Luncheon-debate with Pablo García-Berdoy, Ambassador Permanent Representative of Spain to the European Union

The Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg hosted last June 13th a luncheon-debate with Pablo García-Berdoy, Ambassador Permanent Representative of Spain to the European Union, on “European Agenda”. At the event, we had the presence of Ms. Cecilia Yuste, Ambassador of Spain in Belgium, and there were chamber members of the Chamber, business executives, members of the Spanish and international diplomatic bodies, as well as representatives of European institutions.

Juan Rodríguez-Villa Matons, president of the Chamber, thanked the Ambassador for its presence, highlighting his diplomatic career in representations like Bonn and Manila, Cabinet Chief of the Secretary of State of External Policy and for the European Union, Cabinet Chief of the President of the Congress of Deputies and Ambassador of Span in Rumania and Germany, between others. Plus, he underlined the importance of the Official Spanish Chambers of Commerce in different countries as a tool to contribute in economic diplomacy.

Afterwards, Íñigo de Palacio, Global Director of Institutional Relations of Indra, made a consideration -from the big company’s perspective– about the current European framework. De Palacio underlined that we are in a decisive moment, in which trust in European institutions and its integration project are a key for society and for companies, despite the uncertainty and the economic recession.

On the other hand, the representative of Indra proposed two important challenges for Europe: security and migrations, for which international cooperation and humanitarian aid are essential. Furthermore, he underlined the importance of globalization and the process of digitalization in the current political framework. At last, he pointed out the need to provide shared security services, through connectivity of European economies, technological innovation and mobility.

Pablo García-Berdoy, Ambassador Permanent Representative of Spain to the European Union, after thanking all the participants for their presence, he started his intervention considering globalization as one of the main current challenges, mainly in the technological sector, but also in terrorism and migrations.  To face it, he explained different EU policies regarding interoperability and borders’ improvement.

 

As a second challenge, Berdoy mentioned about how to face competitiveness and to maintain our social model, underlining the importance of integration measures and the White Paper of the European Commission, in which different scenarios for the future of Europe were presented.

In a third stage, he focused on the Brexit subject, assuring all member-states should get prepared, especially in the company sector, besides negotiating financial perspectives in an economical context which reduces our spending capacity. At last, he wanted to highlight the requirement of consideration by the European Union in the security field, given Russian policy and the new North American administration.

Pablo García-Berdoy finished his speech with conciliating words, remarking the importance of national and European politicians to work together and share projects.

To finish up, there was a question and answers turn, in which the participants could ask their questions to the ambassador, mainly about the post-Brexit political scenario and EU exportation policy.

Juan Rodríguez-Villa gave an award to the Ambassador as a thank you for his participation in the luncheon-debate and his work as a head of the Permanent Representation of Spain to the EU.

The president also wanted to make a special mention to Bodegas La Emperatriz, sponsors of the event’s wine.

Event sponsored by:

 

12/05 Luncheon-Debate with Vytenis Andriukaitis, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety

Brussels, May 12 2017

On May 12th, the Official Chamber of Commerce of Spain in Belgium and Luxembourg organized a luncheon-debate with Vytenis Andriukaitis, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety at NH Hotel Collection Grand Sablon in Brussels. At the event there were chamber members, business executives, members of the Spanish and international diplomatic bodies, as well as representatives of European institutions.

First of all, Juan Rodríguez-Villa Matons, President of the Chamber, made a brief introduction of the speaker thanking him and all the attendees for his presence. He stressed his long career as a doctor, his role as a signatory of the declaration of independence of Lithuania and his co-authorship of the Lithuanian Constitution, as well as his long experience at the institutions of his country. In addition, Rodríguez-Villa emphasized, on behalf of the Spanish Business community, the biotechnology and pharma industry and ultimately of the Spanish civil society, the great advantages that Barcelona would contribute as new headquarters of the European Medicines Agency.

 

Then Andriukaitis began his speech by saying that Europe has a good system of health and food safety, but it is necessary to keep working to improve several aspects. There is a need to involve more the governments and its decision-makers in the long term. He also emphasized the importance of communication; it is the key factor to keep the public informed. He also stressed the care that must be taken with the information disseminated through social networks.

 

Then, the Commissioner mentioned the major challenges facing the sector.

On one hand, tons of food that Europe throws away, an action that he described as wasteful, unethical and unsustainable. To reduce this waste, the Commission will undertake a series of initiatives to achieve the goal of sustainable development. They are also preparing the launch of a plan of action to stop the increasing antimicrobial resistance and a new Plant Health Law with the aim of avoiding the introduction of diseases and to protect us from the entry of non-native parasites. The Commissioner pointed out two examples of such diseases: the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa, which affects a large part of the Italian olive trees and sadly has now been found in the Balearic Islands, and the diseases in citrus fruits.

He also made special mention of the importance of public health. It is necessary to pay attention to the medical primary assistance because it will be reflected in an improvement of the health system and in the economy. This year, the Commission, will launch a joint action for the prevention of chronic diseases that will create guidelines and promote cooperation between the Member States.

 

 

Andriukaitis also addressed the problem of obesity. European countries have agreed targets to lower the consumption of sugars and salt.

The Commissioner concluded his speech by explaining the role of the European Union in relation to the management of health crises and pointing to Spain as one of the strongest competitors to achieve the new headquarters of the European Medicines Agency due to the importance of the Spanish language and the technological progress of our country.

Finally, there was a round of questions & responses where participants were able to pose their questions to the Commissioner.

The event ended with a gift to Vytenus Andriukaitis from the Chamber in recognition to his work as European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety.

From the Chamber we want to thank the collaboration to Bodegas Cornelio Dinastía for sponsoring the wine of the event.

 

Breakfast-debate with José Blanco and Alejandro Ulzurrun: Renewable Energy and Electric Market

The past April 25th, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg hosted in its Brussels’ headquarters a breakfast-debate with  José Blanco López, MEP and member of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy and Alejandro Ulzurrun de Asanza y Muñoz, Head of Unit at DG Energy, about the “New legislative package of the European Commission on Renewable Energy and the design of Electric Market”. Between the participants, there were members of the Chamber, business executives and representatives of European institutions.

Pablo López Álvarez, Vice President of the Chamber, started by introducing the speakers and thanking their participation and all the attendees’. Before starting with the speeches, he made a brief introduction about the relevance of the current energy sector and its regulation in the European Union agenda.

   

Afterwards, Joaquín Mollinedo, Chief Institutional Relations, Sustainability and Brand Officer of Acciona, took part and pointed out Spain as a reference in the renewable sector, as well as the interest of Acciona in taking part on this sector from an industrial perspective and along with the EU commitment. Therefore, he wanted to underline his conviction on the new legislative package to promote a cleaner Europe, the energy sector and innovation.

Furthermore, Alejandro Ulzurrun, Head of Unit at DG Energy, made a summary of the Commission’s proposal, which he defined as “the chance to upgrade the European economy”. In his speech, he underlined the year 2015 for the energy sector, in which there was a record on global investments and around 8 million jobs were created.

Between the main elements of the project, Ulzurrun established four priorities: renewable energy, energy efficiency, electric market and governance. This project, defined by Ulzurrun as balanced and ambitious, covers almost all legislation they want to approve in order to achieve the EU goals.

Finally, Ulzurrun reminded the common interest between the Commission and the Parliament, giving as example their joint declaration of legislative priorities they agreed to pursue a significant progress through the year 2017, in which the new energy legislative package is included”.

José Blanco, MEP and member of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, started his speech thanking the the European Commission’s cooperation in the energy sector and explaining the two main goals of the Parliament in this field: recovering the leadership of the EU in clean energy and pursuing the goals set in the Paris Summit for 2020, like decarbonisation.

On the other side, Blanco highlighted the importance of legal safety in the EU, which he considers “essential to assure investements, which are so necessary”. In addition, he pointed out that, from the Parliament, they have the responsibility to learn from their own experience and to look for a regulation framework in the energy field that allows the economic modernisation and to build qualified jobs.

Finally, he insisted in the will of the Parliament to listen to different proposals in order to find a balance that enables the approval of the new package draft, in order to be able to present it to the plenary by the end of the year.

Once the speeches were given, our Vice President Pablo López began the debate, which had a high level of participation with different points of view from representatives of the main companies of the energy sector, consultants and members of the European institutions.

The main topics of the debate were about legal safety, the efectiveness of the legislative proposals in the energy field, the sources of financing for renewable energy and the different positions about the binding nature of the proposals and their legal framework.

 

Event sponsored by:

Breakfast-debate with Miguel Ceballos Barón, Deputy Head of Cabinet of the commissioner Cecilia Malmström

Last April 20th the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg organized a breakfast-debate about “the commercial agenda of the European Union in 2017”. The event took place at the Chamber’s headquarters in Brussels, with Miguel Ceballos Barón, Deputy Head of Cabinet of the commissioner Cecilia Malmström as the main speaker. At the event, there were members of the Chamber, business executives and representatives of European institutions and delegations.

Pablo López Álvarez, Vice President of the Chamber, made a brief introduction of the speaker, thanking him and all the attendees for his presence, as well as the importance of the commercial agenda in the current difficult international context.

Then, Miguel Ceballos began his intervention making a synthesis about the current context and the determining issues in the commercial field, like the beginning of Donald Trump’s legislature and the recent signing of an executive order to review a temporary visa programme used to place foreign workers in high-skilled US jobs. Between others, he underlined the Turkish referendum, the upcoming elections in France and the UK and the Brexit.

Furthermore, Ceballos explained the main commercial challenges at a European level, going through the different continents and the evolution on free trade agreements. He remarked, in first place, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) which, after the stoppage of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the United States, stands up as one of the most important agreements for our exportations and companies, mostly in the public services sector, such as water or energy. Plus, the CETA assures an access to Canadian tenders avoiding big competitors such as China and Mexico.

On the other hand, the speaker explained the recent developments in different agreements such as in Mexico, in which they pretend to remove sanitary barriers for farming products, as well as improving the investment agreement, underlining the sectors of energy, telecommunications, financial and oil. Regarding Chile, Ceballos highlighted the modernization phase of the current agreement and their will to increase the services,

Regarding the Asian continent, Ceballos underlined the already stablished agreement with Japan, hightlighting the competitive advantage the UE has in this market as a consequence of the TTIP stoppage, avoinding the competence of USA, Australia or New Zealand. Moreover, he wanted to mention Singapur, which he defined as a small economy with a lot of potential for commercial relations in the future. On the other hand, he informed about the agreement with Vietnam, which is currently being translated and will be presented to the Parliament soon.

At last, Miguel Ceballos assured the importance of the agreement with the Mercosur countries (Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay) which gather more than 250 millions of consumers similar to Spanish consumers, which turns out to be specially interesting for commecialization in all sectors.

The launching of this agreement, expected by the end of 2017, would imply a 400 millions of euros savings for Spain, which they are currently investing in custom fees. The new agreement pretends to increase transparency and objectivity of commercial relations.

Miguel Ceballos  finished his intervention underlining the importance of the current political and social background, and the evolution of  commercial agreements through the years, which include more regulations every day, like social and environmental dumping. As examples, he mentioned anti-corruption in the Mexico agreement and the gender issue with Chile. Finally, he thanked everyone for their presence and the contribution of the Chamber and the Spanish companies in the commercial field.

After the speaker’s interventions, our Vice President Pablo López opened the debate, which was marked by a high participation of the attendees. Between the main issues, the topics were the resistance to the inclusion of financial services in trade agreements, the recently presented White Paper of the European Union and, most importantly, the future of the United Kingdom after Brexit.

Moreover, there was a discussion on the issue of the agreements of the African continent, in which Ceballos highlighted the agreement with South Africa, and the progress on the ones with Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique and Ghana. At last, they referred to the commercial agenda of growing countries, mentioning the asymmetric agreement with the Caribbean area.

25/01 Luncheon-debate with Roberto Viola, General Director of DG Connect

On January 25th, the Official Chamber of Commerce  of Spain in Belgium and Luxembourg organized a luncheon-debate with Roberto Viola, Director General of DG Connect, on the “Digital Single Market and Cybersecurity” at the Warwick Hotel in Brussels. At the event, sponsored by Deloitte Spain, there were chamber members, business executives, members of the Spanish and international diplomatic bodies, as well as representatives of European institutions.

First of all, Pablo López Álvarez, Vice-President of the Chamber, made a brief introduction of the speaker thanking him and all the attendees for his presence, as well as the collaboration of Deloitte.

 

Photographer in Brussels, Belgium. Event Photography for the Spanish Chamber of commerce for Belgium and Luxembourg featuring Roberto Viola by Dani Oshi.

Pablo López Álvarez, Vice-President of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg

 

Roberto Viola began his speech by highlighting the importance of Europe’s role in the digital single market, which has served as a model for professionals in South America, Japan and even Africa.

In its definition of “state”, Viola explained the need to open borders of traditional industry (financial, aerospace, pharmaceutical, etc.) as a key factor for the transformation of the labor market and the interaction of citizens in the future .

On the other hand, he confirmed that “Europe is on the right direction. However, member-states have the duty to teach young people how to continue working on the future of digital society.” He also recalled the responsibility to clearly explain to citizens the advantages of technology.

 

Photographer in Brussels, Belgium. Event Photography for the Spanish Chamber of commerce for Belgium and Luxembourg featuring Roberto Viola by Dani Oshi.

Roberto Viola, general director of DG Connect

 

For the single market as well as for cybersecurity, Viola assured that the only way to achieve improvements is to “work together in the same direction, both nationally and internationally.”

In terms of cybersecurity, Viola recognized the value of sharing information between countries and national bodies in order to prevent cyberaccidents, as well as any threat to the stability of our market system. Among them, he highlighted the support of Spain and the European Commission.

Viola answered in detail to all the questions raised around the Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership (TTIP), the EU-US information agreement, compatibility with institutions such as NATO or OECD and legislation on cyber-security of minors.

Finally, Fernando Picatoste, Leader of the Security Practices of Deloitte, closed the ceremony thanking the attendees, Roberto Viola and the Chamber. In addition, he wanted to point out the work of the European Union, concluding that “we are going in the right direction, improving and advancing rapidly” in cybersecurity.

 

Photographer in Brussels, Belgium. Event Photography for the Spanish Chamber of commerce for Belgium and Luxembourg featuring Roberto Viola by Dani Oshi.

Fernando Picatoste, Leader of the Security Practice at Deloitte Spain

 

Picatoste underlined the importance of raising awareness among citizens of the need to advance in digital single market and cybersecurity. In order to progress, the collaboration of all countries, the proactivity of member-states and the flow of information for greater protection will be required.

The event ended with a gift to Roberto Viola from the Chamber and Deloitte in recognition to his work as General Director of DG Connect.

From the Chamber we want to thank the collaboration to Paul Van Dinter and Bodegas Tierra, for sponsoring the wine of the event.

 

Luncheon-debate with Neven Mimica, the Commissioner of International Cooperation and Development – 8 December

The Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg held last 8 December a luncheon-debate with the Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, about “The role of private sector in EU Development Cooperation in light of the 2030 Agenda”.

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The event, sponsored by the technological consultancy firm Indra, was attended by members of the Chamber, corporate executives, members of the Spanish and the international diplomatic corps, and European Union representatives. The luncheon-debate began with the welcoming remarks by the President of the Chamber, Juan Rodríguez-Villa Matons, who thanked the Commissioner for his participation, and Iñigo de Palacio, Director of Institutional Relations of Indra, for the collaboration of the company as sponsor company.

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De Palacio gave a short summing up of Mimica’s professional background and announced the main development projects which Indra is currently implementing in Africa. Thus, he highlighted the importance of the collaboration of the private with the public sector, providing it its experience in different fields, such us in the energy one, transport or health, in order to make the cities more stable and the citizens more secure. “There should be a greater coordination between the companies and the European Union”, he said.

The Director of Institutional Relations of Indra gave the floor to the Commissioner Mimica, who started his intervention thanking the Chamber for his invitation to the tribune “Business Circle” as a honour guest. The speaker first reminded that in 2015, the European Year for Development, numerous agreements were signed to promote the cooperation. For example, in July of that year the Third International Conference on Financing for Development was held in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) and ratified afterwards in New York. Then, he pointed out the Agenda 2030 scopes and highlighted the higher investment for development. In this sense, Mimica stressed the EU’s willing to combine the traditional funding sources with new public-private partnerships.

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The speaker introduced the new package of proposals announced last week by the Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO). Those include the creation of new employments in Africa and helping the most vulnerable sectors of the population in the integration into the workplace. “In this way, we will create new markets and big opportunities will emerge for Europe”, he said. Mimica stressed, however, that for achieving these goals the collaboration with the private sector is essential. The European Commission, in this sense, can offer to the companies the right business environment with the developing countries as well as helping them to invest in order to address the market weaknesses.

The European Commission can encourage dialogue between the private sector and the developing countries through, for example, the business forums in which they take part in. The Commissioner also referred to the European External Investment Plan, announced last September, which promotes the investments in Africa and in the EU neighbour states, in particular to help the economic and social infrastructure as well as the SMEs to address the obstacles for the private investment.

Mimica also explained the steps that a company has to follow to implement a project cofinanced by the EU: firstly, the company has to present the project to the Commission; this reviews it; the EC takes the final decision and, if it approves it, it looks for the financing in the European banks.

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The Commissioner expressed as an example the success of the projects implemented in Latin America in the energy, transport, climate change and health sectors. Moreover, he highlighted the one developed in Nicaragua to improve the quality of the water.

Mimica finished his speech emphasizing that «cooperation is not about charity; it’s about the actions carried out and not only the words”. During the question time the attendees could raise him their doubts. Those included questions about the European External Investment Plan or the guarantees which the EC must ensure to the companies for letting them implement the projects in the Agenda 2030 framework.

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Mimica answered in detail to all the questions and highlighted the EU’s willingness to review and monitor the sustainable projects carried out by the private sector. “These should look for the human development, seek to eradicate diseases in Africa, for example, and reinforce the healthcare system”, he said.

The Chamber and Indra concluded the event giving a gift to Neven Mimica in recognition to his work as Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development.

We would like to thank the winery Bodegas Corral for sponsoring the wine of the event.

Luncheon-debate with the Head of Economic and Market Analysis of the European Stability Mechanism (EMS), Juan Rojas

The Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg hold on the 24th November in the Cercle Münster of Luxembourg a luncheon-debate with the Head of Economic and Market Analysis of the European Stability Mechanism (EMS) Juan Rojas, about “Accessing sovereign markets and current trends in ex-programme EFSF/ESM countries”.

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The event was attended by representatives from Spanish and international companies, as well as by members of the Chamber, and began with the intervention of the Vice-President of the Chamber, Sergio de Miguel-Jessel. He thanked the assistance to both the speaker and the attendees and made a quick review of the professional background of Rojas.

Juan Rojas began his speech explaining that during the crisis several countries lost access to the market (Portugal, Cyprus, Ireland and Greece). In the case of Spain, he highlighted the tightening of financial conditions in an environment marked by the doubts about the financial system. That created the need to ask for ESM’s financial assistance, which has a specific role for this sector of the economy. Hereafter, the speaker summarised the analysis of the strategies followed by the countries to recover (Portugal, Ireland and Cyprus) or to strengthening (Spain) investors’ confidence, because in his opinion, this is especially relevant to face effectively periods of volatility in the financial market.

The first step towards that strategy consisted on the adoption of the measures included in the programmes (the MoUs). The ultima goal was to have healthy public finances, a sustainable public debt and structural reforms to enhance the potential growth of the economies and improve the efficiency of the economic system.

Rojas commented that these activities led to the recovery and strengthening communication lines with the market participants and have a more regular contact with them, which allowed to identify the market segments where there was a sufficient demand. “This permanent contact gave market access to the treasuries with punctual and irregular operations, and the syndications geared to lengthening the existing profile in the short term and generate reliance on the country’s capacity”.

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The Head of Economic and Market Analysis also pointed out some of the measures that were adopted to enhance the role of market creators (financial institutions with the purpose of encouraging market liquidity in the secondary market of public debt): search for potential demand, give liquidity to the secondary market and haven access to a wide range of investors.

Finally, the speaker highlighted that in the countries they lost investment-grade credit rating like Portugal, Ireland and Cyprus, an effort was made to generate a liquidity basis to complete the programmes with the financing necessities covered in the short term (around a year). “The objective was to reduce exposure to the market volatility”, he explained. All this process was accompanied by the BCE decisive action and the extension of the amortization deadlines of the EFSF/ESM loans, with easier financing needs.

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Juan Rojas then replied in detail to the questions raised by the Spanish Ambassador in Luxembourg, Mr. Carlos Maria de Lojendio y Pardo Manuel de Villena, and by the President of the Chamber, Juan Rodriguez-Villa Matons.

The event finished with the handing over of a gift to Rojas by courtesy of the Chamber, in recognition of his labor as Head of Economic and Market Analysis of the European Stability Mechanism (EMS).

We would like to thank the collaboration of the winery Salferso Wine, who offered the wine in the event.

Luncheon-debate with Juhan Lepassaar, Head of Cabinet of the Vice-president of the Commission, Andrus Ansip

The Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg organized last Thursday 15th of September in Brussels a luncheon-debate with Juhan Lepassaar, Head of Cabinet of the Vice-president Andrus Ansip, about the “Digital Single Market”.

The event, which was attended by representatives of different European institutions, lobbyists, members of the Chamber and Spanish and international company heads, began with the intervention of the President of the Chamber, Juan Rodríguez-Villa Matons. He started his speech thanking the speaker for his attendance and he gave a short summing up of Lepassaar’s professional background. Rodríguez-Villa Matons highlighted his “great trajectory” in spite of his youth. Furthermore, he mentioned the last proposals announced by the Comission on the 14th of September related to the Digital Single Market. This project was undertaken by the Vice-president Andrus Ansip in May 2015 and it has become one of the most ambitious Commission fields.

Juhan Lepassaar during his speech.

Juhan Lepassaar during his speech.

After the introduction, Lepassaar started his presentation making a reference to the last reforms of the Commission: the modernisation of the copyright rules, the e-commerce regulation and a better choice and access to content online. The Head of Cabinet also reminded the topics in which his team is working, such as the elimination of the roaming fees or the free and public WiFi in the European Union. “Next week we will launch a new proposal to make sure that every European enjoys the roaming”, he announced.

At question time the attendees could raise some issues with him, such as the regulation of competence in e-commerce, the concerns of various sectors about the new digital divide rules, or the banks and other entities role in this era of increasing digitalisation. He was also asked about the coordination of the radio spectrum policy, another striking field of the Digital Single Market.

The presidential table of the luncheon-debate.

The presidential table of the luncheon-debate.

Lepassaar replied in detail to every question raised and highlighted the European Union willingness to boost economic growth through the Digital Single Market, taking into account all actors involved.

The Chamber concluded the act giving a gift to Juhan Lepassaar in recognition to his work as Head of Cabinet of the Vicepresident Andrus Ansip.

We would like to thank the winery Martínez Lacuesta for sponsoring the wine of the event.

Breakfast-debate on “The reform of intellectual property in the European Union” with María Martín-Prat

Last Wednesday, 25th of May of 2016, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg organized a breakfast-debate with Maria Martin-Prat, Head of Unit – Copyright – DG CNECT, who made a presentation on “The reform of intellectual property in the European Union”.

The presentation began with the intervention of the Chamber’s Vice-president, Pablo López Álvarez, who thanked María Martín-Prat for participating at the breakfast-debate and made a review of her professional career. After that, Ángeles López Lobatón, Telefónica’s Director of Juridical Advising Movistar Plus, sponsoring company of the breakfast-debate, did also an introduction to the presentation, referring to their new acquisition Movistar + and their labor of production and provision of channels to third parties.

DSC_0021retocadaMaría Martín-Prat reviewed the current issues on intellectual property and copyright in the European Union, focusing on the audio-visual content although she also referred to other contents affected by copyright.

The speaker highlighted the matter of the territoriality and the challenge that supposes the existence of different domestic markets inside the European Union when homogenizing the policies relative to the intellectual property. She stressed the fact that the European Union is formed by 28 Member states and that each one has its own legal regimes faced to the wide and general community regulation of the directives. This means that every Member State applies them differently within the framework of the general regulation.

María Martín-Prat wanted also to make a distinction among the terms “regulation” and “directive” when regulating copyright, in reference to the proposal of copyright’s reform that will be presented after the summer. She also stressed the importance of a long-term jurisdiction.

The talk was followed by a round of questions, in which some of the attendees asked their doubts to the Head of Copyright’s Unit concerning the issues of roaming, the rights of competition and intellectual property or the need to act on the canon services.

The Chamber celebrates the success of the breakfast-debate and is grateful for the collaboration of all the participants to the event.

Luncheon debate with Román Escolano, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank

Last Thursday, the 21st of April, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg organized a luncheon-debate at “The Hotel” with Román Escolano, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank, on “European Funds for Strategic Investments”.

The event counted, among others, on the presence of representatives of various European institutions, lobbyists, members of the Chamber and managers of various Spanish companies.

The event started with a presentation by Juan Rodríguez-Villa Matons, President of the Chamber of Commerce, who presented the speaker to the audience by going over his professional career until his incorporation at the European Investment Bank.

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Hereafter, Román Escolano started his lecture by presenting the European Investment Bank. He explained the current role of the EIB in the economy as one of the oldest financial institutions of Europe. He emphasized its nature as a bank in terms of being an institution sensitive to the current economic issues. The EIB is a non-profit organization but is oriented towards obtaining some benefits and providing real value to the market.

The 28 Member States of the European Union are represented at the EIB. Román Escolano presented the breakdown of the capital account in which he emphasized the participation of Spain as one of the major clients in recent years.

During the second part of the presentation, Román Escolano  talked about the European Fund for Strategic Investments. By means of this fund they aim to mobilize the private sector and to change the way in which public money is spent. The speaker emphasized at all times the fact that this instrument should not be considered a fund, but a guarantee to attract the private sector.

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After the presentation, a question time took place. The attendees raised various doubts to the Vice-President concerning future projects, start-ups and structural funds, among other things. During the answers he emphasized the primary function of the EIB: supporting the real economy by means of bank lending, the combination of different resources and counseling.

The event ended with handing over a gift to Román Escolano on the part of the Chamber in recognition of his efforts at the European Investment Bank.