed in accordance with the most voted list.

Furthermore, he mentioned the financial perspectives for Europe: the actual budget is set until the year 2020, and the new one will be settled for the following 7 years, that is 2027.

To that, the exit of the United Kingdom from the EU and its respective revenues – estimated at 12 billion-,must be taken into account. Therefore, the Commission pretends to allocate 80% of the budget for the new contributions and the remaining 20% for the budget restrictions.

Another issue which have to be taken into account is how the Common Agricultural Policy of the EU will be administrated, since Spain is one of the main beneficiaries of such funds, and so negotiations will be necessary to meet the best conditions.

The Secretary General also mentioned two aspects of the EU which have to be preserved for the benefit they bring. On the one hand, the Erasmus program and everything related to it: the advantages this program offers are undeniable and that is why there is a consensus about the importance of preserving it. On the other hand, there is the support to the R&D, and all the new challenges in security matters, defense and integration.

He also addressed the dilemma of the Brexit, underlining the perfect work of Michel Barnier and his team, who will keep on fighting for building the best relationship with the United Kingdom.

To conclude, Mr. Planas gave an optimistic vision about the future of the EU, but raised concern about the respect of the law in the member states due to the actual situation occurring in countries such as Poland and Hungary. He reaffirmed that a society without law and respect to the law, constitutions or treaties cannot work from a commercial point of view, neither for the citizens. He also said that it is necessary for the EU to take charge of the social aspects of the European integration. The elements related to the social protection are essential for the cohesion of the society and for its functioning.

Once the public speaking finished, the President of the Chamber and the Spanish ambassador in Luxembourg gave an award to the speaker, as a proof of gratitude.

After the intervention, the participants had the chance to formulate their questions to Mr. Planas. The main topic was the situation around the Brexit and its consequences on the new EU and Spain.

Breakfast-debate with Ana Gallo: European External Investment Plan and its benefit for Spanish Companies

Last 31st January 2018, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg hosted in its headquarters in Brussels a breakfast-debate with Ana Gallo, member of the Cabinet of the European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, about the “European External Investment Plan (EIP) and its benefit for Spanish companies”. Among the participants, there were members of the Chamber, business executives and representatives of Spanish autonomous delegations in Brussels.

Pablo López Álvarez, Vice-president of the Chamber and moderator of the event, started by saying a welcome word and introduced the speaker, highlighting her broad professional career related to the European Union. As member of the Cabinet of Neven Mimica, her main responsibilities are migration, employment, investment, innovative financing, audit and control, and her geographic operational areas are Latin America and the Caribbean.

Afterwards, Ana Gallo introduced the European External Investment Plan, a project designed by the European Commission to encourage investment in their partner countries in Africa and the EU Neighborhood region, to strengthen their partnerships and to contribute in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, helping to address some root causes of migration.

This plan emerged as a political response to the migratory crisis and to the immigration problem. In addition, in 2015 the global awareness led to the activation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Furthermore, Gallo explained the five action sectorial desks of this plan which are: renewable energy and connectivity, sustainable cities, digitalization, micro/SMEs and development of agro-food industry.

Then, she described some of the types of financing for this plan and the different kinds of projects that can be presented to the EIP. These projects must meet the following requirements: they must lead to the achievement of sustainable development goals and they must be realistic, viable and profitable.

She also explained the pillars that support the execution of this plan: it is a project constituted by blending platforms, it ensures until 80% guarantee depending on the country, it has a part of technical support and viability checking, and, in addition, the projects combine grants and loans from financial institutions.

For all those people interested in presenting their projects, Gallo explained how the EIP functions practically, and how the selection process works. If a Spanish company wants to present their projects, first of all they need to go to the One-Stop-Shop so the secretary of the program can decide which entity or development agency would be more convenient. Afterwards, the G-Tag, the committee where the national banks are represented, analyzes the project from a financial point of view, in order to check its viability. Also, the sectorial desks mentioned above, have been created to promote a better distribution of the funds among all the sectors that are meant to be funded.

After Ana Gallo’s speech, the Vice-President of the Chamber opened the debate, marked by a high participation of the attendees. Among the main issues, the most remarkable topics were the renewable energies on the EIP, the running of the project implementation, the countries where it is going to be presented and the functioning of the One-stop-shop.

Luncheon-debate promoted by ONCE and its Foundation with Nadia Calviño, Director General for DG Budget at the European Commission

Last October 10th, ONCE and its Foundation promoted in Brussels a Lucheon- debate with Nadia Calviño, Director General for DG Budget at the European Commission, under the topic “60 years of Union: enterprises and human capital, added value for the future of a more competitive and inclusive Europe”. The event counted on with the support of the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg and gathered more than a hundred business representatives, associations and authorities of the European communities’ institutions.

Juan Rodriguez-Villa Matons, President of the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg said a welcome word and expressed his recognition to ONCE team and its Foundation for the humanitarian and business work developed in favor to people with disabilities.

Alberto Durán López, Executive Vice-president at ONCE Foundation, during his intervention, explained that the Foundation, through his large experience, contributes to strengthen day to day the social dimension of Europe. As an example, the European Social Found, which celebrates its 60th  anniversary, and being trusted by the EU and the Spanish Government for more than 17 years, more than 240.000 people with disabilities have profited the training and labor insertion programs developed by ONCE Foundation, and more than 70.000 have found a job. Durán qualified the European Social Fund as an essential instrument of inclusion and social cohesion, and as a fundamental tool for more than 85 million people with disabilities in Europe. This collective has significantly improved its situation during the past 60 years, in different areas such as education, employment or social services, counting with the work from European Institutions, as well as the representative entities for people with disabilities, specially the European Disability Forum.

However, Durán pointed that there are still many barriers to tear down, in order to build a Europe for everyone, more competitive, inclusive and accessible, in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Following this way, the European Social Fund must play still an important role in the following budget period. The Executive Vicepresident of ONCE Foundation, also highlighted the role of big companies and SME, which contribute every day to include people with disabilities into their employment opportunities, and which also develop accesible products and services. As an example, Alberto Durán mentioned the Forum “Inserta Responsible” from ONCE Foundation, which compiles more than 70 companies and other organizations, and whose activity counts as well on the support from the European Social Fund.

Among other remarkable landmarks, Durán mentioned the European Citizen Award granted by the European Parliament to ONCE and its Foundation in 2016. This award was also received this year by the Spanish Committee of Representatives of People with Disabilities (CERMI), which recognizes the commitment and the willingness of people with disabilities in Spain for working towards a more social and equal Europe.

Finally, Durán presented the advertising campaign as a tribute for the 60th anniversary of the European Social Fund: Together changing the lives of people with disabilities, through the interactive video “You decide”, which at the end of the luncheon-debate was followed by other pieces entitled ”Just so you know”,  which aimed to spread the European Social Fund’s value.

Lastly, Durán introduced Nadia Calviño, Director General for DG Budget at the European Commission, and thanked her participation in the luncheon-debate by giving her a commemorative coupon.

Nadia Calviño, based her intervention in the European budget investment for reaching a stronger, social and solidary Europe, particularly facing the next financial framework “post 2020”. Calviño highlighted that currently, the two main challenges faced by the European Union regarding the future European budgets are: in one hand, the Brexit with the budget restructuration that it involves, and, on the other hand, that Europe needs to fulfill the European citizens’ expectations, with better social policies and ensuring not to leave anyone behind. The most important thing is not how much money we have, instead, is about investing it in the best way possible, claimed Calviño.

Additionally, the Director General, who reminded that the 75% of the EU budget is invested, among others, into the Cohesion Policy, undertook an overview along all the steps made as well as the upcoming ones, concerning the next budgets’ approval, something in which her Directorate is currently working. Thus, the Commission has started an expenditure review, and is developing a reflection and analysis about the different ongoing programs and how do they function. The Commission hopes to be prepared, based in this previous work, to integrate the expectations of the 27 European leaders by the end of the year, to have a consensual proposal by mid-2018 and to approve the whole budget before the elections to the European Parliament in 2019.

As a conclusion, Calviño mentioned this goal by saying the words of the current President Jean Claude Junker, to lead us to “a more prosper, competitive, secure, sustainable and solidary Europe”.

After the interventions, the participants had the chance to ask questions to the Executive Vice-president at ONCE Foundation and to the Director General for DG Budget at the European Commission. The main topics discussed were the investment of the European budget in accessibility improvements for people with disabilities, and the entrepreneurship aids for them.

Luncheon-debate with Věra Jourová, European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality

The past September 28th, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg, organized in collaboration with the General Board of Abogacía Española, a luncheon-debate with Věra Jourová, European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality. Among the attendees there were several members of the Chamber, business executives, and representatives of Spanish and European companies and institutions.

Juan Rodríguez-Villa Matons, President of the Chamber, said a welcome word, introduced the Commissioner, highlighting her professional career and thanked her for her collaboration with the luncheon-debate.

Afterwards, the Commissioner took the stand and introduced briefly the main challenges her Commission is currently dealing with such as promoting entrepreneurship in Europe, the digital markets, the insolvency, data protection, consumer rights, digital content, gender equality and justice against crime.

Jourová emphasized the importance of creating a digital single market, explaining that currently there are only a few small companies which are selling products online cross borders. In Spain, only a 19% of companies do so. The main barrier to increase online commerce at international level is that there are different legal systems for online and offline worlds.

Afterwards, she showed her concerning about the lack of a regulatory law related to online sales of digital content (except from United Kingdom and The Netherlands) and mentioned that from theCommission they are working on a proposal for all European countries.

About data protection, she expressed the need of investing more money on new measures and tools that allow institutions to know what companies actually do with consumer’s personal data. On the other hand, she stressed the need of making a bigger effort on explaining the EU citizens about their new rights concerning data protection and privacy and how to use those rights.

During her speech, Jourová also talked about individual consumers’ rights, very numerous in the European Union, but about which there exists a very poor public information. In a time frame where big companies are becoming bigger, and small companies are tend to be smaller, from March 2018, the Commission for Justice is working on a plan which will provide individuals and small companies with the right tools to defend their rights related to trade and consumption.

The main topics discussed during the question time were related to gender equality at work environment and cybersecurity.

Finally, Marta Cerro, President of the Council of Bars of Castilla la Mancha, presented the Bar, and highlighted the role of lawyers in the European Union environment and how they contribute directly to citizens defense. She pointed out the need of respecting the citizens and providing them with a high quality service. In addition, she thanked the commissioner for her hard work and commitment with gender equality, and showed her her support in terms of promoting values related with the recognition of women in work environment.

Juan Rodriguez-Villa and Marga Cerro awarded Commissioner Jourová with a symbolic present to thank her for her participation in the luncheon-debate and her hard work in charge of for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality in the European Commission.

The president also wanted to thank Bodegas Yuntero, wine sponsor for this event.

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Breakfast-debate with Félix Fernández-Shaw: Global strategy of the EU. Europe in the world

The past September 14th, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg hosted in its Brussels’ headquarters a breakfast-debate with Félix Fernández-Shaw, Expert Member of the Federica Mogherini’s Cabinet, about “Global strategy of the EU. Europe in the world”. Among the participants, there were members of the Chamber, ambassadors of Latin-American countries, business executives and representatives of Spanish autonomous delegations in Brussels.

María Catalán, Secretary General of the Chamber, and moderator of the event, started by saying a welcome word and introduced the speaker, highlighting his broad professional career related to the European Union. Member of the Spanish Diplomatic Career since 1993, he is currently working as an Expert Member of the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of European Commission Federica Mogherini, in charge of Africa, Sustainable Development, Multiannual Financial Framework and climate change.

Félix Férnandez-Shaw then took the floor and started a small debate to encourage the attendees’ participation. The main goal of this short discussion was to clarify some concepts related to the different organisms of the European Union and its roles.   

Afterwards, Félix explained the mission of Federica Mogherini’s Cabinet as a part of the European Commission and described the decision-making process and its final implementation. He highlighted this Cabinet constitutes the “voice” of the European Union around the world. Its main responsibilities are the management of foreign policy instruments, foreign affairs and foreign defense and security of all country members.

The speaker underlined the importance of the inclusion of all the country members of the European Union as a part of a common Foreign Policy, since every decision is made at global level. He stressed the importance of an internal cohesion among all its members to strengthen the EU’s presence at international level. In order to achieve a correct global management is necessary to use two principles: strength and order.

On the other hand, Félix talked about how our world has changed at global level since 1989. During this period of time, three different revolutions have occurred: democratic, ideological and technological, which have allowed that the world is a better place than two decades ago.

Félix has also showed his concern about the environmental situation of our planet and he has remarked the importance of working towards a sustainable development and the need of a strong alliance among countries. The European Union has a very important role within the global situation, and that is why it is necessary to work towards a more united Europe, which transmits a “unique voice”. 

Finally, he has made a call to raise awareness about this problem and he has encouraged all the attendees to promote the cooperation and development in their own companies. He also suggested them to work in sustainable development goals, and promote help towards the African continent.

After Fernández-Shaw’s intervention, the secretary general of the Chamber opened the debate, which was marked by a high participation of the attendees. Among the main issues, the most remarkable topic was the cooperation to public-private development in the African continent.

Luncheon-Debate with Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries

Last June 22nd, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg organized, in collaboration with ECOEMBES, a luncheon-debate with Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.

Mr. Daniel Calleja, Director-General at DG Environment, also attended the event.

Between the participants, there were several members of the Chamber and representatives of Spanish and European companies and institutions.

Juan Rodríguez-Villa Matons, President of the Chamber, introduced the speaker and thanked for his contribution to the dialogue between the EU Executive and civil society and remarked the common interest on achieving the main goal of Circular Economy.

Under the title “CIRCULAR ECONOMY: THE ROLE OF BUSINESS IN DEVELOPING GREEN ECONOMY”, Commissioner Vella underlined the importance of applying the principle “nothing is lost, everything is transformed”, premise that concerns circular economy and the need to implement it globally.

The speaker referred to the legislative package on Circular Economy presented by the Commission a year and a half ago, which he described as ambitious and responsible, emphasizing on the global approach and more practical measures which benefit environment and increase sustainability.


On the other hand, the Commissioner underlined the great potential identified in Spain by the biannual “Environment Implementation Review” report, which presented several examples of Spanish pioneer companies in innovation. According to Mr. Vella, innovation is the key to a Green Economy, which needs investment and, in most of the cases, it is afforded by the private sector, either big firms or SMEs.

To conclude, he expressed the European Commission’s will to establish an easily compliable regulation for the private sector, highlighting the importance of continuous collaboration between all actors.

The wide experience of Commissioner Vella, in high responsibility positions in the private sector, shows the realistic criteria which aims to avoid the obstacles in the application of the legal requirements that are projected.

The speaker recognized the excellence of General Director of Environment, Daniel Calleja, and congratulated the human team he leads.

The event was sponsored by ECOEMBES. Its CEO, Óscar Martín, thanked the Commissioner and all the participants for their presence, assuring the position of ECOEMBES in favor of the legislative package. Martín remarked the importance of EPR –Extended Producer Responsability- as a very important step towards a Circular Economy, which has also had a large social impact.

Moreover, he weighed on the need to promote eco-design and innovation, not only to protect the environment, but also to raise its awareness.

To conclude, a round of questions was posed and answered, a time during which participants had the opportunity to interact with the Commissioner.

Mr. Juan Rodríguez-Villa joined Óscar Martín to give Commissioner Vella a symbolic present to thank him for his participation in the luncheon-debate and his work related to the circular economy.

The President also made a special mention to the firm La Buena Vida, for contributing with excellent wines to the luncheon.

You can check the full speech of the Commissioner here.

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