Tag Archive for: Luncheon-debate

Luncheon-debate with Xavier Prats Monné, Director General for Health and Food Safety of the European Commission

On 5 April the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg organized a luncheon-debate in Brussels with Xavier Prats Monné, Director General for Health and Food Safety of the European Commission.


More than 70 persons attended the event, among them representatives of Spanish and European governmental institutions, managers of international companies and lobbyists of the sector.

DSC_0230The President of the Chamber, Juan Rodríguez-Villa, welcomed the attendees and presented the speaker, Xavier Prats Monné, and highlighted his great professional career and the European Institutions.

Hereafter, Xavier Prats Monné started his presentation regarding the prospects of the DG Health and Food Safety and the global Europe 2020 strategy. In his speech he highlighted the importance of Europe ensuring a greater degree of transparency and promoting the exchange of knowledge between the Commission and society.

DSC_0296During Question Time, reference was made to the European economic crisis. Xavier Prats Monné came to a positive conclusion of the current situation of the food industry and pointed out that “We managed to overcome the crisis and we remain an attractive sector for clients”.

Finally, Juan Rodríguez-Villa thanked Xavier Prats, Director General for Health and Food Safety of the European Commission, for his participation by handing over a gift in recognition of his effort for a healthier Europe.

The Chamber would like to thank Pernod Ricard for their collaboration, who were sponsors of the wine of the event.


Luncheon-Debate with Carlo Thelen, Director General of the Chamber of Commerce of Luxembourg

DSC01785Last Wednesday, 21 October, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg organized a Luncheon-Debate in Luxembourg with Carlo Thelen, Director General of the Chamber of Commerce of Luxembourg. The event was attended by the Ambassador of Spain in Luxembourg, Carlos de Lojendio y Pardo Manuel de Villena, as well as representatives of European Institutions, members of the Chamber and corporate executives, among other participants.

The Luncheon started with the intervention of Juan Rodríguez-Villa Matons, President of the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce, who welcomed the participants and Mr. Thelen for his collaboration, highlighting his professional career and the important role of the Chamber of Commerce in Luxembourg in the Grand Duchy.


Carlo Thelen started his exposition introducing the current macroeconomic context, pointing out the oil falling, a historically low tax interest, an unconventional monetary policy and the depreciation of the euro. Then, the speaker focused in his speech on the bilateral economic relations between Spain and Luxembourg, as well as in the different trade promotion activities carried out by Luxembourg in Spain.

Afterwards, the President of the Chamber of Commerce of Luxembourg introduced the most relevant sectors and those with the highest investment potential in the Grand Duchy, such as finance, logistics, technological and communications sectors, and the Eco-technological sector.

Mr. Thelen finished his speech stating the challenges of the Luxembourgian economy. He provided public administration data about the growth and the politics the Government of Luxembourg is expecting to carry out in the upcoming years. Regarding this, he highlighted the strategy of the “Third Industrial Revolution” which is intended to be developed between the Chamber of Commerce of Luxembourg and the Government of Luxembourg.

After a round of questions among the attendees, the Economic and Commercial Counselor of the Embassy of Spain, David Martínez Hornillos, closed the event displaying economic bilateral data between Spain and Luxembourg, and pointing out the ability of the economy of Luxembourg to adapt to structural changes.

See Carlo Thelen’s presentation



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Europe needs more Industry and Industry needs more EuropeCommerce

On 9th of July, the Chamber of Commerce of Spain in Belgium and Luxembourg celebrated in Brussels a luncheon-debate with the General Director of DG of Enterprise and Industry of the European Commission, Daniel Calleja, whose presentation referred to “The Industrialisation of Europe”. The event was sponsored by the partner company REPSOL.

The President of the Chamber, Juan Rodríguez-Villa, wished to thank and emphasize the merits of the rapporteur during his long and successful career, with a great variety of activities which demonstrate his service to society in the presence of representatives of SMEs and international institutions.

During his exposition, Daniel Calleja explained the main lines of action in the industrial policy of UE. In this sense, the strategic agenda of the Commission is determined by five priorities which have been stated by Heads of States and Governments:
· Competitiveness, growth and employment.
· Establishment of an internal market of energy
· Immigration Policy
· Political relationships between United Kingdom and UE.
· Transatlantic treaty with EE.UU.

Each of these topics is related to the General of Enterprise and Industry Directorate, whose objective is to reach a significant industrial growth in the EU.

00daniel-calleja-1“Multiple reforms and measures have been adopted in the last years, but these are not sufficient without a realistic and effective growth strategy and promotion of industrial projects. The European Union has to enhance its attractiveness on the investment and this results in optimising the productive activity of the Eurozone”, the General Director pointed out.

The Commission has established as objective that the industry represents the 20% of GDP of Europe in 2020. Daniel Calleja emphasized that the political goal is possible but it is necessary to focus on the special correlation between industrial activity, innovation, internationalization of companies and employment. A reorientation of the activity of Europe is fundamental.

Last March, the European Council confirmed the strategy of the Commission and invited them to define a roadmap based on four main pillars:

In the first place, a better access to internal and external markets. In Europe one out of four companies operates in the European market and only one out of eight develops its activity outside the European borders. The efforts concentrate on abolishing technical and tariff barriers, the consolidation of Internal Market of Services and the adoption of new trade businesses like the agreement with EE.UU that will convert these powers in the strongest commercial area.

00daniel-calleja-2In the second place, facilitate access to resources for companies: the financing (regional financing and Horizon 2020 Program); access to energy, necessity of the transparency of prices, a common policy with third countries and a more efficient interconnection; access to raw materials (improving the economic and political diplomacy) and, besides, access to training, with the leading of dual models.

Innovation is the third pillar. Through the Horizon 2020 Program, innovation should be promoted and a solution will be provided for the main problems of EU: high levels of social spending. This challenge results in transforming the Welfare State without setting aside our social model.

The last pillar is focused on the creation of an excellent business atmosphere. In this sense reducing bureaucracy, facilities to create companies and business transfers are demanded.

Finally, the General Director wished to transmit a message:  “Europe needs more Industry and the Industry needs Europe”.  The European Union, business associations and the Chambers of Commerce must cooperate in order to favour industrial growth.

After a short question and answer period, the President took the floor to thank Daniel Calleja for his presentation and collaboration with the Chamber of Commerce as well as REPSOL for sponsoring the event.



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