Breakfast-Conference: “Understand and promote the compliance”

Last 6th of February 2018, the Chamber organized a conference about the comprehension and the promotion of the compliance in collaboration with DS Avocats Law Firm. The event was attended by many representatives of Spanish and Belgian companies, as well as EU organization’s representatives, who were interested on the impact this topic could have on them, wanted to know which steps to follow in order to avoid the penalties their companies may suffer.  

First, Jean-Marie Salva, partner of DS Avocats, started by pronouncing some welcome words and by thanking the attendees for their participation before presenting the law office’s work around the world. Then, he presented Ángela López de Molina, partner of the law firm, who will set a headquarters office in Madrid on March 1st.

During her presentation, López Molina spoke about the current legislation in Spain, which since the change of the Penal Code in 2015 which allows to impute criminal responsibility to the legal persons, requires the companies to design a crime prevention plan.

The compliance was created in 1970, in response to the corruption experienced by the United States through the legal persons.

The crime prevention plan is set as a series of measures of surveillance and control implemented to prevent the commission of crimes or, at least, to try to reduce significantly the possibility of being committed. To do this, it is necessary to count on the “Compliance Officer”, that is a person in charge of preventing all the possible crime situations and trying to solve them.

Furthermore, it is necessary for all the employees to have access to that plan and to expressly accept it. As a conclusion, Ángela mentioned the prevention, detection, answer and supervision activities necessary to credit that the company acts according to the law.

Later, Michel Debroux, partner of DS Avocats, exposed the evolution of the compliance through the years in Europe, which changed from something voluntary to something mandatory.

Debroux pointed out the existence of cultural differences to show the difficulty in unifying the action criteria, even inside a same company with offices established in different places of the world. Thus, he underlined the necessity of taking into account the local specificities to suit in law.

In the case of a company with offices in different places of the world, it is necessary for all of them to apply to the rules of the headquarter office and to its owns, as they have to fit in the local customs.

Thus, the compliance is a process which requires the organization, integration and verification of the regulatory compliance.

As López Molina explained, the speaker described the main tasks that the “Compliance Officer” needs to accomplish. He needs to establish a list with the potential risks. Therefore, he will need to be totally integrated in the company and has to be able to deal with crisis.

Finally, to conclude, the partner of DS Avocats presented what they call “the 10 rules of the perfect compliance project” in which the main characteristics to respect in order to manage perfectly this project are summarized.

The conference took part in a participatory environment during which every attendee had the opportunity to express their doubts and talk with the speakers.

In collaboration with:


The Chamber’s 2018 diaries are already available

The Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg’s 2018 diary is already available.

We encourage you to pick up yours in our headquarters in Brussels and in the delegation of Luxembourg.

The Diary includes a list of the members organized by activity sector as well as all the information about the services that the Chamber offers to its members.

We thank the advertisers for their collaboration:



FTI Consulting Ranked as the Fastest-Growing Midsized Company in Brussels

The Belgian branch of our sponsor member FTI Consulting has been ranked as the fastest-growing midsized company in Belgium on the past five years by the Trends Tendance magazine. “As a worldwide leader consultant company we are often awarded, but this is a special award because it is referred to all business areas, not only consultancy. Being leaders in such a competetive and open market makes all our team feel really proud” states Pablo López-Álvarez, directive of FTI and also Vice President of the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg.

In Belgium, FTI has around 100 working professionals in the areas of economic, communication, public affairs and regulation consultancy. Listed on  the New York Stock Exchange, FTI Consulting is working in 29 countries and has a total of 4,700 workers, making more than 1,600 millions of euros last year.


Collaboration of the Chamber with the fishing sector in Galicia

The Secretary of the Galician Federation of fishermen’s associations, Mr. Sergio López García, showed his gratitude for the collaboration received from the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg, in the organization of the Galicia-Flanders fishing matters meeting, held on the 6th December in the headquarters of the Vlaamse Visveiling, entity controlling the marketplaces in Zeebrugge, Oostende and Nieuwpoort.

The federation looks forward to continuing to work closely with the Chamber in the interest of the Galician fishing sector and the improvement of the commercialization of  sea products.

The Chamber welcomes the service given to the fishing sector in Galicia and opens the door to new opportunities for cooperation.

CEDENOR. S. A. – New sponsor of the Chamber

We have the pleasure to introduce you the new sponsor of the Chamber: CEDENOR, S. A. CEDENOR is a consulting firm specialized in tax and labor advisory and consultancy services. Its aim is to offer a personalized, agile, dynamic and professional service to individuals and self-employed professionals and companies of any size.

CEDENOR’s office in Brussels, established in 2015, offers information, advice and identification in European funding opportunities. Likewise, CEDENOR provides information on European project development to enterprises.

The company also provides services oriented to the internationalization of Spanish enterprises, organizing trade agendas, managing administrative procedures, counselling on international commerce, etc.

Among the projects that CEDENOR is managing are IMC company consortiums ( and Santander Global Metal (, as well as several actions for UNATE’s adult University UNATE (

Founded on the philosophy of  integral support in all possible fields of action, CEDENOR always tries to contribute on giving solutions to the problems raised finding the tools and the external support required.

Luncheon-Debate of ONCE and their Foundation with Marianne Thyssen, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility

The training management and employment boost models hold by ONCE and its Foundation (on top of their social companies ILUNION) supported by the co-managed investment from the European Social Fund (ESF) have managed to boost over 60.000 job opportunities for people with disabilities in Spain during the past 15 years.

These data were presented today by the President of the ONCE and its Foundation, Miguel Carballeda, to the European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen, during the luncheon-debate organized by the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg for a hundred businessmen and European Community authorities.


Carballeda explained how the organization works to achieve “a more inclusive, accessible and competitive Europe”. He emphasized the need to keep building “partnerships for disabilities” from which over 80 million citizens within the EU benefit, four of them living in Spain. “We highlight in Brussels the value of disability and of people with disabilities to prevent them from being put at risk” he said.

The President of the ONCE and its Foundation explained how the social organization model works, based on the management of the responsible gaming by ONCE; the boost to the rights, the training, the employment and the accessibility for people with disabilities (among other aspects) and the consolidation of social companies within the Organization that, under the denomination of ILUNION, are an “example that the social and economic profitability can go hand in hand generating a real shared value and commitment with the citizenship.”


Commissioner Thyssen, who visited ILUNION in Madrid a few months ago, explained how the European Social Fund has become a “catalyst” to invest in inclusion and support those social groups that are disadvantaged. She valued the transnational initiatives that took place in Spain and she emphasized the work of ONCE and its Foundation and its capacity to bring together “relevant actors beyond their own boundaries”.

Thyssen shared the ONCE and its Foundation´s point of view, wishing to “end the charitable approach that exists towards disabilities” and assured that the work of the Organization and its social companies ILUNION are “a source of inspiration and an example to follow by the Community policies for people with disabilities”. “Together we will make a more social and fair place of the European Union” she concluded.


Strong partnership with Europe

Alberto Durán, Vice-president of the ONCE Foundation, highlighted the “solid” partnership they have with the European and Spanish authorities, as manager of the operational programs of the European Social Funds, particularly acting as intermediate body of the Spanish Operational Programme “Fight Against Discrimination”, which allows to boost “cooperation networks for employment and training with other public and private agents in Spain and Europe”, strengthening ESF´s work.

Durán noted before Thyssen how the partnership´s model “multiplies” the positive effects of the European funds for people with disabilities. In fact, over 230,000 people in Spain benefited the last 15 years of the different training programs, 60,000 of them obtained a job, “half of them being women with disabilities”.

Chambre de Commerce d'Espagne et Luxembourg

Furthermore, the management of these funds of ONCE and its Foundation made Disability a relevant topic in the European agenda, within diversity management, inclusion and corporative responsibility, aspects to which he committed the efforts of the Organization “now and in the future”.

“We want to contribute to the fact that Spain will be a reference in this chapter, but above all, we offer our support and experience to all of our European colleagues, to demonstrate that the talent, the spirit of improvement and enthusiasm of the people with disabilities transcend borders and it is an essential contribution for building a smart, sustainable and inclusive Europe, ” he said.


Advertising campaign: “On the right path”

The ONCE and its Foundation took advantage of the event in Brussels to release the traditional advertising campaign of social awareness about people with disabilities in the European capital, which often coincides with Christmas time. On this occasion the topic precisely has the value of the 15 years of partnership with Europe and the jobs which it has allowed to boost, such as “life opportunities to those who will have more difficulties”, in the words of Miguel Carballeda.

In the campaign, the protagonists are people with different kinds of disabilities who have found an employment and show their daily life at work. This way, it can be seen how the laboral integration is but, above all and being the most important thing, how social inclusion is in the working groups, with colleagues, showing that they can contribute more together to the companies and society in general, with the slogan “On the right path”.

The whole day, the delegation of ONCE and its Foundation also celebrated a meeting with Juan de Arístegui, Permanent Representative Ambassador of Spain in the EU, who knew and appreciated all of them, among other meetings of interest with MEPs and representatives from the European Commission.

Chambre de Commerce d'Espagne et Luxembourg


“The EU funds for SMEs”

Jorge Cisneros, Member of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg, presents his book “The EU funds for SMEs “.

This is a guide to understand the European Union and its funds for companies, as well as to provide access to application submission and participation in the European Development Funds and External Aid.

Prepared by an expert in the field, it is a practical tool to dispel doubts of a company concerning the European Union as a facet of aid to SMEs and to understand the objectives set and to improve economic competitiveness.

It provides an overview of the main aid programs for companies, essential knowledge for all professionals who would like to get into this unknown world.

More information

Luncheon-debate with Ignacio García Bercero, Director at the DG for Trade of the European Commission


Last Wednesday, 16 September, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg organized a luncheon-debate with Ignacio García Bercero, Director at the DG for Trade of the European Commission, about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and its implications to Spain.

The event, sponsored by Repsol, was attended by representatives of European Institutions , lobbyists, members of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce and corporate executives, among other participants.

The President of the Chamber of Commerce, Juan Rodríguez-Villa Matons, welcomed the attendees and presented the speaker to the audience, going over his trajectory and highlighting his relevant professional experience.IMG_8636

García Bercero presented the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership pointing out that it is “the most ambitious” agreement within the European Union. It is, in fact, a “winning proposal for the EU and the US” that will establish the rules and principles that will regulate the commercial and investment relations between both sides of the Atlantic.

After two years of conversation, and supported by the majority of the European Parliament, the agreement is still in the “hard negotiation” phase, but will hopefully be concluded before the next presidential elections of the United States.

The TTIP broaches traditional subjects such as custom duties, service trade restrictions or public procurement, but goes further, dealing with delicate and sensitive subjects for both sides, such as investment and energy. Consequently, the final partnership has to be “balanced, competitive and ambitious above all”.

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In the second part of his intervention, the speaker focused on the benefits that the agreement would bring to the Kingdom of Spain, explaining that big companies but also SMEs would profit from it.

Following the presentation, attendees had the opportunity to ask Ignacio García Bercero questions. They raised their doubts about Intellectual Property, dataflow and CETA to which the Director of the DG for Trade provided detailed replies.

The event ended with the delivery of a gift to García Bercero by the Chamber and by Repsol, as an expression of gratitude for his collaboration with the institution. The wine served during the event was sponsored by Pernod Ricard.






Atrevia, consultancy communication sector leader, is installed in Brussels

The communications consultancy Atrevia has installed in Brussels in the context of its international expansion. Atrevia is present in 11 countries in Europe and America.The Atrevia’s team in Brussels is directed by Ángel Rebollo, expert on the institutional and european framework with experience as a European Parliament advisor. The office of Atrevia in Brussels is located in the facilities of the Official Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg (Rue Belliard 20, 1º- 1040 Brussels).

Atrevia thrives in the field of institutional relations and public relations with the inauguration of the new office in Brussels. With its opening, Atrevia will closely be in charge of relations and related projects with the corporations.

The president and founder of Atrevia Nuria Vilanova said “Atrevia is growing to follow its clients in their strategic projects, because large Latin American and European companies need specialists in the field of consulting bodies which are near major decision-making bodies”.

“For this reason the company decided to open an office in Brussels, where they hope to represent and to monitor key issues of institutions and multilateral agencies. Atrevia has to be present where important decisions are made”, he claims.

As explorers of new communication paths, Atrevia has become a benchmark on innovation and knowledge about internal Communication, being pioneers in research in fields such as internal communication, female leadership, digital communication or values and culture in the family business. They are disseminators of knowledge through research forums and meetings in collaboration with business schools like IESE or IE, as well as through the edition of reports and publication of books.

New Year’s Cocktail 2015

Last 21st of January the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg celebrated in Luxembourg a New Year’s Cocktail where members, entrepeneurs and senior management and representatives of European Institutions and other local institutions were present. Furthermore, it counted with the presence of His Excellency Mr. Carlos de Lojendio and Pardo Manuel de Villena, Ambassador of Spain in Luxembourg.

Mr. Juan Rodriguez-Villa, President of the Chamber of Commerce, welcomed the assistants and highlighted the evolution of the delegation of the Chamber in the Grand Duchy since its opening in 2012 and its activity of last year. The President thanked the members of the Board of Directors of Luxembourg for their work and effort during this period.

After that, Sergio de Miguel-Jessel, Vice-President of the Chamber of Commerce, who showed the role of the Chamber last year in Luxembourg and invited the assistants to toast for 2015, predicted a positive growth of the activity and provision of services.

The event, that took place at the Meliá hotel of Luxembourg, counted with a relaxed atmosphere among the more than 60 assistants, who could enjoy an aperitif accompanied with Spanish wine. The cocktail ended with the draw of a flight to Madrid offered by the company Luxair.