20/06 General assembly meeting 2022

The Chamber’s ordinary General Assembly will be held on 20th June. It will take place at 18:30 at the Cervantes Institute in Brussels (Avenue Louise 140, 1050 Brussels). The General Assembly is the statutory framework that enables members to participate, personally, in the life of our entity.

The presentation of candidatures, whether renewals or new appointments, for members of the Board of Directors, must be notified to the Secretary General of the Chamber in writing signed before 6 June (secretariogeneral@e-camara.com) and must comply with the conditions set out in article 22 of the statutes of the Chamber.

It is hereby stated that, as from the publication of this notice of meeting, the members are entitled to consult and obtain at the registered office of the Chamber the documents subject to deliberation at this meeting and in particular, the Annual Accounts and Management Report for the financial year 2021; the certifications of the Annual Accounts issued by the Auditor and the full text of the by-laws of the Chamber.

The General Assembly may be attended by members who are up to date with their membership fees five days prior to the General Assembly and who are registered on the official list of members. Members who are unable to attend the General Assembly may be represented by another member present. To do so, the member must send by e-mail to the attention of the Secretary General, a signed power of attorney, in which he/she grants his/her representation to another member, at least two working days before the date of the Assembly.

The Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg elects new president

After its annual general meeting, the new board of directors of the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg today unanimously elected Pablo López-Alvarez as president for the next three years. Pablo López-Alvarez, director of the consulting group FTI Consulting and currently vice president of the Chamber, succeeds Juan Rodriguez Villa (Aspro Parks Group), who held the presidency for the last 11 years.

After his election, the new President expressed his “gratitude and honor for the appointment” and his commitment “to, together with the renewed Board of Directors, ensure continuity of the great work carried out by the Chamber under the leadership of my predecessor.”

“My priority is to continue promoting the dual role of the Chamber, as a facilitator of investment and commercial flows on a bilateral level, and as a platform for dialogue between Spanish companies and European institutions. All these activities will be pursued in an environment that is  constantly evolving as a result of the acceleration of digital transformation, decarbonisation and new hybrid work models,” said López-Alvarez.

“Belgium has traditionally been one of the main destinations for Spanish exports, but given its dynamism and openness, it is a market that offers room for growth and new opportunities for our companies, which we must take advantage of. The same can be said of Luxembourg, which, after Brexit, has seen its leadership as a financial hub strengthened”, highlighted the new President.

“On the other hand, we cannot ignore the fact that the Chamber is located in the capital of Europe and that far-reaching and transformative initiatives are currently being developed in Brussels such as the Green Deal, the revision of digital regulations, the redefinition of trade relations with the United States and China, and the development of environmental and social taxonomies or recovery plans. It is crucial that Spanish companies contribute actively. The Chamber is already channelling that contribution, but there is no doubt that we can do more. We must also serve as a transmission belt to help Spanish companies anticipate new trends and opportunities that may arise from political or regulatory decisions at the European level,” added López-Alvarez.

In his farewell Juan Rodriguez-Villa, who has served as president for 16 years, during two different stages, declared: “It has been a great honor to be president of this Chamber and to be able to defend and promote the interests of Spanish companies in Belgium and Luxembourg, as well as to project the Brand Spain (Marca España) in the capital of Europe. I leave with a feeling of duty accomplished. Thanks to the great work of our board of directors and our team, I think I can say, with all modesty but also with special pride, that I am leaving the Chamber at the best moment in its history and with great potential for development ahead”.

The Chamber’s management team counts with two new vicepresidents: Abelardo García (BBVA), representing Belgium and Joseba Arriortua, representing the Delegation in Luxembourg. The Board of Directors is completed by representatives of the following companies: ArcelorMittal, Aspro Parks Group, Atrevia, BBVA, everis (NTT Data), GA-P, Iberdrola, Indra, LaLiga, Mercadona, Meteora, One Life, Racine, Santander or Telefonica.

 

 

 

 

General Assembly Meeting 2021

Last Thursday, June 24th, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg held its Ordinary General Assembly. Due to the current sanitary restrictions caused by the COVID-19, the Assembly was held for the first time in a hybrid format.+

After the agenda was read out, the President of the Chamber, Juan Rodríguez-Villa Matons, took the floor. He first thanked the members present for their attendance and then announced his decision to resign as President. After an emotional speech, recalling the milestones of his work at the Chamber for 16 years, the President thanked all the people who took part in the resounding success of the institution. He highlighted the work of the Vice-President Pablo López, since his appointment in 2010, whom he acknowledged to have served as President “de facto”, during the long period of crisis in which we are still in. He also celebrated the positioning the Chamber as a point of reference for Spanish companies abroad, especially in terms of European agenda and visibility before the European institutions. Until the election of a new President by the Board of Directors, Vice-Chairman Pablo López Alvarez will act as Acting President.

Then, the Secretary General, Marta González Benguria, reviewed the main activities and events organised by the Chamber in the past year 2020. The Secretary General highlighted the positive trend in the increase in the number of members in the last year, with a growth of more than 8% compared to the previous year. This trend is positive not only in quantitative terms, as the Chamber has 6 new sponsoring members, from 34 to 40, an increase of almost 18%.

She also underlined the organisation of online events as one of the tools to continue with the traditional activities of the Chamber in a context of pandemic. Thus, the Chamber organised 53 events throughout 2020, mainly online, in close cooperation with its members. Of particular note were the online events developed in the framework of the “Business Circle” Platform which was able to attract important figures from the European institutions. The novelty of this 2020 were the working committees: the launch of “Competencia España”, focused on competition law and policy, and the “Spanish Financial Forum”, whose objective is to share experiences and generate business opportunities for Spanish companies in the financial sector.

Then, the Secretary General highlighted the role of the Chamber in the management of several European projects, two of which, for the first time, the Chamber has a coordinator role. In addition, the commercial area also remained active despite the paralysing effects of the pandemic on the economy, with 255 commercial consultations, and 9 direct trade missions.

Finally, she detailed the main items corresponding to the Balance Sheet for the financial year 2020, which was subsequently approved by all those present and represented. For the first time, the balance sheet exceeded one million euros and the profit was 125,177 euros.

The President then proposed the candidate members for presentation to the General Assembly and the General Assembly elected, for the first time with a telematic voting system, the following 8 members as vocals, representing their respective companies for a period of 3 years:

– Antonio Corpas (OneLife)
– Bert Dehandschutter (Racine; Degor)
– Sergio De Miguel-Jessel (Partner in his personal capacity)
– Abelardo García González (BBVA)
– José Gracia Barba (Meteora)
– Sophie Leconte (everis)
– Asier Marquina Sánchez (ArcelorMittal)
– Manuel Menéndez Barrero (Santander Consumer Bank)

After the vote, Vice-President Pablo López Álvarez intervened as Acting President to pay tribute to the outgoing President, Juan Rodríguez-Villa, whom he described as “the best President the Chamber could have had”. After acknowledging his admirable career and the important legacy he leaves behind, he proposed his appointment as “Past President”, for the remaining year of his mandate as Board Member. This appointment was unanimously approved by the members present at the General Assembly, who gave the President a heartfelt round of applause. The Vice President undertook to convene a Board of Directors meeting shortly to elect a new President and announced his candidacy.

 

María Palanca Reh, Economic and Commercial Counsellor of the Spanish Embassy in Belgium and Luxembourg, then took the floor to recognise the excellent performance of the Chamber, especially in a pandemic situation. She thanked the Secretary General, her team and all the members involved in the Chamber’s activities. After reiterating the official nature of the Chamber from the Spanish public administration, she concluded by thanking the outgoing President for his dedication. Finally, tribute was paid to the former Secretary Generals, María Catalán and Miguel Ángel Arrimadas, who spoke briefly to convey their thanks to the Chamber and to the outgoing President. Additionally, the President of the Chamber thanked all the young trainees for their vitality and commitment to the Chamber.

 

On July 2nd, a telematic meeting of the Board of Directors will be held to vote and appoint the next President of the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg.

 

 

General Assembly Meeting 2020

On June 24th, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg hosted its General Assembly Meeting. Due to the spread of COVID-19 in Belgium and in order to follow the social distancing measures, the Assembly had to be celebrated in an online format.

 The Ambassador of Spain in Belgium, H.E. Ms. Beatriz Larrotcha Palma, and the Ambassador of Spain in Luxembourg, H.E. Mr. D. Bernardo de Sicart Escoda, both presidents of Honor of the Chamber, were present during the Assembly. The Economic and Commercial Counselor of the Embassy, Ms. María Palanca Reh, also attended the meeting as vicepresident of Honor of the Chamber.

 The President of the Chamber, D. Juan Rodríguez-Villa Matons, took the floor firstly to thank the present members its attendance and he apologized for any eventual technical problem because of the format that may have. He also wanted to wish to all the members and its families the best against this pandemic. The President also mentioned the main news regarding the staff with the appointment of Marta Gonzalez Benguria as Secretary General after María Catalan left the post and the enrollment of Javier Rincón Cruz as Business Development Manager. The President wanted to thank María Catalan for its outstanding dedication to the Chamber for many years. The recognition was also extended to Miguel Ángel Arrimadas that leaves the Treasurer post. After this he gave the floor to the Secretary General of the Chamber.  

Marta Gonzalez Benguria explained the agenda of the Assembly and afterwards summarized the main activities and events organized by the Chamber during 2019. She also made a brief resume of the current situation that the Chamber is facing due to the impact by the COVID-19 and the lockdown measures taken. The Secretary General highlighted the rising tendency in the number of members in the last years that has been consolidated in 2019. The diversification in the Chamber’s activities during the last year was also highlighted with a special mention to the new services available for members in Luxembourg. At the end of its speech the Secretary General presented the beginning of the management of PICE international mobility program from the Spanish Chamber and supported by the European Social Fund.

Based on the statutes and as a recognition for all the years of dedication, the Secretary General and the President proposed to the Assembly to validate María Catalan and Miguel Ángel Arrimadas as Honor members, being validated by the Assembly by acclamation.  

 Due to the absence of the Treasurer in the Assembly and as the documents were sent to the members the income and expense accounts, the income statement and the balance sheet for the 2019 financial year were set as presented and approved by acclamation.

After this the President proposed the candidates to the General Assembly. Given that the number of vacancies in the Board of Directors was equal to the number of candidates and as no one expressed against, the Assembly approved the following (4) candidates as members of the Board of Directors for a 3-year period:

  • Juan Alfonso Herrero (Mercadona)
  • Pablo López Álvarez (FTI Consulting, Hispania y Alvarez & Associates)
  • Carlos Rodríguez Cocina (Telefónica)
  • David Luengo (Indra)

 Additionally, the appointment of Abelardo García González (BBVA) was ratified by the Assembly.

The Ambassador of Spain in Luxembourg, H.E. Mr. D. Bernardo de Sicart Escoda took the floor for itself and in the name of H.E. Ms. Beatriz Larrotcha Palma, Ambassador of Spain in Belgium, to thank Miguel Ángel Arrimadas and María Catalán for its work over the last years.

The President of the Chamber thanked the Secretary General and its team for its work as well as to the young stagiaires for their vitality and commitment with the Chamber. Last but not least, he wished to best of luck to all the presents in this difficult time due to the current health crisis.

Juan Rodríguez-Villa Matons and Pablo López Álvarez, reelected respectively President and Vice President of the Chamber

The Board of Directors of the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg, in their meeting organized on September 26th in Brussels, reelected unanimously Juan Rodríguez-Villa Matons and Pablo López Álvarez as President and Vice President of the entity, respectively, for a period of three years.

The President thanked the trust of the Board and considered that the achievements of the Chamber are the result of the teamwork between this organization and the Secretary General. The renovation of the President and Vice President, he added, responds to the wish of continuating with the work carried out during the last years that has led to an important growth of the Chamber, both in terms of activities and services and member companies (currently 242).

The Vice President, during his intervention, reiterated his commitment to, together with the President and the Board of Directors, keep boosting the Chamber as a key platform in BeLux for Spanish companies and in the dialogue with European institutions.

During the meeting, it was also presented the report of activities of the Chamber during the last months and the program for upcoming events.

 

General Assembly Meeting 2019

Last 27th of June, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg celebrated its General Assembly Meeting for the year 2018. The meeting took place at the Hotel NH Collection Brussels Grand Sablon and was attended by more than forty representatives of associated companies.

The Ambassador of Spain in Belgium, Ms. Beatriz Larrotcha Palma, and the Ambassador of Spain in Luxembourg, Mr. D. Bernardo de Sicart Escoda, both presidents of Honor of the Chamber, presided over the Assembly. The Economic and Commercial Counselor of the Embassy, Ms. María Palanca Reh, also attended the meeting.

At the beginning of the Assembly, the President of the Chamber, Mr. Juan Rodríguez-Villa Matons, thanked the members for their assistance and highlighted the importance of the support that the Chamber receives from the Spanish public administrations, and in particular from the Embassies of Spain in Belgium and Luxembourg. After this introduction, the word was given to the Secretary General of the Chamber.

Ms. María Catalán set the agenda of the Assembly and afterwards summarized the main activities and events organized by the Chamber during 2018. She also presented the programs managed by the Chamber such as the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs, ReActivate, EmprendeBelux and EmpleoBelux.

Then she presented the figures corresponding to the income and expense accounts, the income statement and the balance sheet for the 2018 financial year. After the approval of the annual accounts for the year 2018 and the Board of Directors’ management, the last point on the agenda, corresponding to the vote to fill the vacancies in the Board of Directors.

After a brief presentation of the ten candidates, the participants proceed to the vote, and the following members of the Chamber were elected to the Board of Directors  for a period of three years:

  • Iberdrola, represented by Eva Chamizo, director of the Brussels office
  • Gómez-Acebo & Pombo, represented by Miguel Troncoso, lawyer / partner
  • Joseba Arriortua, Personal partner
  • LaLiga, represented by Andrea Oriol, delegate BENELUX
  • Conle Finance, represented by Juan Rodríguez-Villa, delegate administrator
  • Atrevia, represented by Ángel Rebollo, director of the Brussels office

The Ambassador of Spain in Belgium expressed her gratitude to all the Spanish companies for representing a solid and fundamental business network for the Spanish economy. She also stressed that the heads of mission should support companies to overcome difficulties and expressed interest in keeping permanent contact with companies and support them in their activities developed in BeLux.

Lastly, the President of the Chamber thanked the Secretary General and her team for the work they have been doing. To close the Assembly, the attendees could enjoy a cocktail.

The Ordinary General Assembly 2019 documentation will be available to members through the Intranet of the Chamber.

Meeting of the Board of Directors

On April 16, a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Chamber took place in Brussels.

During the meeting, the appointment of Sophie Leconte as member of the Board of Directors on behalf Everis Belgium was confirmed, replacing Óscar Abril.

Hereafter, the President informed about the recent meetings of the Official Spanish Chambers of Commerce Abroad held in Madrid, and the change on FEDECOM´s presidency.

To conclude, the Secretary General presented the upcoming activities of the Chamber program, highlighting the Spain Means Innovation program and the events organized in the framework of the “Business Circle” Tribune.

General Assembly Meeting 2018

Last 28th of June, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg celebrated its General Assembly Meeting, which took place at the Instituto Cervantes headquarters in Brussels. The meeting was attended by Ms. Cecilia Yuste, Ambassador of Spain in Belgium and Honorary President of the Chamber, and several members of the Chamber.

 Juan Ródriguez- Villa Matons, President of the Chamber, welcomed all the attendees. He also exposed the gains achieved so far as well as the new targets and challenges that the Chamber will be this coming years.

At the same time, Juan Rodríguez- Villa reminded those presents the service vocation of the Chamber with the Spaniards living abroad.

After this introduction made by our president, the word was given to María Catalán, Secretary General of the Chamber.

María set the agenda of the Assembly and afterwards presented the Chamber activities report done during the last year, including courses, events, programs, and paying special attention to the Erasmus For Young Entrepreneurs program, to the Chamber job website and to the Commercial activities.

The services offered by the Chamber were reminded to the attendees. Besides, the expenditure and revenues figures, the income statement and account balance were detailly explained. After the approval of last financial year annual accounts as well as of the Board of Directors management, the Assembly gave in the last point of the agenda: the voting of the new spokesperson vacancies.

Once they all had been presented to the Audience, the Assembly proceeded to vote, resulting on the election for a new three- year term of the following members:

  • BBVA, represented by Javier Arias, Group Head European Affairs
  • ArcelorMittal, represented by Asier Marquina, EU Institutional Affairs Manager
  • Everis Belgium, represented by Óscar Abril, Partner
  • José Luis Rodríguez Álvarez, in a personal capacity
  • Meteora, represented by José Gracia Barba, President
  • Racine, represented by Bert Dehandschutter, Lawyer
  • Santander Consumer Bank, represented by Manuel Menéndez Barrero, CEO- Managing Director
  • Sergio de Miguel Jesser, in a personal capacity.

The Ambassador, Ms. Cecilia Yuste thanked the work done by the Spanish companies and the chamber in the promotion of the commercial and cultural activity of Spain in Belgium. Once again, she showed the commitment of the Embassy and the willing to keep on working next with the Chamber in those activities that help to promote the image of our country abroad.

To close the Assembly, the attendees were greeted with a cocktail offered by Mediterránea, a member company.

All the documentation relative to the 2017 General Ordinary Assembly will be at all the members’ disposal through the Chamber’s Intranet.

General Ordinary Assembly 2017

Last 21st of June, the Chamber celebrated its 2017 General Ordinary Assembly, which took place at the Instituto Cervantes’ new headquarters in Brussels. For such an event Ms. Cecilia Yuste, Ambassador of Spain in Belgium and Honorary President of the Chamber, joined several members and representatives of Spanish public institutions who were also attending.

Juan Rodríguez-Villa Matons, President of the Chamber, welcomed all the attendees. He also congratulated Mr. José Gracia Barba, who has been recently elected as the Chamber’s Vice President in Luxembourg, and his predecessor, Mr. Sergio de Miguel-Jessel, on the great efforts endured during the establishment of the Chamber in Luxembourg in 2012, as well as its dedication to the Chamber ever since.

Afterwards, the Ambassador and Honorary President of the Chamber Ms. Cecilia Yuste, thanked all the attendees and the Chamber for its activities promoting commercial and cultural Spanish activities in Belgium. Mrs. Yuste also offered its support to the Chamber’s mission and restated its will to cooperate with initiatives to promote the “Spain Brand” like the Fiesta Nacional next October 12th.

The Assembly proceeded with the reading and following approval of the last General Extraordinary Assembly’s minutes, which took place on November 24th, 2016, by the Secretary-General, María Catalán. Once the minutes were approved, Ms. Catalán presented last year’s activities report. Among them, she highlighted the increase in members enrolled, commercial activities and events organized under the Business Circle tribune.

Moreover, she detailed the new workshops, the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs Program and the novelties in the communication department, which include new webpages and improvements in those already in place.

To finish with, the Secretary-General reviewed the activities developed by FEDECOM (Federation of Official Chambers of Commerce of Spain in Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania) and the upcoming activities for 2017.

After the approval of the list of members, Ms. Catalán exposed the annual account of 2016 to the Assembly. After a detailed explanation of the balance sheet and the outturn account, the annual account was approved unanimously by all the attendees.

Finally, the Secretary-General announced the candidatures received to replace the four committee members whose terms were over. Once they had all been presented to the audience, the Assembly proceeded to vote; resulting on the reelection for a new three-year term of:

Mr. Pablo López Álvarez (FTI Consulting)

Mr. Miguel Ángel Arrimadas García, in a personal capacity

Mr. David Luengo Riesco (Indra)

Mr. Carlos Rodríguez Cocina (Telefónica)

Furthermore, the Ambassador and the President thanked, in the name of all the attendees, Mr. Felipe Formariz, from the Spanish Tourism Office in Brussels as well as Institutional Board Member of the Chamber, for its support to the Chamber and its remarkable efforts during the past years.

Finally, the President of the Chamber and the Instituto Cervantes director, Mr. Felipe Santos, signed a collaboration agreement between both institutions to promote and strengthen the Spanish for business in Belgium and Luxembourg.

To close the Assembly, the attendees were greeted with a cocktail offered by Blasco Gourmet, a member company, at the Instituto Cervantes’ offices.

All the documentation relative to the 2017 General Ordinary Assembly will be at all the members’ disposal through the Chamber’s Intranet.

Luxembourg, 24 November 2016 – Extraordinary General Assembly

The Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg held last Novemdsc_0574ber 24 in Luxembourg its Extraordinary General Assembly. The Ambassador of Spain in Luxembourg and Honorary Chairman of the Chamber, his Excellency Mr.Carlos María de Lojendio y Pardo Manuel de Villena, attended to the meeting, which took place in the Cercle Münster.

During the Assembly, the budget for 2017 was presented and the statuary adaptation, according to the comments received by the Servant Lawyer, was debated. Likewise, the Secretary General informed the members about the next activities of the Chamber