The two-day event began with the 20th Annual Meeting of the European Parliament Ceramics Forum (EPCF), chaired by EPCF Chair Inmaculada Rodríguez-Piñero Fernández, MEP in the European Parliament. Esteemed speakers addressed attendees on the topics of environment, energy, trade, climate, and research & innovation. Fulvia Raffaelli (Head of Unit, Clean Technologies and Products, DG GROW) emphasized the importance of carrying out a green transition of the energy-intensive industries that keeps them competitive. On research and innovation, Peter Droell (Director DG Research & Innovation – Prosperity [Rtd.F]) discussed how Horizon 2020 and similar partnerships can support the ceramic industry. In closing, Roman Doubrava (Deputy Head of Unit C3 DG CLIMA) explored the EU ETS Innovation fund.
Following the 20th EPCF meeting, the Cerame-Unie Cocktail was held with its main guest Malcolm Harbour, former MEP who in 1999 re-established the European Parliament Ceramic Forum. Alain Delcourt (President of Cerame-Unie) also gave a speech marking the Forum’s 25th anniversary and the MEPs were also offered the opportunity to meet their local industry representatives.
The second day opened with the Cerame-Unie General Assembly where Mr Renaud Batier (Director-General of Cerame-Unie) and President Alain Delcourt presented to members the actions taken in 2019, the advocacy priorities for 2020, and the review of Cerame-Unie’s long-term strategy. The event continued with the public conference on skills, opened by Joost Korte, Director General of DG Employment.
The Cerame-Unie General Assembly continued with the FEUGRES general Assembly and the Cerame-Unie workshop on Research Innovation where the members had the chance to discuss the SPIRE updates and interact with the European Commission.