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Czech Presidency Facts & Figures, Personalities & Priorities, Events

Agenda Award

The Shortlists and Winners 2008 and an Interview with Hans-Gert PĂśttering


Europe for Patients and the Health Agenda for the coming year

Highlights 2008 – Outlook 2009 The people and events that shape EU Politics


Setting the agenda for 2009


his issue comes out just in time for the European Agenda

behind the presidency. The five policy aims that have been set out are

we celebrate on 3 December. Today, Brussels is the politi-

eralisation, energy, security, budgetary issues and stronger alliances with

Summit and the European Agenda Award 2008, which cal heart of a Europe that has to respond to enlargement, globalisation and freedom of information, to embrace a wide diversity of cultures, traditions and values. The Euro-

pean Agenda Award provide the European public affairs community with an opportunity to honour their best ef-

forts, celebrating the year’s best Commissioner, think tank,

association and political journalist.

aimed towards increasing European competitiveness through more libNATO and the US. As Czech president Vaclav Klaus has, in the past, been a

vocal eurosceptic, it will be interesting to see how a EU presidency under the aegis of the Czech Republic will develop, especially given that Klaus

has also voiced doubts over human culpability for climate change. Perhaps Europe will have to look to Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek, who will head foreign and European policy.

We also explore the recent Commission efforts in improving health

Among the winners, we profile Meglena Kuneva, whose tireless work on

across Europe, including cross-border healthcare which gives European

the Year award. We also talk with the winner of Politician of the Year, Eu-

This initiative would appear to fit well with the next Presidency focus:

behalf of Europe’s consumers has earned her this year’s Commissioner of

ropean Parliament President Hans-Gert Pöttering, about what it means to be European and the struggle for unity in diversity.

With the award out of the way, we look ahead to the new year, when

Europe will turn its collective attention to two crucial changes: the EU

Czech Presidency and the inauguration of Barack Obama as US President.

citizens the right to travel to other Member States to seek treatment. ‘Europe Without Barriers’.

I hope you find this last issue of 2008 a stimulating read, and look for-

ward to keeping you abreast of EU developments next year.

And while the timing of the two events may be coincidental, the matters

are very much related, as transatlantic relations will be an important feature of both incoming Presidencies.

In the following pages, we look at the policies the Czech Republic in-

tends to focus on during its six months in office, as well as the people

Grit Fiedler



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Photos: archive; European Parliament; European Business Summit


TYPICALLY The Czech Republic: A Country in Numbers


CZECH PRESIDENCY Political leaders and timeline


CZECH PRESIDENCY Facts and figures


CZECH PRESIDENCY Presidency priorities




NEWS From EU Brussels


AWARD European Agenda’s Winners 2008


INTERVIEW Hans-Gert Pöttering, President of the EP


AGENDA January - June 2009


ENTREPRENEURSHIP Parliament of Entreprises


ENTREPRENEURSHIP Educating young entrepreneurs


ENTREPRENEURSHIP Innovation: Solar Impulse


HEALTH Europe for Patients


HEALTH Interview




HEALTH Regulatory developments


PEOPLE Personnel changes




BOOKS 4 new titles


Czech Presidency Leaders, p. 8

Interview with Hans-Gert Pöttering, p. 22

Agenda 2009, p. 25

Editor in Chief: Grit Fiedler Editors: Richard Morgan, Azra Ahmed, John Clulow, Dafydd Phillips, Paul Thomas Graphical Concept: Steffi Butter, Christina Ohmann Layout: Melanie Schröder, Verena Philipp Illustration: Burkhard Piller Photo Editors: Moritz Vennemann, Jesse Benjamin


Cover:, Managing Editor: Max Obenaus ( Business Development Director: Cristina Silva ( Publisher: Rudolf Hetzel, Torben Werner Editorial office: Rue Philippe le Bon 64, 1000 Brussels Belgium

Tel.: +32 (0)2 219 22 90 Fax: +32 (0)2 219 22 92 E-mail: Helios Media Friedrichstraße 209 D-10969 Berlin Print: Druck Vogt GmbH, Schmidstraße 6, 10179 Berlin

— 5—


Typically Czech?



on education.

Slovaks (1.9%), Poles (0.5%), Vietnamese

12% of Czechs in the Czech Republic live in Prague, the capital city.

65.3% In 2006, the Czech Republic had a 65.3%

employment rate for persons aged 15-64, just higher than the EU average of 64.7%.

13,970 Gross Domestic Product per capita in US dollars.


of people living in the Czech Republic are Czech natives. The minorities include the (0.44%), Germans (0.4%), and Gypsies.

73.4 years was the average life expectancy for Czech men in 2006.


Czechs drink 157 litres of beer a year, almost twice the amount of bottled water.


In 2007, the Czech Republic welcomed 6.7 million tourisits.

Sources: Eurostat, Global Peace Index

of the Czech Gross Domestic Product is spent

of Czech households are connected to the internet (2005).

— 6—



A Country in Numbers


of Czech citizens believe that there is a God – the second lowest rate among EU countries.

59.4% of marriages in the Czech Republic end in divorce, one of the highest in Europe.


years was the average life expectancy for Czech women in 2006.

10 381 130 is the total population of the Czech

Republic in 2008, with about 104 women per 100 men.


is the average number of children born to each woman in 2007, just below the 1.5 EU average.


According to the 2008

Global Peace index, the Czech Republic is the 17th safest most peace-

ful country in the world (out of 140 countries) .


is the average monthly wage for Czech workers in Euros.


of representatives in the lower house of the Czech Parliament are women.

16th Reporters without borders, the Czech Republic has 16th freest press in the world.


— 7—


The Czech Republic in the EU Political Leaders PRIME MINISTER: MIREK TOPOLÁNEK

With his frequently voiced euroscepti-

Mirek Topolánek is the current prime minis-

for the EU under Václav Klaus.

Democratic Party. He has been

cism, it should be an interesting time

ter of the Czech Republic, from the Civic

Klaus graduated from the Uni-

chairman of the right-wing

versity of Economics, Prague, in

neo-liberal Civic Democratic

1963 and moved into politics

Party since November 2002,

during the Velvet Revolution in

succeeding Václav Klaus. Topo-

1989, when he became Federal

lanek was appointed Prime

Minister of Finance. In April 1991

Minister by Klaus on August 16

he co-founded the Civic Demo-

2006 when he introduced coali-

cratic Party, and won a parliamentary

election with this party in June 1992 and

tion government – 9 members from

the Civic Democratic Party and 6 inde-

became Prime Minister of the Czech Republic. Here he was part of the ‘Velvet

pendents, which failed to gain confidence. He then put together a centre-

Czech Republic. On February 28, 2003, he was elected President of the Czech

cratic Union - Czechoslovak People’s Party. In October 2007, Topolánek

Divorce’ of the Czechoslovak Federation and the creation of an independent

Republic and then re-elected by the smallest margin possible on February 15

2008. Klaus’ euroscepticism is the defining policy position of his presidency, claiming accession to the Union represented a significant reduction of Czech sovereignty. In 2005 Klaus called for the EU to be “scrapped“ and replaced by a free-trade area to be called the ‘Organisation of European States’.

right coalition government with the Green Party and Christian and Demointroduced his Five Prime Minister’s Priorities, which cover Healthy Public Finances, Modern and Efficient State, Safe Citizen in a Safe Country, Removing Barriers, Promoting Science and Education. He is also is actively

engaged in negotiations with the United States for the the location of a radar defending against ballistic missiles fired on Czech territory.


Nov-Dec 1989

A highly repressive political climate in

Following the suppression of a peaceful student

and tolerant in the 1960s, combined with

violent revolution in Czechoslovakia, known as

the 1950s which had become more open a seriously declining economy brought

the Prague Spring, a period of reform un-

der Alexander Dubcek, which sought to liberalise the Communist regime.

demonstration in Prague by riot police, a nonthe ‘Velvet Revolution’, took place, culminating

in a two-hour general strike of all citizens of Czechoslovakia on 27 November, which overthrew the Communist government.

June 1990

15 February 1991

1 January 1993

Czechoslovakia held its first free democratic elec-

Czechoslovakia, along with Hungary

Following negotiations, the Slovak parliament

of the population voting. A coalition government,

Visegrad Group for the purposes of

the Slovak Nation, which finally brought about

tions since 1946, electing Václav Havel with 95% where the Communist Party had a minority of ministerial positions, was formed in Dec 1989.

— 8—

and Poland, became a member of the

cooperation and furthering their European integration.

approved the Declaration of Independence of the peaceful dissolution of Czechoslovakia and the independent Czech Republic and Slovakia.


Photos: czech parliament (2); archive





Karel Schwarzenberg has royal roots,

Alexandr Vondra was the foreign

VI of Schwarzenberg and Princess

from September 2006 to Janu-

being the eldest son of Prince Karl

minister of the Czech Republic

Antonie von Fürstenberg. He is a

ary 2007 and has been a Senator

longtime friend of Václav Havel,

for the Civic Democratic Party

and from July 1990 to July 1992

(ODS) since autumn 2006.

he worked as Chancellor of the

On January 9 2007, during the

then President. Between 1984

new government reshuffle, he

and 1990, he chaired the Inter-

was appointed Deputy Prime

national Helsinki Committee, try-

ing to improve the human rights situ-

Minister for European Affairs. He

graduated in geography from Charles

ation in Eastern bloc countries and in 2006 he was appointed Minister for

University in Prague in 1984, receiving a Doctor in Natural Sciences degree

as Minister, President Klaus was very reluctant, stating that he had strong

demonstration in January 1989, Vondra was imprisoned for two months. In

Foreign Affairs as an independent for the Green Party. When nominated links to Austria and thus would not be able to defend national interests. As a result, the government created a new post, Deputy PM for European Affairs, designed for Alexandr Vondra, which split the foreign agenda, leaving

the Czech Republic with essentially two ministers for foreign affairs, each with quite a different view of the country’s foreign policy.

one year later. In the mid-1980s he was a dissident and after organizing a November 1989, while the Velvet Revolution was underway, he co-founded

the Civic Forum. Between1992 and 1997, he served as the First Deputy Min-

ister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic and from 1997 to 2001, Vondra served as the Czech Ambassador to the United States, where he oversaw the process of the Czech Republic’s integration into NATO.

19 January 1993


12 March 1999

The Czech Republic entered the UN, but already

The Czech Republic joins the Organisation

Nato expanded its mem-

for Economic Co-op-

former Soviet states: the

existed as an original member in 1945 as Czecho-

slovakia. Its objective: to promote “an international environment oriented towards the development of political and economic cooperation on the basis of

joint identification and management of threats and

Photos: EP ; archive

risks, preferably by political and peaceful means”.

eration and Development (OECD), a group

based on representa-

tive democracy and free-market economy.

Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland.

January 2009

1 May 2004

Václav Klaus’government

The Czech Republic joins European Union, its biggest enlargement to date with

dency of the European

10 nations, mostly former Soviet bloc states. This was the largest single enlargement in terms of people and landmass, though the smallest in terms of

GDP, and went towards a more unified Europe in terms of the East-West divide.


bership to include three

will take over the PresiCouncil, the first time the Czech Republic has lead the European Union.

— 9—


The Czech Republic Facts and Figures Capital City: Prague Other major cities: Brno, Ceske Budejovice


The Czech koruna is the national currency


The landlocked Czech Republic gets its water from 3 seas: the North Sea, the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea.

78,866 km2

The 21st largest country in the EU - 1.8% of the total landmass.

1,602 m

is the highest point in the country - Mount Snezka


was the Czech Republic’s lowest temperature in 2008.


The Czech Republic is a democratic country where the Parliament holds the central role

in the political system. The Czech constitutional order is divided into 3 powers: executive (represented by the Cabinet and the President), legislative (represented by a two-chamber Parliament, with a 200 member Chamber of Deputies and an 81 member Senate), and

judiciary. The formal head of state is the President, who appoints the Prime Minister, the head of the government. The Prime Minister has the right to set the agenda for most foreign and domestic policy, mobilise the parliamentary majority, and choose government ministers. As the Czech system repeatedly produces very weak governments (a specific


problem is that about 15 per cent of the electorate support the Communists, who are shunned by all the other parties) there is constant talk about changing it but without

much chance of pushing the reform through. Running into the EU presidency, the current

government is a coalition of the Civic Democrats, Christian Democrats and Green Party are in power, led by leader of the Civil Democrats, Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek.

— 10 —

Czech Parliament



Priorities Keeping the EU in Czech In 2009, Europe will celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the

The continued existence of obstacles makes it impossible to fully exploit the

European Union. In light of this, the Czech Republic is particularly keen on

time, the Czech Republic understands that the EU is sometimes viewed from

Iron Curtain and the fifth anniversary of the biggest ever enlargement of the European integration, especially in relation to the internal market, and plans

to discuss the effects of enlargement on the functioning of the EU economy.

potential of individual Member States and the Union as a whole. At the same

the outside as a closed community. With this in mind, the Czech Republic’s main motto for its Presidency is ‘Europe Without Barriers’.



cooperation between the police, the judi-

areas of energy policy:

A barrier-free Europe will require more

The Czech Republic plans to concentrate on three key

ciary and institutions involved in asylum

a) the safeguarding of resources, the safety of energy

and migration of the Member States. The

transmutations, the transmission, distribution and

Czech Presidency will focus on: The crea-

supply of energy to the final consumer,

tion of an electronic network of national

b) the preservation of competitiveness,

judicial records; Implementing the final

c) the protection of the climate and the environment.

stage of the Hague Programme; Supervi-

sion of the projects SIS II and Visa Information System (including biometrics); and monitoring Bulgaria and Romania for their entry into the Schengen area.



is increased competitiveness, and one of

policy on: Political security (respect for

One of the Czech Republic key priorities the key enabling factors is innovation. It

is dependent in particular on the quality

and quantity of investment in education, research and development. The presidency


At the heart of the review of the EU budget-

Photos:; CERN;;

ary framework is the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The Czech presidency plans a decrease in the share of the

budget earmarked for agriculture in favour

will also be geared towards relieving the

heavy administrative burden and level of regulation attached to the European econ-

omy, which are often regarded as main drivers impinging on the potential and competitiveness of the business sector.

The Czech Republic will focus EU foreign human rights, freedom and democratic values, security cooperation in the context

of NATO, the global struggle against ter-

rorism); Economics (a stress on the free

market economy, liberal trade cooperation, steadily rising economic cooperation to

sustain economic growth); Climate change

(the shared commitment to cut emissions under the Kyoto process, commitments

within the G8); and developing transatlantic relations between the EU and the USA.

of more expenditure on education, research, development and innovation.


— 11 —


Opinion Transatlantic change a real transformation? by paul j. thomas

most relevant in terms of the EU: “Renew American diplomacy - Obama

and Biden will renew American diplomacy to meet the challenges of the 21st century. They will rebuild our alliances. And they would be willing to meet with all nations, friend and foe, to advance American interests.”

Obama’s proposed goals are certainly appropriate and on-par with his

“change” platform. The noble sentiments themselves look good on

received in the near future, then transatlantic relations might be well on their way to a full recovery even months ahead of his 20 January

inauguration. Afterall, it is highly unlikely that either McCain or President

Bush himself would have been able to draw such a crowd in Berlin, or garner such overall popular appeal on the continent of Europe. However, when the honeymoon is over and the

afterglow wears off there is real work to be done and certainly real damage to repair, a fact that the Obama administration is quite well aware of.


In January, the Czech Republic will have their turn at

the European Union presidency for the first time. The

incoming Czech administration promises an emphasis on further developing transatlantic relations, as well as a

focus on the regions of the Western Balkans and Eastern Europe. Countries such as Poland and Georgia are also

paper, but at the same time an 180-degree about-turn in foreign policy is not exactly a difficult task after eight romping years of the Bush

Administration’s bullying cowboy antics. If nothing else, the European

Union can most likely expect a change of tone, approach, methodology, behaviour and demeanor with Obama and company.

In terms of a more direct impact on how policy is carried out, the chances are that he will definitely not act unilaterally

Hopefully he is met with a receptive audience as he undertakes the goal of earning back the United States’ respect in the eyes of the world.

and in an impulsive or recklessly forceful manner, as his

predecessors have been known to do. A further area of particular interest will be to see how Obama not only stands up to Russia but works with them, and how he

will strengthen the alliances needed to pressure Russia to live up to its commitment to withdraw troops from

Georgia. Yet another sensitive priority is to bridge the communication gap with Iranian President Mahmoud

Ahmadinejad, while at the same time preventing Iran from creating or obtaining a nuclear weapon.


certain to be somewhere at the forefront of the agenda, particularly as

Great expectations hang in the air with a palpable excitement both in the

and often unreliable diplomacy unfolds. Furthermore, the slow-motion

a state of positive tension with Obama’s ascension to the most powerful

the US and Russia’s variety show of agressive-passive-agressive activity duelling missile defence interests of the US and Russia should not

necessairly give anyone peace of mind, least of all Europe, who must deal with the reality of being the inevitable buffer zone between the two

titans. At a recent joint press conference with Russian President Dmitry

Medvedev, Nickolas Sarkozy said that “We really must move forward... to remove sources of friction”.

US and abroad. Until Bush exits the Oval Office, the world will remain in

elected political position in the world. As the President-elect continues

to disarm his opponents at home, while even adding some of them to his administration, he has an equally large task ahead of him, and hopefully he is met with a receptive audience as he undertakes the goal of earning back the United States’ respect in the eyes of the world.

Despite talk of Obama diplomatically taking on Iran, which would also be

New presidencies

described such predictable issues as: “Secure loose nuclear materials

Republic on January 1, 20o9 and Barack Obama’s inauguration ceremony

a shared Western interest, the Obama-Biden team’s foreign policy goals from terrorists - Barack Obama will pursue tough, direct diplomacy

without preconditions to end the threat from Iran;” and perhaps the

— 12 —

The Presidency of the European Union will be entrusted to the Czech will take place on January 20, 2009.



If Barack Obama’s Euro-appeal is any sign of how he is likely to be


Interviews A transformational political figure Two leading US public affairs experts give their impressions of Obama, the US elections and predictions for the Future about chris cooper

about jake jones

the fields of general campaign

AG’s Washington office as

Chris Cooper has worked in


strategy, persuasion mail and

previously responsible for the

of statewide, congressional, and

Congressional Affairs of then

legislative candidates.

Daimler Chrysler in Washington, DC.


son to previous presidential campaigns? If so, in what regards?

The next President’s policy efforts with be greatly restricted and gov-

or a campaign like Obama’s. He is a transformational political figure, a

tax cut provisions expiring at the end of 2010. Therefore the impact of

It was absolutely unique. America has never seen a candidate like Obama bridge to an America that will be more diverse, tolerant and globally

aware. And his campaign harnessed online the enthusiasm of its supporters and translated that into unprecedented money and grassroots support, both of which were crucial in his victory.

Apart from legal aspects, would a similar campaign be possible in other countries?

erned by the current recession and further by the over $1 trillion in Bush

the President’s policy in the near term will not be overly significant. In general, how well does a US President really need to know Europe?

The next President needs to be intimate with the EU in order to urge and receive greater support in policing the world. At some point, we must

become more closely linked with European economies as we engage the developing markets.

I think it’s unlikely, barring a major change in the way party politics is

Will there actually be a political and economic about-face under Presi-

and he built his campaign outside the Democratic Party apparatus. He


structured in Europe. Obama, for better or worse, is a cult of personality; wasn’t even in federal office until 2005. Given the centralised, powerful

nature of political parties in Europe, I don’t see how a European Obama could rise up the way he did in America.

Photos: private, archive


Affairs and Public Policy. He was

management and PR for dozens

Do you think Barack Obama’s election campaign was unique in compari-


the company’s VP of External

media consulting, campaign



Which trends and developments you expect to see in future elections? The internet will continue to grow in importance and in ways hardly

imaginable today (YouTube didn’t even exist during the 2004 American presidential election!) The importance of party affiliation will continue

to decrease, because parties are increasingly less relevant in people’s lives.


dent Barack Obama or is the extent of a possible new beginning overI believe the President’s policy efforts with be greatly restricted and gov-

erned by the current recession and further by the more than $1 trillion in Bush tax cut provisions expiring at the end of 2010. Therefore the impact

of the President’s policy in the near term will not be overly significant. And with the structure of our government, big change is difficult, particularly in the short-term. I believe expectations for an Obama admin-

istration are likely not aligned with reality. However, he will only need a few major accomplishments to warrant a second term. The real test is to

avoid overreaching which leads to a big backlash and loss of control of Congress in 2010.

— 13 —


News from EU Brussels Elections

European Elections 2009 Between 4 and 7 June 2009, EU citizens will elect their representatives to the European Parliament for the sev-

enth time. It is currently impossible to know exactly how many MEPs the 492 million Europeans will have to elect

since, following the no vote by the Irish on the Treaty of

Lisbon, the institutional reforms, including the reform regarding the election of 751 MEPs, have been suspend-

ed. If the situation does not change, the elections will be organised in accordance with the Treaty of Nice, in which

case the EU Parliament will have 736 members. With 9 Member States in 1979 and 27 today, the European Parliament has grown in line with the various enlargements. It The format of next year’s Elections will depend on whether the Lisbon Treaty is ratified first


Europarl TV

remains the only directly elected European institution.


EuroSkills 2008


Simple Language The Alliance of Liber-

als and Democrats for Europe in the Committee of the Regions (ALDE-CoR) launched on

tember. The station, which gives watchers the

Between 18 and 20 September more than 400

ment live, is split into four different sections, allowing viewers to choose the area of interest

they want to follow. These areas include yourParliament, yourVoice, youngEurope and parliamentLive. A video library is also available to

allow viewers to watch and rewatch previously featured programmes. Europarl TV, which is currently available in 23 different EU language versions, can be accessed by logging on to:

— 14 —

efforts to improve the EU establishment’s

communication with

young people from 30 countries across Europe

Flo Clucas of ALDE

skills competition in Rotterdam. They competed

tion: “What language should the EU speak?”

titions to earn the title of best European techni-

Language. They aim to get the complex, often

took part in the Olympics-style EuroSkills 2008 against each other in 49 different skills compecian, designer, or craftsman or woman in their

trade. On the evening of Saturday 20 Septem-

ber, the EuroSkills prize winners received their awards at a festive closing ceremony attended by Ján Figel, the European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth.

its citizens. The group

is posing the ques-

The answer they have come to is that of Simple

confusing language spoken in Brussels simpli-

fied so that ordinary EU citizens can understand what is being said by their politicians. Details

of the ongoing campaign can be found at the group’s dedicated website:


Photos: Photo Parlement Europeen;

EuroSkills 2008 celebrates young European talent

opportunity to follow proceedings in the Parlia-


part of its continued

The European Parliament’s own online television station, Europarl TV, was launched in Sep-


2008 a campaign as

Europarl TV offers live viewing of the EU in action



50/50 Campaign launched


New EU digital library crashes


Czech EU Presidency’s sour note

The Czech sugar cube advert has caused confusion

The upcoming Czech EU Presidency’s campaign Commission VP Wallström is endorsing the campaign

Europeana’s creators did not expect it to be so popular

Key European and national women decision

The new digital library launched by the European

invitation of the European Women’s Lobby for

However, by 21 November the site had crashed,

makers met in Brussels on 16 September at the the launch event of the Campaign 50/50 No

Modern European Democracy without Gender Equality. The group is promoting the idea that

women should be as well-represented as men in European politics. In 2008, men occupy 82 per cent of parliamentary seats in the world and 77

per cent on average in the European Union. The 50/50 campaign comes less than a year before

the next European Elections, where the group hopes to see a more gender balanced result.

Union, Europeana, was launched on 20 November. after receiving an overwhelming 10 millions hits per hour–twice what Europeana’s creators had

foreseen. The website will now undergo a series of technical improvements, and is expected to be

back online in December. The site includes paint-

ings, photos, films, books, maps and manuscripts from 1,000 museums, national libraries and ar-

chives across Europe. When up and running again, Europeana will be accessible at:

slogan was officially launched in September, but its highly ambiguous meaning in Czech has left

some people confused. The slogan translates lit-

erally into English as “we‘ll make things sweeter for Europe”. However, it can also be translated as

“we’ll give Europe a taste of its own medicine”. Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek admitted

the phrase was ambiguous, but stated that the advertising campaign that accompanied the slogan would show that it was intended in an entirely positive way. Based on sugar cubes, a Czech

invention, the adverts show Czech celebrities doing amusing things with the sweet objects.


Photos: EC/G. Boulougouris;; Photo Parlement Europeen;

EU symbols in use Award

Sakharov Prize 2008 The European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for

Freedom of Thought has been awarded this

year to Chinese political activist Hu Jia. The prize ceremony will take place in Strasbourg on 17

The EU Parliament has formally recognised the EU flag

activist and dissident in the People‘s Republic of

The European Parliament formally recognised

es, including environmental issues, HIV/AIDS

of October 2008. A proposal to amend Parlia-

December. Hu Jia is a prominent human rights China. He has embraced a wide range of caus-

advocacy and a call for an official enquiry into the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. He has

been arrested several times, and was charged by Chines authorities with “inciting subversion

of state power” after speaking to the EU ParliaHu Jia, the 2008 Sakharov Prize recipient


ment whilst under house arrest.

the European Union flag, anthem and motto as ment’s rules of procedure so as to formalise the use of the symbols was approved by the Constitutional Affairs Committee, and then endorsed in a plenary session. The flag, a circle of twelve

golden stars on a blue background, is now acceptable to be displayed in all Parliament meeting rooms and at official Parliament events.

— 15 —



MEPs challenged on Recruitment Day At the European Parliament Plenary Session held


Parliament updates on RSS

in Brussels on 3 September, the Decent Work Decent Life Campaign launched the Decent Work Recruitment Day, asking MEPs to reaffirm and reinforce their commitment to promote Decent

Work for All. After having discussed the Europe-

an Commission’s Social Package the day before, MEPS were asked to support the Call to Action for Decent Work. During the reception, Jan Andersson MEP, Chair of the Employment Committee, addressed participants and urged decisionmakers to follow his lead and join the Call. Jan Andersson MEP called for action by his colleagues

RSS tools allow users to get their news all in one place

The European Parliament has introduced a “Really Simple Syndication” (RSS) tool, which brings


Young people encouraged by Y Vote 2009

together news updates from various sources in one place, to make them easier for online visitors to check. The Parliament’s web site, at www., now includes an RSS button, which can be used to access news content updates (e.g. titles, summaries and links) automatically gathered from various sources such as the

Headlines, Press service and Podcast sections. More information on how to access news stories

through the RSS services can be found on the Parliament’s website.

EU Accession

Soviet States’ EU aspirations The European Commission is to propose pulling

The Youth Agenda 2009 campaign was launched in Vienna between 14 and 21 September 2008. The key goal of the conference was to launch the Y Vote 2009 campaign, which aims to get young

European voting at next year’s European Elections, scheduled to take place between 4 and 7 June. This was created in the form of a document called Youth Agenda 2009. It contains the opinions and proposals of young Europeans considering different policies of the European Union that affect their

everyday lives and it will serve as a guideline for upcoming Y Vote conventions, of which more than 12 have already been scheduled. During the week-lomg conference, four working groups were set

up and were facilitated by the members of the Y Vote Coordination Team. The workshops were held

simultaneously for five days and the participants discussed topics including democracy, education, citizenship, multiculturalism, regionalism, EU and the World, mobility, migration and the EU social

model. In addition, six Members of the European Parliament, all of whom are actively involved in

youth policies at European level, attended the conference to debate with attendees. If more young people vote in next year’s elections, then the Y Vote 2009 campaign will have been successful.

— 16 —

the EU’s six post-Soviet neighbours closer to the West by recognising their European aspirations

and creating a new European Economic Area. However, a draft communique has also suggested that EU-Russia relations could have preferential status. The new EU policy proposes signing

“Association Agreements” with Belarus, Moldo-

va, Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan

in the next few years and to “acknowledge the European identity and aspirations of these countries”. But the draft then goes on to say that the new pacts do not amount to a promise of future

accession. If they are to go ahead, the pacts will involve the six states taking over the legal code of the European Union, among other things.


Photos: European Parliament; archive

The scheme is targeting groups of young people aged between 18 and 22 in an attempt to get them to vote


AGENDA JANUARY - JUNE 2009 EU Sustainable Energy Week 09.02.- 13.02.09

European Business Summit 26.03. – 27.03.09

Photos: European Commission; European Business Summit;; EC

European SME Week Parliament Elections 06.05. – 14.05.09


04.06. – 07.06.09

— 23 —



28.01.– 01.02.09

World Economic Forum 2009 davosklosters, switzerland host

world economic forum

The motto of the World Economic

co-chaired by, among others, Kofi

global public interest’, and the chal-

of the United Nations, and Rupert

Forum is ‘entrepreneurship in the

lenges in linking economic growth

and social development are everpresent. With the title ‘Shaping the Post-Crisis World’, the Annual Meeting of the World Economic

Forum integrates the top decisionmakers from all sectors of global society in the most representative

way, enabling them to set the international agenda at the start

of the year. Last year’s meeting was co-chaired by Tony Blair and

Henry Kissinger; this year, it will be

— 24 —

Annan, former Secretary General Murdoch, Chairman and CEO, News

Corporation, and Stephen Green, Group Chairman, HSBC Holdings. Participation is by invitation only

and strictly limited to the crite-

ria and quota of each stakeholder group. It is expected that 1,590 par-

Photos: World Economic Forum


ticipants from the business sector

will attend, 200 participants from governments and international organizations, over a hundred representatives of Civil Society, Thought Leaders, and Media.






European Year of Cre- Electricity Grid Reli- Communicating Europe in Partnership ativity & Innovation ability Conference location

prague, czech republic host

czech presidency, ec

The European Year of

Creativity and Innovation will be officially opened

at an EU conference in Prague, on the 7th of Jan-

uary 2009, as the Czech Republic is chairing the


european parliament, brussels, belgium host


countries are expected.

cating Europe in Partner-



ship – Beyond borders and cultures”. Facilitating

a growing network of press officers from civil

society organisations, the EESC provides a plat-

ference aims to listen and to understand dur-

ing Member States, EU

form for exchange of best

practice in the area of

ing an open exchange

Mario Sepi, EESC President communication and in-

ent aspirations and

tents. The network, and this event in particular, are

MEP Alejo Vidal-Quadras involved. The ultimate goal is to identify com-

tween civil society organisations and all European

institutions and a wide

and debate the differ-

range of stakeholders.

concerns of the parties

ity and at all levels. While education and culture

mon ground in order to manage and to operate

other policy areas, such as enterprise, information

dal-Quadras, MEP Jery Buzek and Tomas Huner,

society, employment or regional policy.

seminar on “Communi-

ness to NGOs, the con-

a major initiative involv-

will be at the centre of the Year, it feeds into many

press officer networking

regulators, from busi-

tivity and Innovation is

initiatives in different domains of human activ-

ticipants from around 35

eesc, brussels, belgium

from policy makers to

European Year of Crea-

The aim is to exploit and

ference, some 350 par-

The EESC is hosting a


stakeholders together,

first half of the year. The

promote creative and innovative approaches and

an Grid Reliability Con-

Bringing electriciy grid

EU Presidency in the

Commissioner Ján Figel‘

For this first Pan-Europe-

the grid securely. Speakers include MEP Alejo ViCzech Deputy Energy Minister.

formation on policy con-

intended to ensure more effective cooperation beinstitutions. Therefore this seminar is organised in cooperation with the European Commission, the

Parliament, the Council of the EU and the Committee of Regions. Speakers include Claus Sorensen, Jo Leinen, Ján Figel‘ and Luc van den Brande.

further events +++ 07.01.2009 Kick-off Conference on European Year of Creativity and Innovation, Czech Presidency, Prague +++ 07.01.2009 Government

Meeting with European Members of the Commission, Czech Presidency, Prague +++ 08.01.2009 Informal GAC, Czech Presidency, Prague +++

08.01.2009 - 09-01.2009 Gender Mainstreaming High Level Group, Czech Presidency, Prague +++ 15.01.2009 - 16.01.2009 Informal Meeting of Ministers for Justice and Home Affairs, Czech Presidency, Prague +++ 20.01.2009 - 22.01.2009 11th Annual European Airfinance Conference, Euromoney, Dublin +++ 21.01.2009 - 23.01.2009 European Business Ethics Forum, CEA-CED, Paris +++ 22.01.2009 INCOM (Conference of Ministers for Research on Innovation, Research and Development), Czech Presidency, Prague +++ 22.01.2009 - 24.01.2009 Informal Meeting of Employment and Social Affairs Ministers, Czech Presidency, Prague +++ 28.01.2009 - 29.01.2009 Water and Energy Exchange Summit, WEX, Marbella

+++ 29.01.2009 - 30.01.2009 Informal Meeting of EU Ministers for Development Cooperation, Czech Presidency, Prague +++ 29.01.2009 - 30.01.2009

In Search for Security of Energy Supply of Eu Member States on the Common Electricity Market (PAN SOLUTIONS), Czech Presidency, Ostrava +++ birthday of the month


Piia-Noora Kauppi MEP

Photos: EC; private




































SA Tuesday











Parliament: Session




External Parliamentary Activities

Conciliation Committee

Flags: National Holidays

— 25 —



09.02. – 13.02.09

EU Sustainable Energy Week brussels, belgium & locations across europe host

dg energy & transport

Sustainable Energy is providing

The EUSEW is the key event for

needs of the present are met with-

in Europe and the world, gather-

energy in a way that ensures the

out compromising the ability of future generations to meet their need. Sustainable Energy Europe

is an initiative by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Energy and Transport to raise

awareness and change the land-

scape of energy. Together with other European Institutions and major stakeholders concerned with

sustainable energy, it is putting on the third edition of the EU Sus-

tainable Energy Week (EUSEW).

— 26 —

sustainable energy-related issues ing over 10,000 participants in its last edition (February 2008). It will

take place in Brussels and other cities across Europe, although many

side events are foreseen during

the weeks immediately before and after.The events organised during

Photos: European Commission


EUSEW cover key topics that high-

light the multi-sectoral nature of sustainable energy development

and stress the need for everyone to work together towards a common goal.



20.02.– 21.02.09

Transnational collective bargaining location

ulb, brussels, belgium host

cevipol, ulb, dublea, etuirehs



relations have unevenly evolved within different

levels of interest representation. Still, issues like

the inter-relatedness of various levels and its im-

New Techniques & Tech- EuroRail 2009 nologies for Statistics The NTTS (New Tech-


charlemagne building, brussels, belgium

niques and Technologies

for Statistics) seminar is an international scientific conference on the impact



systems. The conference is

Moreover, the recent en-

facilitate the preparation

and Development, to en-

challenges faced in such

a competitive market, as well as how to use the opportunities created through rail’s stra-

tegic advantages in a market geared towards sustainability. With co-

modality so high on the

courage co-operation and

Michael Clausecker, UNIFE

sortia by researchers with

has a chance to capitalise and position itself as

official statistics. Thus, such a conference would try

cerned with environmental and sustainability

Walter Radermacher, Eurostat

possible building of con-

snational collective bargaining arena, processes

the aim of enhancing the quality and usefulness of

of cross-border solidarity are becoming highly im-

to establish a research agenda for statistics for the

multi-level governance.

how to overcome the

Programme for Research

ropean countries open

forms of social dialogue in a European system of

to meet and discuss

for the 7th Framework

Central and Eastern Eu-

portant. The conference will analyse the different

panies and associations


of new innovative projects

European Union to the

of socialisation and the building up of networks

try’s leaders from com-


intended to stimulate and

largement waves of the

tors entering the tran-

form for the rail indus-

duction and dissemination

action have not yet been

research. With new ac-

berlin, germany

statistical collection, pro-

plication for cross-border

up new perspectives for

EuroRail 2009 is a plat-


of new technologies on

systematically addressed.

Collective bargaining

23.02.– 26.02.09

18.02.– 20.02.09

next five to ten years in order to prepare discussions for the next phase of FP7 work programmes definition and, if possible, for FP8.

European Commission’s agenda, for rail freight

the logistics mode of choice in a world so con-

issues. EuroRail 2009 will look at overcoming

the obstacles preventing a truly competitive, co-modal future for the European logistics industry.

further events +++ 02.02.2009 - 03.02.2009 3rd Annual Central and Eastern European Power conference, Platts, Warsaw +++ 03.02.2009 Upgrading NGO Lobbying Practices, European Training Institute, Brussels +++ 04.02.2009 - 05.02.2009 ATEXPO 2009, ERTICO - ITS Europe, Versailles +++ 06.02.2009 Europe and the Perimeter of the Coveted Black Sea, Centre of European Culture (CCE), Brussels +++09.02.2009 - 11.02.2009 3rd European Renewable Energy Policy

Conference 2009, EREC, Brussels +++ 12.02.2009 - 13.02.2009 BioPower Generation 2009, GreenPower Conferences, Brussels +++ 18.02.2009 Training programmes Working with NGOs, European Training Institute, Brussels +++ 19.02.2009 - 20.02.2009 5th International technology Transfer Days BIOMATERIALS 2009, 5th International Technology Transferable Days BIOMATERIALS 2009, European Commission , Erfurt +++ 20.02.2009 Europe and the Persistent

Conflict in the Near East, Centre of European Culture (CCE), Brussels +++20.02.2009 . 21.02.2009 Transnational collective bargaining within a European

Photos:; Frank Hennig Destatis; private

multi-level system of industrial relations, Université Libre, Brussels +++ 25.02.2009 - 27.02.2009 World Sustainable Energy Days, Wels (Austria) +++

birthday of the month


Jacques Barrot EU Commissioner for Justice, Freedom and Security






















25 26











SA Tuesday










Parliament: Session




External Parliamentary Activities

Conciliation Committee

Flags: National Holidays

— 27 —



26.03.– 27.03.09

European Business Summit tour & taxi brussels, belgium host

businesseurope & federation of enterprises in belgium (feb)

This year’s European Business Sum-

rope, as well as solutions to issues

ing Europe’s ambitions”, and three

more entrepreneurial, how doing

mit is titled “Dare and Care: sustainplenary sessions and fifteen workshops will addresses the themes of

financing, staffing and greening. Business leaders will discuss with

high-level decision makers, academ-

ics and NGOs from around the world

on issues like the financial crisis, clean tech innovation, skills, climate

change and energy and ageing. The

summit aims to come up with concrete solutions for a sustainable Eu-

— 28 —

such as how Europe can become business in the EU can be made easier and more rewarding, and how

Europe can take the lead in R&D and (eco)innovation. A cocktail reception

Photos: European Business Summit


and gala dinner will provide opportunities for networking and business

contacts. Speakers include Commissioners Joaquín Almunia, Meglena

Kuneva, Günter Verheugen, Andris

Piebalgs, and Pascal Lamy, Director General of the WTO.



05.03. – 06.03.09

European Summit of Regions and Cities location

prague host

committee of the regions

In the name of promoting a cohesive Europe and

promoting partnerships between Europe’s cities

and regions, the Euro-

pean summit of Regions

and Cities, to be held in Prague, brings together

European Council Spring Summit

European Energy Policy Conference location

management centre brussels, belgium host

ceps, epsilon

experts in regional development from across the

Now in its fourth year, the Annual European Energy Policy Conference

organised by The Centre for European Policy Studies and Epsilon Events Ltd brings together EU and

regions. The summit is the highlight of a partner-

together of the Heads of


State and Government of

council of the european union

the 27 EU Member States, and the Summit sets the

agenda for the coming

to future actions, prioritising possible measures.

focus will be on evolving

tendance will be the European Commissioner for

March sees the coming

of developing considered

energy issues. The main

partners and the civil society organisations. In at-

brussels, belgium

year. It culminates with the publishing of a reflec-

dialogue surrounding key

ship involving the regions and cities, the private

As always, the month of


international delegates

in Brussels with the aim

EU, as well as academics and representatives of

Regional Policy, Luc Van den Brande.

19.03.– 20.03.09

17.03.– 18.03.09

energy dialogues into

Matthias Ruete, DG TREN real “partnerships”, diver-

sifying supply, partner-

ships with transit countries, low-carbon energy

tive report that underlines conclusions and points Last year’s summit inevitably focussed heavily on

the ramifications of the Lisbon treaty; this year, no doubt, attendees will have a schedule filled with

the current economic crisis. The first summit un-

der the Czech Presidency will be eagerly awaited as an indication of the direction of the EU.

technologies (financing SET-Plan), effectiveness of the “security of supply” directive, macro-economic

implications, unbundling, renewables, biomass, energy and poverty, supply challenges, possibili-

ties for cooperation with the EU. Confirmed speak-

ers include: Matthias Ruete, Director General, DG

TREN, European Commission, and Jean-Arnold Vinois, Head of Unit, Energy Policy and Security of Supply DG TREN.

Luc van den Brande

European council family portrait

further events +++ 02.03.2009 Conference: Five Years After the Enlargement, EUROCITIES, Czech Presidency, Prague +++ 09.03.2009-10.03.2009 COFACC (Confer-

ence of Foreign Affairs Committee Chairpersons), Czech Presidency, Prague +++ 12.03.2009- 13.03.2009 Informal Meeting of Defence Ministers, Czech

Presidency, Olomouc +++ 12.03.2009-13.03.2009 Security Policy Directors Meeting, Czech Presidency, Prague +++ 16.03.2009-18.03.2009 World Bio-

fuels Markets Congress, World Biofuels, Brussels +++ 22.03.2009 - 23.03.2009 Informal Meeting of Ministers for Education, Czech Presidency, Prague Photos: European Community private; Christian Lambiotte/EC

+++ 25.03.2009-26.03.2009 Flexicurity - Lifelong Learning and Social Protection Components, Czech Presidency, Prague +++ 25.03.2009 - 27.03.2009

Towards e-Environment, Czech Presidency, Prague +++ 26.03.2009-27.03.2009 Creative Europe Forum Conference, Czech Presidency, Prague +++

birthday of the month


Olli Rehn EU Commissioner for Enlargement 31.03.1962




































SA Tuesday











Parliament: Session




External Parliamentary Activities

Conciliation Committee

Flags: National Holidays

— 29 —



28.04. – 29.04.09

European Patent Forum and Inventor of the Year prague, czech republic host

european patent office, european commission

The seemingly unstoppable wave

and politics. Day one will focus on

rise of digital technologies and dig-

society, while the second and third

of innovation accompanying the

ital design over the last ten years has infiltrated all aspects of mod-

ern life, raising the prospect of the

need for new economic models and posing challenges to the IP system as we know it. The European Patent

Forum and the PATINNOVA 2009 will bring together applicants, patent attorneys, innovation stakeholders and experts from research

— 30 —

the system‘s role in the knowledge

days will be dedicated to policy issues and current legal and busi-

ness practice. Now in its fourth year, the European Inventor of the

Photos: European Patent Office


Year award ceremony will be held

in conjunction with the event and will honour outstanding inventors in the categories Industry, SME/Re-

search, Non-European countries, and Lifetime.



06.05. – 14.05.09

European SME Week location

brussels, prague & all over europe host

european commission dg enterprise

The Commission is organising the first European

SME week to inform SMEs about available support at

EU and national level and

to encourage more people

to become entrepreneurs.

26.05. – 28.05.09

26.05. – 28.05.09

Research & Sustain- European Nuclear able Development Energy location

brussels, prague & all over europe host

european commission dg enterprise

This conference on “Sus-

tainable Development: a

challenge for European research” will take stock of progress made so far and identify ways for

The creation of the Euro-


prague, czech republic

pean Nuclear Energy Fo-

rum was initiated by the March 2007 European



Council, when Member States suggested “that

putting the European

broad discussion takes

European umbrella campaign for activities that

service of sustainable development. The confer-

stakeholders on the op-

just one of the measures implementing the Small

reform European research to best respond to sus-

The SME week will be a

take place throughout Europe. The SME Week is Business Act, the first comprehensive SME policy framework for the EU and its Member States.

place among all relevant

research system at the

portunities and risks of

ence will initiate a structured dialogue on how to

nuclear energy.” The annual plenary meeting

tainable development challenges. It will also look

features panel discus-

at improving the science-policy link.

sions and debates, and is

an opportunity to catch up with recent developments, discuss important issues, and look ahead

to the rest of the year’s priorities. Over 200 participants are expected, including government

ministers, high-ranking officials from the EU institutions, senior representatives of the European nuclear industry, NGOs, and financial experts. Günter Verheugen

Janez Potočnik

birthday of the month: april Marianne Fischer Boel

EU Commissioner for

Agriculture and Rural Photos:; EC;; European Commission

Development 15.04.1943


Joe Borg EU Commissioner for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs 19.05.1952

































SA Tuesday










Parliament: Session

birthdayevents of the month: may further







External Parliamentary Activities

Conciliation Committee

Flags: National Holidays

































Tuesday SA












Parliament: Session




External Parliamentary Activities

Conciliation Committee

Flags: National Holidays

— 31 —



04.06. – 07.06.09

European Parliamentary Elections member states of the eu host

european parliament

Once every five years the 700 mem-

Voter turnout for these elections

voted into or out of office by Europe’s

first elections in 1979, pointing to in-

bers of the European Parliment are

citizens. Foremost among them will be the new president, who will be

selected from the party that wins the most seats in the European Parliament. With the new EU Member states now on-board, this election

will be the largest ever of its kind. However, the EU still faces the challenge of persuading people to go to

the polls and vote, which underpins

the legitmacy of the presidency.

— 32 —

has been falling steadily since the

creased apathy about the Parliament

in opposition to its increase in power

over that period. Election observers have noted that the elections remain national affairs, often with local or

Photos: European Parliament


domestic issues coming into play. They will be looking on with interest

to see whether 2009’s elections can buck the trend and contribute to a

deeper integration between the EU and its citizenry.



18.06. – 19.06.09

European Council Meeting location

brussels, belgium host

council of the european union

Special attention is given to the presidencies of small countries, and the

European Council Meeting is an ideal opportuni-

The European Commis-


brussels, belgium

sion’s Green Week gains momentum and influ-


european commission

pean Council Meeting, under the Presidency of

watch of the highly ac-

the motto of the Czech Presidency, ‘Europe with-

management centre, brussels, belgium host

tarsus group


all European employ-

ment and social affairs

over 700 employment

stakeholders around

vironment, and shows

in Brussels to exchange

Europe who gathered views and hear what

European officials, nota-

ble public figures, trade unions, NGOs, business

pean Union. Last year’s Commissioner Stavros

provides a forum for

taking on behalf of the

ment are to the Euro-

field of the internal market and free movement of

celebrating its 16th year,

event was attended by

relating to the environ-

exist among EU Member States, notably in the

Employment Week, now

stakeholders. The 2008

just how central issues

out barriers’. It hopes to remove barriers that still

leaders and other ex-

Green Week was a wide-

perts are saying about

ranging affair, taking a

look at the sustainable

use of natural resources, with a focus on waste

management, sustainable consumption and pro-

Commissioner Vladimír




trends, challenges and

opportunities in the EU.

duction. It also looked forward to achieving the

The debates focused on how Europe’s business-

a great success. Green Week 2009 will provide an

of globalisation and demographic change, as

biodiversity levels of 2010, and was judged to be opportunity for debate, exchange of experience

and best practice among NGOs, businesses, variThe European Council Meeting in Brussels


Commission for the En-

the Czech Republic, will take as a starting point

niversary of the fall of the Iron Curtain.

year. Under the close

event is a major under-

leadership and cooperative strenghts. This Euro-

States. It is also a reference to the twentieth an-

ence with each passing

tive Stavros Dimas, the

and weaknesses of their

complex legal regulations of the EU and Member

Employment Week

Green Week

ty to assess the strengths

goods, services, persons and capital, including the

24.06. – 25.06.09

23.06 – 26.06.09

ous levels of government and the public.

es and economies are coping within the context

these two components are putting an increasing pressure on Europe’s labour markets. This year’s event promises similiar relevant discussions.

further events +++ 08.06.09 -11.06.09 8th EPSU Congress, European Federation of Public Service Unions, Brussels +++ 08.06.09 -12.06.09 Ada-Europe 2009: The 14th International Conference on Reliable Software Technologies, Telecom Bretagne, Brest, France +++ 12.06.09 -14.06.09 Informal Meeting of Environment Ministers, Czech Presidency, Prague +++ 16.06.09 – 18.06.09 Terminal Operations Conference and Exhibition +++ 17.06.09 – 18.06.09

Interior Motives Conference 2008 +++ 22.06.09 – 24.06.09 Conference Research in the Nuclear Field, Czech Presidency, Prague +++ 25.06.09

– 25.06.09 16th Employment Week, Brussels +++ 26.06.09 – 30.06.09 Conference: Holocaust Era Assets, Czech Presidency, Prague+++ 06.09 (ex-

Photos: European Commission; private; European Commission

act dates TBA) Conference on “Stand-up Pouches: Examining How Technical Developments are driving the Market to re-energize your brand” +++

birthday of the month


Joaquin Almunia European Commis-

sioner for Economic

and Monetary Affairs 17.06.1948





























25 26





SA Tuesday










Parliament: Session



External Parliamentary Activities

Conciliation Committee

Flags: National Holidays



— 33 —



The European Parliament of Enterprises What happens when 774 independent businesses and companies take over the European Paliament for a day? Answer: everyone learns a lot.


contribution by eurochambres he idea behind the European Parliament of En-

terprises, the event that EUROCHAMBRES staged

on 14 October in Brussels on the occasion of its 50th anniversary, originated from the following consideration: that Europe suffers from a democratic gap.

“The majority of those who contribute to the

EU’s wellbeing are rarely those for which policies

are thought,” explains Arnaldo Abruzzini, Secretary General of EUROCHAMBRES. “I’m talking about

businesses, and in particular small and medium-

sized ones. Enterprises create economic wealth: their turnover contributes to GDP, their growth generates jobs and their innovation capacity pro-

vides consumers with indispensable products and services. Yet, European policies often underestimate the importance of companies – especially

smaller ones – and do not pay sufficient attention to their needs. Something should be done about this.”

It has to be recognised that, in recent times, new efforts have been put

exist and are ready to have their own say on major topics of concern to

that Europe cares for them. In February 2008, the European Commission

understanding between the entrepreneurial and the institutional level.

in place at different levels to address this issue and make companies feel

launched the Enterprise Europe Network: close to 600 organisations in

more than 40 countries, providing support and advice to businesses to

help them make the most of the opportunities in the European Union. Then, in June, the Small Business Act for Europe saw the light of day. This

highly-awaited Communication by the European Commission tackles

them. At the same time, we had the ambition of improving the mutual

Finally–as this year we are celebrating EUROCHAMBRES’ 50th anniversary–we wished to offer our Member Chambers a special occasion to get

together and network. The European Parliament of Enterprises combined all of these three elements.”

many of the issues identified by small businesses as problematic, such

companies come together

and so on.

much as possible the economic configuration of their respective coun-

is still missing – or is too weak – in many other crucial, political dossiers.

in the hemicycle of the European Parliament in Brussels, to debate and

as administrative and regulatory burdens, access to finance and taxation, But despite these very encouraging first steps, the business perspective

The European Union still fails to go in the direction of enterprises in many of its policies.

“So, at EUROCHAMBRES, we thought: if Mohammed will not go to the

mountain, the mountain will come to Mohammed!” Abruzzini says. This led to the idea of the European Parliament of Enterprises. “We wanted to organise an event which would show European officials that businesses

— 34 —

On 14 October, 774 companies, of all sizes and sectors (but reflecting as

tries), coming from the 45 member countries of EUROCHAMBRES, sat

vote on specific, business-related issues: the current financial turmoil, of

course, but also internal market and trade; energy and environment; entrepreneurship and education. For one day, they were the decision makers, while the typical policy makers were listening and reacting to their

discussions: each debate took place in the presence of a Member of the European Parliament and a European Commissioner.


Photo: European Parliament

new efforts to care for companies

774 SME representatives assembled in the hemicycle of the European Parliament


how the eu really works

the results of the european parliament of enterprises

the European Parliament is a symbol of democracy and participation.

some of the key issues currently being experienced by the people of the

tigious setting was not just a way of discovering how real EU debates

which dealt with different aspects of life as a European company. The

The choice of the location was not a casual one: the hemicycle of

At the same time, for the companies, being able to sit in such a pres-

work. It also demonstrated the difficulties that can be encountered in trying to reach an agreement.

Finally, the event gave the opportunity to the Chambers of Com-

merce to reiterate their historical role as a privileged interlocutor between the grass root and the institutional level.

Abruzzini says: “The organisation of this event – the first of its kind in

During the European Parliament of Enterprises, votes were taken on

European Union. The day was split into four separate sessions, each of

results of the surveys give an interesting insight into the opinions and thoughts of the owners and creators of small and medium-sized European businesses. Below is a list of the results of the key votes taken over the course of the day.

about eurochambres

Europe – has been an exciting challenge for EUROCHAMBRES. We be-

EUROCHAMBRES is the Association of European Chambers of

of our corporate members, while at the same time paying a tribute to

million enterprises in Europe through members in 45 countries and a

lieve that we have found an innovative way of defending the interests

Europe. Given the success of this first edition of the European Parliament of Enterprises, the experience will certainly be repeated.”

Session 1: Should the European Commission help SMEs entering new markets, complementary to national initiatives? Abstention 2%

Commerce and Industry. The association represents more than 19 European network of 2000 regional and local Chambers.

Session 3: Is your company prepared to assist local education institutes in developing education programmes in order to reduce the skills gap and promote entrepreneurial mindsets? Abstention 2%

NO 9%

YES 89%

NO 3%

YES 95 %

NO 9%

NO 3%

Abstention 2%

Abstention 2%

YES 95%

YES 89 % Other votes: Is the continued absence of a Community patent damaging to

Other votes: Would you advocate the creation of a common EU corporate

Session 2: Should the EU commit to further greenhouse gas reduction

Session 4: Do you anticipate significant adjustments to your investment

European Business? YES 90%; NO 7%

targets, even if other major economies do not?

tax base? YES 62%; NO 32%

strategy as a result of the current financial crisis?

Abstention 6%

Abstention 5%

YES 45%

YES 66 % YES 66%

YES 45% NO 49%

NO 49% Abstention 6%

Other votes: Do you think there should be environmental criteria in public procurement? YES 72%; NO 24% EUROPEAN AGENDA 06/2008

NO 29% NO 29%

Abstention 5%

Other votes: Have recent tightened lending conditions significantly

impacted upon your business’ ability to access credit? YES 46%; NO 44%

— 35 —



The Lisbon Agenda starts at school More enterprise in the classroom means better skills and more business creation


by caroline jenner

ntrepreneurship and entrepreneurship education

have to play a role as well as the business community. There are many

bon Agenda – cited repeatedly as critical to improve

the best examples in Europe all have this collaboration in common. Our

young age. It is cross-curricular in that it embraces strength in communication skills, maths, technology, science and languages, as well as ingenuity and a comfort with risk and trying new things. But

only some European Member States have taken the necessary steps to fully integrate entrepreneurship into their education priorities and formally made

space for it in their national curriculums. In fact, the

and reach enough young people to truly change mindsets and ultimately make an important economic impact later on. Experts on the subject have concurred that methodologies which are practical and which ensure that

young people have direct contact with business people are going to be

more effective than those with a purely academic approach. Likewise, if their students are highly motivated by a scheme, teachers are far more

likely to endorse it and begin to change the way they teach. We must remember that the students move on and the teachers stay. Working as intensively with educators as we do with students is imperative.

hungrier than ever to balance life and work, to occupy itself in ways that

enhance independence and individuality. Nowadays, two thirds of teen-

agers say they would like to run their own business later in life and 78 per cent think entrepreneurs are cool. Young people also see entrepreneurs

as problem solvers and believe that they are not necessarily born with a unique gift that has made them successful. Today’s young people think anyone can be an entrepreneur.

50 40 30 20 10 0


ments will not be able to. This is, coincidentally, also the generation that is



a job for life and which has to learn to take care of itself since our govern-



Yet this is the generation that we keep saying will not be able to count on

Ya-Ye Alumni


Ag e


% prefering entrepreneurship

dents have access to this kind of education at school.

General Population


European Commission estimates that not more than 5 per cent of stu-


not just a skill; it is a mindset that is learned at a

collective goal has to be to increase access at all levels of the curriculum


on the subject say that being entrepreneurial is

Ag e

competitiveness and create jobs. Multiple reports

key players in the community that make this kind of education tick and

Po Av pu er la ag tio e n

have been held up as one of the pillars of the Lis-

The demand is undoubtedly there. 63 per cent of young people said they

A recent report conducted in six European countries shows that 15 per

planned to be self-employed in the future. The figure is 14 per cent high-

as mini-companies – between the ages of 20 and 29 had started their own

shows, demand is far greater than supply and, in the average population,

cent of former participants in entrepreneurship education schemes – such

businesses. Over the age of 29, that percentage goes up to over 25 per cent. The average business start-up rate in the regular population in Europe is

around 6 per cent, which means that we can double or triple the number of start-ups within ten years with just a one-year mini-company course at secondary school.

But this is the kind of education that cannot and should not be left en-

tirely to the Ministry of Education. One foot ought to be inside the school but the other should be outside. The Ministries of Industry and Finance

— 36 —

er among students participating in mini-companies. Yet, as this graph

numbers of wannabe-entrepreneurs drop dramatically after university. There is significant recovery if students have had entrepreneurship education at school, however. Even if we take into account the fact that 16-19

year olds may tend to be overly exuberant in all their aspirations, the slope downwards from 63 per cent overall in potential entrepreneurship in sec-

ondary school to 6 per cent in real life still seems rather steep (see figure

1). It seems we are not doing enough to harness that 63 per cent. It should not be so hard to beat that 6 per cent and it should not take too long.




One country we could all learn from is Norway. The Norwegian Govern-

Figure 1. Median salary £40-45k

Control Group

ment developed a Strategy for Entrepreneurship in Education five years

YE Alumni

ago. The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor listed Norway’s start-up rate at the time as 4.9 per cent - one of the lowest in Europe and one which raised great concern in the government. By 2007 it had risen to 7 per


cent - an astonishing improvement. The government attributes this to


income per capita, low unemployment and a very good welfare system,


their investments in entrepreneurship education. A country with high it would seem Norway has little to worry about. But the Norwegian


is Europe’s case overall, human capital constitutes the major part of

+ 30 Ag e

d Ag e

21 d

our wealth. The students in our classrooms today are the foundation of

structing. The marketplace was young. But the Europe of today needs to

and take advantage of opportunities in the future we will be unable to

boom that took place 50 years ago. Children in our schools now will be in

entrepreneurial activity in the future. If we do not help them learn to see cope with our economic challenges. COUNTRY-BY-COUNTRY RESULTS

Countries in Central and Eastern Europe have taken an equally proac-

tive approach. They were ten years ahead of Western Europe in reforming their education systems to accommodate entrepreneurship education. On a country-by-country basis, the penetration rate of entrepre-

neurship education schemes in Russia, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Czech

brainstorm and innovate. It cannot rest on the success of the economic jobs within the next five to fifteen years. We know that the employment

and business landscape will have changed a great deal by the time they get there. Combined with a good set of skills, an understanding of how

to generate ideas and make them happen is what every employer is looking for. There is, quite simply, not enough entrepreneurship going on and

without it there can be nothing new, no added value, no adaptation, and no change.

Furthermore, the great industrial giants of Europe are worried about

Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania is impressive.

the so-called skills gap and whether they will be able to find enough sci-

They had to be creative and found all kinds of less costly ways to move

forefront of their respective sectors. One of entrepreneurship education’s

It should be noted that these were not rich administrations at the time. forward. They went in search of good practice. They trained teachers en masse and appealed to the private sector and international/local com-

munity organisations for help. This has worked. In Russia alone, there

are 800,000 students in entrepreneurship education programmes from Moscow to Vladivostok. The fall of the Berlin Wall has certainly

meant a fresh start in these countries. The political changes propelled

them all into a great leap forward—the likes of which we have not seen in Western Europe since the end of World War II.

Many French and German text books on economics and capitalism

contain frightening stories of the savagery and immorality of entrepreneurship. Several generations of students have been raised on a daily

entists, mathematicians, engineers and IT specialists to keep them at the

greatest gifts is its power to motivate and raise self-esteem and confidence. It also exposes young people to what large and small businesses

really do and what fantastic job opportunities they offer. Without motivation and a real sense of how the world works, young people do not bother

to stay in school, or make poor education choices; they do not understand why maths or science or languages are important so they concentrate on

easier subjects. We lose access to countless talents this way (especially young women) and it is usually lost early on—as early as lower secondary school, when students are streamed in one direction or another. Another reason why starting young is so important.

We should be making every effort to increase the uptake of successful

dose of prejudice against the very thing that made Europe great in the

entrepreneurship education schemes and working more effectively in-

cuit have all pointed this out and said that these views are still remark-

our teachers are and give them all the support and facilitation they need.

first place. Speakers on the SME and entrepreneurship conference cir-

ably prevalent. The optimism of new Europe is driving us forward while the pessimism of old Europe is holding us back. Ending up somewhere in the middle is not really going anywhere at all. Photos: FreshMinds; private

Fi rs

problem and it has been a powerful tool for regional development. As

Ag e



to diversify. Entrepreneurship education is one of their solutions to the


government knows their economy is too dependent on oil and needs

Studies consistently prove young people who are exposed to entrepre-

neurship education earn better salaries than their peers. A UK evaluation found that participation in mini-companies correlates with better

future earnings. Figure 2 shows that at all levels the alumni median salary equals or exceeds that of the Control Group and, in particular, in the 30+ age group alumni earn around one third more than their peers.

The post-war generation in Europe spent its time building and recon-


side the school system to integrate them. We should know how precious The more entrepreneurial our teachers, the more entrepreneurship there will be.

about caroline jenner

Caroline Jenner is currently CEO of Junior Achievement-

Young Enterprise Europe. She began her career as an entrepreneur by founding a private language school

in Bratislava. Jenner has a BA in French language and literature.

— 37 —


Solar Impulse

A symbol and an airplane Liberating ourselves from fossil energy by claude michel


n 1999, Swiss aeronaut Bertrand Piccard and his English co-

In reality, though, it is none of these. The Solar Impulse project is, first

flight, setting new records for both distance and time in the

support for technologies which will permit sustainable development,

pilot Brian Jones completed the first round-the-world balloon

air. However, this last grand adventure of the 20th century still consumed four tonnes of propane (an oil-based product) to produce the hot air needed to keep the balloon aloft.

Piccard has now set himself a new challenge: to repeat his

1999 exploit, but this time using zero fossil energy. He plans to do this by flying day and night in an aircraft which has harnessed clean solar energy to such an extent that it is available for unlimited use, bringing us close to perpetual flight – with zero hydrocarbon consumption and zero pollution. This

may sound like a dream, a utopia, a new science-fiction scenario, even.

— 38 —

and foremost, a symbol for all of us. It seeks to gain maximum public

and to generate positive emotions around renewable energies. It draws public attention to the changes that will have to be made to safeguard

the energy and ecological future of our planet. It gives a positive, stimulating image to the protection of the environment. And it shows that

alternative energy sources, in combination with new technologies, can enable us to achieve what was previously thought impossible.


It is not enough to carry this message to the four corners of the world

with words only. Solar Impulse has launched itself once and for all into EUROPEAN AGENDA 06/2008


ON 9 APRIL 2008, Jacques Barrot, then Vice President of the European Commission in charge of transport, publicly assured Bertrand

Piccard and André Borschberg, Chairman and CEO respectively of Solar Impulse SA, of the sponsorship of the European Commission.

“Optimising tomorrow’s technologies and materials to their limits in order

to accelerate the advent of tomorrow‘s technologies – this is the challenge

of the Solar Impulse”, Vice-President Barrot declared, speaking in Brussels. “It is an example to be followed by all players in society, and a symbol of what we ought to achieve.”


The Solar Impulse project is being formulated over a series of steps that move it closer and closer towards achieving its ultimate target. • First prototype assembled in 2008–early 2009 • First test flights in 2009

• First night flight in 2009

• Second airplane built in 2010

• Tour of the world starting in 2011, circumnavigating the planet in five stages. A stopover will be organised on each continent to present the

adventure to the public and to the political and scientific authorities. Each stage will last four to five days.

the adventure with a solar airplane, shaped like an enormous glider. The

group, Omega and Deutsche Bank. The Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de

tres in order to accommodate the photovoltaic cells needed to generate

partner and Dassault Aviation its avionics adviser.

first prototype, currently under construction, has a wingspan of 61 meenough energy to carry a pilot around the world with total autonomy.

Solvay, for example, as well as financial backing, has provided more

The operating principle is simple. During the daytime, solar energy is

than 4000 items of every size, from screws and nuts to the cockpit and

the propeller motors, recharge the batteries, and gain maximum alti-

pulse, are vital ingredients to the project, and have made the aircraft

converted in to electricity, which serves to achieve three things: power tude – to store up maximum energy. During the night, the batteries

power the airplane motors while the airplane itself slowly loses height, taking full advantage of its excellent aerodynamics. The next morning, at dawn, the cycle restarts, and so on ad infinitum.


Solar Impulse is rolling back the limits of mankind’s knowledge in nu-

merous areas. From the beginnings of the project in 2003, it has been striving to push levels of technological prowess forward, a crusade that

requires numerous qualities: pioneering spirit, attention to the human Photos: SolarImpulse EPFL; private

Lausanne (EPFL) is its official scientific partner, Altran its engineering

dimension, environmental awareness and innovation. Ultimately, the

project harnesses the firm belief that Science and Technology are part of the solution to the challenges facing us.

The Solar Impulse project is visionary not only in its implementa-

tion, but also as an example for a successful cross-industry alliance, as

it is supported and funded by a range of corporate and institutional partners.

certain battery parts. These objects, developed specially for Solar Imsomething of a flying laboratory.

Solar Impulse itself is playing a very active role by making available

its competences in developing and producing innovative materials and

technological solutions, carrying out technical evaluation testing on them, and predicting and stimulating their behaviour in extreme environments.

Ultimately, this is much more than a technological project. It is a sym-

bol for major initiatives in the fields of Innovation and Sustainable De-

velopment, both cornerstones of the industries of the future Europe is seeking to build.

about claude michel

Claude Michel is Head of Internal Communication at

Solvay, an international Chemical and Pharmaceutical Group. He is currently focusing on his position as Manager of the Solvay Solar impulse Parnership.

Financial support is being provided by its main partners: the Solvay


— 39 —


HEALTH CAMPAIGN Europe for Patients


INTERVIEW Guy Lebeau, Eucomed Chairman


AGENDA Health events for 2009




OPINION European Rules on Fragrance Ingredients


Europe for Patients

Photos:; European Commission;

the commission’s new wellbeing plan



Events 2009 the eu health agenda for 2009

Consumer Protection Opinion eu product safety rules


eu rules on fragrance ingredients

— 41 —


Interview “Put the patient first” A discussion with Guy Lebeau, Chairman of the Eucomed association by max obenaus

How would you describe the state of the healthcare system today? What are the new challenges and developments in the field?

In a way, I am optimistic. I really like the development in the field. There is

have a good mix of small, medium and larger enterprises. We know that our industry will be efficient and can deliver what we need to deliver.

a change of systems, of the way that states in the European community

How do you rate the Commission’s plans to harmonise the rules for the

back ten years and compare that time to now I believe there is a real will

This is good because it shows the great dialogue between the Commis-

work. Obviously it is still a mosaic of different systems, but if you look

from every state to get organised and to at least work in the same direc-

tion. That is why network information coming from different countries is

becoming more important in helping different states to compare their situations. The task for Eucomed in the middle of all this is to help and to

doctrine of human tissue products?

sion and the industry players. We always applaud a good solution. The key for an innovation is the criteria of market access, the time of market access. This example shows that we successfully work together.

win solutions for healthcare providers.

How does Eucomed support healthcare innovation across the EU?

Do you think we are moving in the same direction now as we were ten

mission to try to have in every country an infrastructure that helps the

years ago? Is it necessary for the European healthcare market to move in the same direction?

Nobody knows what will happen in the future, but I think the sharing of

The innovation center is a project that we have with the European Com-

development of innovative centers to support academic starters. We are currently in the middle of this project.

knowledge is important. There is a value to benchmark what is positive

How do you tackle issues of intellectual property rights in this regard,

countries are communicating together in a better way than before.

I would say the protection of an innovation is the absolute key. But I do

or negative in one country compared to another. I am optimistic because

How important is improving communications between Member States?

Eucomed is a group of 27 national associations, and it is imperative we

with the South-East Asian markets emerging in the same direction?

not think it is a European issue, and I am not going to refuse the globalisation. This is something we are doing right across the world.

share our knowledge today and in the future. When you look back, you

Are you also taking part in the discussions to keep the balance of the old

an Commission regularly. In the second phase we became a good partner

the population, but how do we keep it affordable for the consumer?

see that in its first phase, Eucomed was communicating with the Europefor the Commission in areas like medical technology. The next step for us is to be a centre of competence for information and solutions.

Looking at the member states there is obviously is a lack of knowledge, but is there also a lack of education?

From my point of view the real issue is not the knowledge, because the

ruled health systems? If technology advances, of course this is good for

We need to put products on the market that help patients but at the same time we have to act economically. What makes me optimistic is

that the industry feels we need to be part of the solution, and not part

of the problem. This is a great trend because it means that our industry will work tirelessly to achieve solutions for the consumer.

knowledge exists. The real issue is the way we are going to communicate

Do you think we have a distinct European health care policy?

ogy can bring to healthcare.

people, and it has to be affordable for the country. We are all facing the

the knowledge. We want to make people aware of what medical technol-

Do you think that Europe is in a fit state for global competition in the healthcare market?

Ultimately, every country has the same goal. They want the best for their

same questions and we are answering the need across the world in the same way. I believe people are going in the same direction.

I think the EU Parliament has a real will to have such developments in Eu-

Finally, do you think it is dangerous that the European healthcare sys-

in around 5 per cent of sales in this department, so we need to help our

I believe as long as you put patient first there is no issue. We are very

rope, and obviously we are working in the same direction. Industry brings small, medium and even large companies to develop in the network of

research and development. You know, what I really like is the fact that we

— 44 —

tem is getting increasingly similar to the American system?

close to the patient and I don’t think anyone will forget that what we do is for the patient.





13.05.– 14.05.09

Better Health for Europe


Self-Medication Across Europe The Association of the European Self-Medication

Industry (AESGP) will meet in Madrid for a congress on the impact of EU legislative and regulatory requirements on the national markets of

non-prescription medicines. This event will focus

on EU policy and provisions for non-prescription medicines. AESGP


Madrid, Spain


A Safe Working Environment Androulla Vassiliou

The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health

The 5th World Health Care Congress in Brussels will play host to 600 heath

(CIEH) will conduct a Risk Assessment workshop in

care professionals and policy makers from across Europe. This major interna-

Surrey, England with the aim of providing the par-

tional congress enables industry leaders to meet and share their best prac-

ticipants with the information and skills necessary

tices, and also to craft future initiatives for improving healthcare delivery for

to comply with the regulations of the European

Europeans. Confirmed speakers include Androulla Vassiliou, Commissioner

Management of Health and Safety at Work Regu-

for Health.


World Health Care Congress

Chartered Institute of Environmental Health

Brussels, Belgium

Health and Safety

10.12. – 11.12.08

04.06.– 06.06.09

European Public Health

Approaches to Disability

The annual EU Open Health

“From myth to evidence” is the theme of Annual

all stakeholder groups to come

Disability (EACD) in Vilnius, Lithuania. Under

Photos: European Community;

Forum provides a platform for

Meeting of the European Academy of Childhood

together and solidify a shared

the retrospective theme, the meeting will take

vision for developing and imple-

an in-depth and historical look at healthcare

menting health care for EU citi-

professionals from across Europe and their ap-

zens. A main goal of forum is to

proaches to working with children living with

further coordinate the European


health policies on the local and

European Academy of Childhood Disability

regional level.

European Commission Charlemagne building, Brussels


Sussex, England

Brussels, Belgium

Vilnius, Lithuania

Vilnius, Lithuania

— 45 —


Regulatory Developments EU product safety rules

The summer of 2007 saw an unprecedented number of product recalls within the EU, mainly in the toys sector. Now Meglena Kuneva, EU Commissioner for Consumer Affairs, has warned both regulators and industry that they need to raise their game when it comes to ensuring the safety of consumer products. by andrew austin, sharon long and sarah young


magine that a manufacturer places an unsafe product on

the EU market. A consumer buys that product and is injured by it. As well as adverse publicity, the manufacturer faces

may arise even where the producer in question did not know about the defect at the time of supply or where the defect was unavoidable.

Under the PLD, then, a claimant simply needs to prove the defect in

two types of legal liability: criminal or administrative liabil-

the product, the damage and the causal relationship. A product is deemed

complex mix of EU and member state law.

entitled to expect. Liability under the PLD is strict but not absolute, and

ity and civil liability. Both types of liability are regulated by a The safety of consumer products is primarily regulated by

the EU. The regime for consumer products excluding food

and drink was put in place by the General Product Safety Directive 2001 (GPSD). The GPSD requires member states to

ensure that only safe consumer products reach the market. A product is safe under the GPSD if it poses no, or only mini-

mal, risks to consumers over the product lifecycle.

defective if it does not provide the safety that consumers generally are

a producer has seven defences available to him. The most important is

known as the development risks or state of the art defence, which states

that there will be no liability if, when the product was put into circulation, it was not scientifically possible to discover the existence of the defect. For companies operating in cutting-edge industries, this underlines the importance of monitoring the developing science.

Given the high profile which consumer safety issues

Obligations under the GPSD fall primarily on producers

of products. Subsidiary obligations fall on other parties in the supply chain whose activities do not directly affect

product safety—known as distributors. Importantly, producers and distributors must work to ensure that unsafe

products are not placed on the market. If either acquires

information indicating that a product may not comply with the general safety requirement, they must imme-

currently enjoy, it is unsurprising that there are a number

Product crises are likely to have the potential to go global even sooner than before.

diately notify the appropriate national regulators. This

may in turn lead to a notification being sent to alert the

of plans in the pipeline that will change the regimes dis-

cussed above. As regards the GPSD, 2007’s summer of recalls led the Commission to undertake a root-and-branch

review of the legal rules in place. This is likely to lead to even tougher enforcement in future, and new regulation covering product categories where the risks are thought

to be highest. Another key development in future months

and years will be even greater cooperation–and data exchange–between the Commission and product safety

Commission and competent authorities in other member states to the

regulators in other countries, especially the USA and China. Product cri-

to and including recalling products from consumers—in these circum-

demanding coordinated global responses from producers.

problem. Producers and distributors must also take corrective action—up

stances. Breach of these or the GPSD’s other requirements may lead to

ses are likely to have the potential to go global even sooner than before, There have been proposals for reform of the PLD to make it more con-

prosecution by national regulators.

sumer-friendly. Much more likely, however, is the adoption of new proce-


underlying legal regime. In particular, the EU is consulting the introduc-

Member states are free to set their own rules governing liability in con-

tract and in tort. In addition, in 1985 the EU passed the Product Liability Directive (PLD), which enables consumers to bring claims for compensa-

tion against the producer of a defective product in respect of injury or

dural mechanisms to help consumers bring claims, without affecting the tion of collective redress mechanisms for consumers. And although the EU is unlikely to become as litigious or plaintiff-friendly as the USA, the Commission’s current efforts may make matters harder for industry.

property damage. The great advantage of the PLD for consumers is that

about the authors

sumer does not need to show that the defendant did anything wrong,

Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, an International law firm.

it creates what is known as a strict liability regime. This means that a conbeyond placing a defective product on the market. In some cases, liability

— 46 —

Andrew Austin, Sharon Long and Sarah Young are from Freshfields




Let the customer choose For years the International Fragrance Association has had its own regulatory systems. Now, it must compete with the decision-making bodies of the EU by Jean-Pierre Houri


have worked in the fragrance industry for more than 20 years, and have always been closely involved with the industry’s trade association: the International Fragrance Associa-

regulator, and, as a precautionary measure, also restricted the use of the materials in products, including toys.

tion (IFRA). I am now its Director General. The fragrance in-


research programme via the Research Institute for Fragrance

haps? Is it a potential vote winner to ban substances in order to protect

aware that certain fragrance materials could cause skin al-

science is seen to be inconclusive or biased? In my opinion it is more likely

dustry set up its own globally organised and jointly financed

Materials (RIFM) as long ago as the 1960s, when we became lergies. RIFM started work to determine which fragrance ingredients might be responsible for skin allergies. At that time

there were no regulatory frameworks to monitor or control the use of fragrance materials. The industry collectively de-

cided to take this responsible and precautionary approach long before

it was fashionable and, based on the findings of its research institute (RIFM), established a worldwide self-regulatory system

So why the proposed ban? It is difficult to say for certain. Politics per-

children? But who doesn’t want to protect children? Could it be that the due to a lack of trust, and not only a lack of trust in the industry, but

maybe in institutional regulation in general, since the obvious approach

would have been to align the Toy Directive with the Cosmetic Directive, as far as fragrance materials are concerned. Is this what EU citizens want from their elected officials or civil servants? I am not sure. But I suspect

they want effective legislation based on sound science, which improves their wellbeing without sacrificing their way of life.

via the IFRA Standards.

More than 40 years later, IFRA’s Standards and Code of

Practice are binding on its members, which account for 90

per cent of the global market for fragrance compounds. There is also a Compliance Programme which tests products to ensure the Standards are adhered to. Through

this self-regulatory approach, the fragrance industry has

voluntarily banned or restricted the use of about 150 sub-

If EU legislators vote to ban these 13 substances they

So why the proposed ban? It is di�cult to say for certain. Politics perhaps?

stances. The prevalence of allergies to the materials of

fragrances is declining and the body of research and data

essential oils, which all contain some of these 13 substances: essential oils such as lavender, rose oil, lemon-

grass oil and cinnamon oil to name just a few. There is a tendency in today’s environment to become overly restrictive based on assumptions and hazard (partly mis-

using the precautionary principle), but often addressing

a negligible risk and not based on scientific arguments. The ban of the 13 materials appears to fit into this way of

held at the RIFM is second to none. Despite this responsible and thorough

thinking. No discernable reduction in the prevalence of allergies to fra-

tors easy, we have a situation in Europe where sound science and experi-

general population thought to be affected.

approach, which in theory should make the job of legislators and regulaence appear not to be considered in proposed legislation.

At present the European Parliament is voting on the EU Toy Directive. As

part of that Directive it is proposed to ban a list of 40 fragrance materi-

als from being used in toys. This, I believe, is a reasonable approach since the industry itself has banned all these materials already and so has the

EU’s Cosmetic Directive. However, some members of the European Parliament wish to go further and ban a list of 13 allergens, which have been

taken from a list of 26 allergens first identified by the EU Commission’s Photo: private

jeopardise the use of more than 100 naturally occurring

Scientific Committee for Consumer Products (SCCP) in 2001. The SCCP

recommended that these 26 allergens be labelled on cosmetic products, if certain thresholds were exceeded, in order to inform the consumer. The industry, through its self-regulatory system, went further than the EUROPEAN AGENDA 06/2008

grance materials will be seen in the very small one to two per cent of the I believe that to guarantee the safety of consumer products and ad-

equately inform consumers sensitive to fragrance allergies, the labelling

and restricting of these substances is adequate. Let the customer choose. I also believe self-regulation should be given the credit it deserves. about jean-pierre houri

Jean-Pierre Houri has been Director General of IFRA

since 2005. He began his first job in the fragrance

industry in 1980, after having worked in marketing and consulting. He has a PhD in Business Administration from the University of Paris.

— 47 —


Personnel Changes Institutions

Ashton in Commission


Feller joins EUPM

CATHERINE ASHTON has been confirmed as the new European Commissioner for Exter-


of Ministers follows the departure of Peter

Nationality: DE

nal Trade. Her appointment by the Council

Police Head of Mission

Mandelson, who takes up the position of Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and

Regulatory Reform in the United Kingdom. She was nominated by UK Prime Minister

3 October. Ashton, whose title in the UK is

sion (EUPM) in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He had

til now a Labour member in the UK House of Lords, the Leader of the House of Lords

and Lord President of the Council in Gordon

Brown’s first cabinet in June 2007. She is an economist, and her previous European ex-

perience includes steering the Lisbon Treaty

EU Trade Commissioner

through the UK’s upper chamber and dealing

Nationality: UK

with EU justice and home affairs issues in her

Start Date: 06.10.2008

Start Date: 01.11.2008


Baroness Ashton of Upholland, PC, was un-

European Commission

Stefan Feller

Gordon Brown, in agreement with Commis-

sion President José Manuel Barroso, on Friday

Catherine Ashton

Languages: DE, EN, FR

earlier jobs.

appointed as the new Head of the EU Police Misbeen Head of the Conduct of Operations Unit

in the Civilian Planning And Conduct Capability (CPCC) since 2007. Feller began his career in 1979

as a Detective with the North Rhine-Westphalia

Police in Germany. He studied Public Administration at university.

Regional Representations

New Danish office Capital Region Denmark

New EU-Russia Forum President

Head of Office


Kuehnel represents Austria

Languages: DE, DK, EN, FR

Start Date: 01.08.2008 Birgitte Wederking

EU-Russia Forum President

EU Representation in

BIRGITTE WEDERKING has been appointed Head

Languages: DE, EN

Nationality: AT

Denmark EU Office in Brussels.


Nationality: DE

Languages: DE, EN, FR

Start Date: 18.09.2008 Wolfgang Clement

Richard Kuehnel

Start Date: 01.09.2008

WOLFGANG CLEMENT, former Prime Minister of

The European Commission has appointed RICH-

for Economics and Labour, has been appointed

tria. Kuehnel had previously served as a Member

North Rhine-Westphalia and German Minister President of the EU-Russia Forum. Clement has been a member of the German SPD since 1970.

— 48 —

Nationality: DK

ARD KUEHNEL as Head of Representation in Ausof Cabinet of External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner.

of Office of the newly created Capital Region


Andreas Mavroyiannis, Permanent Representa-

tive of Cyprus to the European Union, Council of the EU +++ John Bowis, Rapporteur, European

Parliament +++ Bernd Dittmann, Member, European Economic and Social Committee


Photos: European Commission; EUPM; LPA NRW; private

Think Tanks



New Swedish EU Rep


Sakellaris at EIB

CHRISTIAN DANIELSSON has been appointed Sweden’s Permanent Representative at the

European Investment

European Union in Brussels. Danielsson took

Vice President

Permanent Representation of Sweden to the


up the post in September 2008, replacing

Nationality: GR

Sven-Olof Petersson, who has become Swe-

den’s Ambassador in Australia. Danielsson was previously head of the European Commission Directorate for the three candidate

PLUTARCHOS SAKELLARIS has been appointed

has previously served as Head of Unit at the

Bank (EIB). Sakellaris’ responsibilities on the EIB’s

countries Turkey, Croatia and Macedonia. He Christian Danielsson

European Commission with responsibility for

Permanent Representative of Sweden to the European Union Nationality: SE

Turkey’s membership negotiations, as Deputy

Head of Cabinet to Commissioner Günter Verheugen, at the Permanent Representation of

Sweden to the European Union, as a member

Languages: EN, FR, SE

of Commissioner Anita Gradin’s Cabinet, and

Start Date: 01.09.2008

at Sweden’s former Delegation to the European Union, among other positions.


Sepi becomes the EESC President


New US ambassador to the EU

Management Committee include supervising

operations in Denmark, Ireland, Greece, Cyprus, the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries and South Africa. He also assumes responsibility for the EIB’s activity reflecting its energy policy and

the Bank’s Economic and Financial Studies division. Previously, Sakellaris was Chairman of the

Council of Economic Advisers at the Hellenic Ministry of Economy and Finance.


Westlake is EESC Secretary General

US Ambassador to the


Nationality: IT

Nationality: US

Nationality: UK

European Union

Languages: DE, EN, ES, FR, IT

Start date: 22.10.2008

Secretary General

Languages: EN Kristen Silverberg

Start date: 22.07.2008

Languages: EN, FR, IT Martin Westlake

Start Date: 01.10.2008

MARIO SEPI is the new President of the Euro-

KRISTEN SILVERBERG has been appointed the

The EESC Bureau has appointed MARTIN WEST-

Member of the EESC since 1995, Sepi has been

ion. Silverberg presented her credentials to the

Economic and Social Committee (EESC). In a Eu-

pean Economic and Social Committee (EESC). A Photos: EU; European Investment Bank; EU

Vice President of the The European Investment



Mario Sepi

Start Date: 01.08.2008 Plutarchos Sakellaris

President of Group 2, Employees, since 2002. His

Presidency focuses on three priorities: strengthening participatory democracy on the basis of rules included in the new treaty; relaunching a new post-2010 Lisbon strategy that actively

takes into account globalisation; and consolidating the defence of the European social model by

fighting for the entry in to force and full application of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. EUROPEAN AGENDA 06/2008

United States Ambassador to the European Un-

European Council Presidency and to European Commission President José Manuel Barroso in Brussels on 22 July. Previously, Silverberg served from August 2005 to July 2008 as Assistant

Secretary of State for International Organisa-

tion Affairs, where she managed the work of more than 450 employees in Washington and

at seven US Missions, overseeing US contributions totalling over $2.4 billion.

LAKE as Secretary General of the European ropean career spanning 23 years, Westlake has

worked variously in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the Secretariat General of the Council of Ministers and the Secretariat

General and then the Education and Culture Di-

rectorate-General of the European Commission. He joined the EESC in 2003 as Head of Commu-

nication. In 2006 he was appointed Director of Consultative Work.

— 49 —



Philippot to head EBU


Vossen promoted at CEBS

European Broadcasting Union President

Committee of Euro-

Languages: EN, FR


Nationality: BE

pean Banking Super-

Start Date: 01.01.2009

Secretary General

JEAN-PAUL PHILIPPOT, RTBF (Belgium) has been

elected as the next President of the European Jean-Paul Philippot

Nationality: NL Arnoud Vossen

Languages: EN, NL

Broadcasting Union (EBU). He will succeed Fritz

ARNOUD VOSSEN has been appointed Secretary

will continue until the end of 2008. The EBU has

Supervisors (CEBS). He replaces Andrea Enria, who

Pleitgen ARD (Germany), whose term of office

also selected Richard Sambrook, BBC (United

Kingdom) to be their next Vice President, replacing Boris Bergant, RTVLSO (Slovenia).

General of the Committee of European Banking had held the position since the establishment of the Committee in 2004. Vossen joined CEBS Secretariat as Deputy Secretary General in January

2008. Before joining CEBS, he was Departmental Director at De Nederlandsche Bank, responsible

Corbalan joins Oxfam

Zehnder is the new EFBS MD


Sabban is the new AER President

Oxfam International

European Federation of


Managing Director

Assembly of Euro-

Languages: DE, EN


EU Media & Advocacy

Building Societies

Nationality: ES Angela Corbalan

for cross-sectoral policy issues.


Languages: CA, EN, ES, FR

Nationality: DE Andreas J. Zehnder

pean Regions

Start Date: 09.10.2008

Nationality: FR Michèle Sabban

Languages: ES, FR

ANGELA CORBALAN has been appointed as Media

ANDREAS J. ZEHNDER has been unanimously re-

sels-based EU Advocacy Office. Corbalan, a former

Federation of Building Societies (EFBS). The decision,

MICHÈLE SABBAN has been elected President

Zehnder will remain in the post for a further three

largest independent network of regional author-

& Advocacy Officer of Oxfam International’s Brus-

journalist, has worked in the field of communications and media relations for other non-for-profit

organisations, including the European Youth Forum, and for the EU Institutions (EC and CoR). She holds a degree in Communication Studies and an MA in International Politics.

elected as the Managing Director of the European

taken at the group’s Annual Meeting, will mean years. Zehnder, Chairman of the Management Board and President of the Verband der Privaten

Bausparkassen e.V. (Germany), has been heading the EFBS as Managing Director since 1993.


Andrew Duff, President, Union of European Federalists +++ Fiona Hall, Vice President, EUROFORES

+++ Piotr Mazurkiewicz, Secretary General, Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community +++ Khalid Ali, Secretary General, European Sports Security Association

— 50 —

Start Date: 13.11.2008

of the Assembly of European Regions (AER), the ities in wider Europe. She had served as AER Vice

President between 2006 and 2008, and has been Acting President of AER since April 2008. Sabban

was elected from a group of three candidates to

the two-year post during AER’s annual General Assembly. She has been President of the AER Observatory on Gender Issues since 2004, and has

also been Vice President of the Ile-de-France re-

gion of France since 1998. Sabban has a degree in Fine Arts.


Photos: Cassandre Sturbois; CEBS; private




EUROCITIES appoints Bevan


Mikuriya at the WCO Customs Directors General representing the 173 Members of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) have elected their new Secretary General, KUNIO MIKURIYA. He succeeds


Incumbent Secretary General, Michel Danet,

Secretary General

whose term is set to expire at the end of De-

Nationality: UK Paul Bevan

cember 2008. Before being elected Deputy

Start date: 04.11.2008

PAUL BEVAN has been appointed Secretary

General of EUROCITIES, the network of Europe-

Secretary General by the WCO Council in June

2001, Mikuriya had spent 25 years with Japan’s Ministry of Finance, which he first joined in

1976. Since January 2002, he has been leading

Kunio Mikuriya

an effort to coordinate the work of the WCO

an cities. Bevan succeeds Catherine Parmentier,

Secretariat with other international organisa-

who had been the Chief Executive of EUROCI-

TIES since 2001. Bevan has more than 25 years

tions such as the World Trade Organisation,

of experience in all levels of city, county and

World Customs Organisation

at European level within projects and networks

Nationality: JA

regional government in the UK and has worked since 1990. Most recently, he was Chief Execu-

tive Officer of the Regional Assembly for South

East England (SEERA) for the past nine years,

Secretary General

with financing bodies such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, etc, and also

from the private sector. Mukuriya’s term as Secretary General is set to run from 1 January

Languages: EN, FR, JA

2009 until 31 December 2013. He holds a de-

Start Date: 01.01.2009

gree in law from the University of Tokyo.

during which time he led governance, partnerships and strategic planning for the UK’s larg-

est region, which has a population of more than eight million people.



New Secretary General at ARE

New President at the EPTA European Power Tool Association President

Photos: Eurocities; WCO; private (2); EUA

Matthias Krauss

Alliance for Rural

European University

Secretary General




Start Date: 01.09.2008 Guido Glania

Nationality: SW Jean-Marc Rapp

Start Date:

March 2009

The Board of the Alliance for Rural Electrifica-

The European University Association (EUA) has

Start date: 26.09.2008

new Secretary General of the Alliance. Glania, a

dent. Rapp will take over from current EUA Pres-

Languages: DE, EN, FR

Tool Association (EPTAS), the trade organisation

for Europe-based companies of the power tool

industry, has elected MATTHIAS KRAUSS, CEO

of the Mafell Corporation, as new its president. Krauss succeeds Bo Risberg, and will hold the


Rapp appointed EUA President

Nationality: DE

The General Assembly of the European Power

position for two years.


tion (ARE) has appointed GUIDO GLANIA as

German national, is an economist who special-

ises in international affairs. He has worked on trade and development policy for the Federation on German Industries in Berlin and Brussels. The ARE Board also took the opportunity

to elect four new members: Bernard McNelis, José Galindez, Balthasar Klimbie and Michael Wollny.

elected Professor JEAN-MARC RAPP as its Presiident, Professor Georg Winckler, at the association’s Spring Convention in Prague in 2009. A

former President of the University of Lausanne

and the Swiss Rectors Conference, Rapp is cur-

rently an EUA Vice President. He will serve for

three years (2009-2012) as the President of EUA, which represents more than 800 European universities and 34 national rectors’ conferences.

— 51 —


Peter Witt joins GPlus

Think Tanks

Hope in Brussels

PETER WITT has joined EU communications firm GPlus Europe as a Partner. As Deputy Per-

British Council in

ion, Witt has represented Germany on busi-


manent Representative to the European Un-


ness-related policies ranging from emissions

Nationality: UK

trading, energy liberalisation, telecommuni-

cations or consumer protection to chemicals

Languages: EN, FR, IT, RU Martin Hope

legislation and all internal market issues. Witt

played a central role in negotiating with the other Member States and, during the German

The British Council in Brussels has appointed

ment and the European Commission. For

from his position as Director of the British

EU Presidency in 2007, the European Parlia-

Peter Witt

most of his 35-year career, Witt was attached

to the German Ministry for the Economy. He

GPlus Europe

served in Geneva and Washington DC as well


as seven years in Brussels, and was Head of

Nationality: DE

Languages: DE, EN, FR, NO Start Date: 15.09.2008


Denning opens new JLR Brussels office

Office of two German Economic Affairs Minis-

ters in the 1980s. He took his retirement from the civil service in June 2008.

Think Tanks

Munkhammar as Research Director

Jaguar Land Rover ernment Affairs

Nicky Denning

Languages: DE, EN, FR Start date: 11.08.2008

NICKY DENNING, the Head of European Government Affairs at Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), has been

appointed Head of the group’s new Brussels rep-

resentation Office, which she recently opened. Previously, Denning worked at the European

Automotive Manufacturers Trade Association, ACEA, for a period of six years. She has also held

posts at the Confederation of Food and Drink Industries (CIAA), and began her European career

as an assistant to a number of British Members of the European Parliament.

— 52 —

MARTIN HOPE as its new Director. He moves

Council in Moscow, a position he had occupied since 2006. Hope joined the British Council Naples in 1989, working as a teacher and teacher

trainer, and set up a Business Communications

Unit to provide training for the corporate sector.

He later held jobs at the British Council Prague, the British Council Bologna and in Singapore, where he ran the English Language Centre.


Vos directs FIPRA Brussels Office

European Enterprise


Research Director

Nationality: NL


Head of European GovNationality: UK

Start Date: 10.09.2008

Director Brussels Office

Nationality: SE Johnny Munkhammar

Languages: EN, SE

Start date: 22.09.2008

Languages: DE, EN, Sebastian Vos


Start Date: 01.09.2008

The European Enterprise Institute (EEI) has

Finsbury International Policy & Regulatory Ad-

search Director to structure and execute a new

a Director of its Brussels Office. Prior to joining

appointed JOHNNY MUNKHAMMAR as its Reexpansion of its activities to promote free en-

terprise and free competition. Munkhammar is the Managing Director of Munkhammar Advi-

sory, affiliated with think tanks like Timbro in Sweden and the author of several books, nota-

bly European Dawn and The Guide to Reform. He has previously served as Senior Fellow at the EEI, editorial writer, and economic analyst for Swedish business and public affairs advisors.

visers (FIPRA) has appointed SEBASTIAN VOS as

FIPRA, Vos was Head of the Competition Practice at consultancy Hill & Knowlton in Brussels. Be-

fore that, he worked as a lawyer at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in Amsterdam and Brus-

sels, specialising in Competition and Trade law. Vos has published on legal and political devel-

opments in journals including Europe’s World, Bloomberg’s European Business Law Journal and European Competition Law Review.


Photos: private (3); Anna Hållams




Barbutovski joins Weber Shandwick

Think Tanks

Fischer in Brussels THOMAS FISCHER has been appointed Executive Director of the Bertelsmann Stiftung

foundation’s Brussels office. The office is cur-

Weber Shandwick

rently expanding its activities to cover ad-

Senior Consultant

ditional items that feature high on the EU’s

Nationality: SI

political, economic, and social agenda. Fischer

Languages: DE, EN, Dragan Barbutovski

is responsible for the strategic realignment of


the foundation’s activities in Brussels. He will

Start date: 01.09.2008

Weber Shandwick Brussels has appointed DRAGAN BARBUTOVSKI as Senior Consultant at its

also continue to work for the foundation in his special field of expertise, i.e. national ap-

proaches towards multi-level governance in

Thomas Fischer

the EU. The office’s restructuring has meant

Public Affairs practice. Barbutovski has over ten

that other Bertelsmann Stiftung employees

years’ experience in international public affairs

and communications garnered in different roles

will be taking on new roles. Stefani Weiss, who

in Brussels and beyond. Before joining Weber

Bertelsmann Stiftung Foundation

enian EU Presidency in 2008, and for the Sta-

Nationality: DE

Shandwick, he was spokesperson for the Slovbility Pact for South Eastern Europe, a Brusselsbased intra-governmental conflict prevention

initiative in the Balkans. He began his career as

Executive Director

has represented the foundation in Brussels so

far, will remain in charge of European security

affairs. She has also taken responsibility for a new project of the foundation on the impacts

Languages: DE, EN

of globalisation. Other positions are expected

Start Date: 01.08.2008

to be created or filled in the near future.

a journalist in Slovenia.



Photos: Thierry Monasse; Veldeman Photo Brussels; private; Hans Blomberg; private

Rick Zedník joins EurActiv

May heads Vattenfall’s EU Affairs

Commercial Director/

RICK ZEDNÍK has joined EurActiv as Commercial Director and Deputy Chief Executive. He

will oversee the company’s marketing and sales

activities. Zedník comes directly from The Wall

Street Journal, where he spent six years direct-

ing pan-European product sales and marketing. Previously, Zedník, a Slovak-American born in

Germany, had been editor and then publisher of The Slovak Spectator newspaper in Bratislava, which he co-founded in 1994. EUROPEAN AGENDA 06/2008


Affairs Office

Nationality: NL

Managing Director Languages: DE, EN,

Nationality: DE

Nationality: US

Start Date: 01.09.2008


Start Date: 01.01.2009

Deputy Chief Executive

Rick Zedník

Van der Laan moves to Interel

Head of European


Languages: EN


Martin May

Languages: DE, EN, SE

FR, NL, PT Benno van der Laan

Start date: 13.11.2008

MARTIN MAY has been appointed the new

Interel has appointed BENNO VAN DER LAAN

Brussels. May replaces Reinhold Buttgereit, who

pean Affairs practice, Interel Cabinet Stewart.

Head of Vattenfall’s European Affairs Office in has assumed a new position within Vattenfall in Berlin. Per Hallberg will Act in the post until May takes over. May has held a number of senior positions in communications in the Vattenfall Group, among them a five-year assignment

as Head of Group Media Relations in Stockholm

and at present as Head of Communications for Vattenfall’s German subsidiary in Berlin.

as Managing Director for its 35-0strong EuroHe replaces Tom Parker, who is moving to Cam-

bre Associates. Van der Laan spent 10 years as a Brussels-based EU consultant and is currently the head of Interel Cabinet Stewart’s office in

Washington DC, which he established in 2001. He will continue to travel regularly to the US

and Interel will look to further strengthen its capabilities in that market.

— 53 —


Gala Brussels & EU Event Highlights

The Parliament Magazine

MEP Awards 2008 October 8, 2008—Brussels, Belgium The MEP Awards ceremony 2008 took place at the Brussels Renaissance Hotel, honouring the top achieving MEPs of 2008. Among the winners were MEPs Claude Turmes and

Photos: Matt Williams; Velderman Photo

Catherine Trautmann.

— 54 —



EuroCommerce 15th Anniversary October 8, 2008—Brussels, Belgium EuroCommerce celebrated its 15th anniversary

in style at the L’Arsenal venue in Brussels. European Commission President José Manuel Barroso

addressed the audience, and a number of work-

shop debates were held before guests let their hair down and rounded off the evening with a

Photos: Nicolas Buisseret

buffet dinner and musical entertainment.


— 55 —


Committee of the Regions

Open Days 2008 October 6—9, 2008—Brussels, Belgium Open Days 2008 focussed on

the topic of “Regions and cit-

ies in a challenging world”. Numerous workshops and debates were held, with

participants discussing the

most innovative options for the future of Europe. EU Parliament President Hans-Gert

Pöttering was on hand to congratulate participants at

Photos: European Wind Energy Association; State of Hessen

the event’s closing session.

— 56 —



European Commission

Environment Business Awards June 3, 2008—Brussels, Belgium On June 3 2008, the European Commission celebrated the achievements of the best and most environmentally friendly businesses in the EU.

Friends of Europe

President’s Dinner October 9, 2008—Brussels, Belgium The Palais d’Egmont, Brussels was the location for this annual Photos: Comittee of the regions; European Commission; Friends of Europe

dinner event which brought together some 200 Friends of Europe

Trustees along with EU Commissioners, Members of the European Parliament and many others from all walks of EU life.


— 57 —

European Agenda  

Magazin für die politische Community in Brüssel

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