Exhibition Industry EU Dialogue: “Free Trade ...
Exhibition Industry EU Dialogue

“Free Trade the Main Factor in European Economic Success”


EEIA (European Exhibition Industry Alliance) and AUMA (Association of the German Trade Fair Industry) have launched a new “Exhibition Industry EU Dialogue” event format in Brussels, with 50 participants from all over Europe coming together for this first event.A common theme in all EU speakers’ presentations was a clear commitment to Free Trade as the only means to maintain Europe’s economic position: to facilitate growth, wealth, and respect of EU democratic values, and to help foster stable and reliable political relations for the European Union. EEIA and AUMA co-organised the event, which was open to all AUMA, EMECA (European Major Exhibition Centres Association) and UFI (The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry) members from Europe. “We wanted to create synergies between various meetings by offering participants the chance to meet and have a shared dialogue with EU representatives, at a single occasion in Brussels”, explained Gerald Böse, CEO Kölnmesse, Chairman of the UFI European Chapter and Member of the AUMA Executive Committee.

The first part of the event was dedicated to the EU’s approach to tourism and new “Destination Europe” initiatives such as the EU-China Tourism Year 2018. Istvan Ujhelyi (MEP) and Iuliana-Gabriela Aluas (European Commission DG GROW) explained the EU’s visibility and promotion strategies, designed to increase the number of international travellers to Europe. The second part of the event was dedicated to SME internationalisation and economic diplomacy. Philippe de Taxis du Poët (European Commission DG GROW) explained the background of the increasing EU efforts in this field to support European companies, especially SMEs, to successfully internationalise, whilst promoting European values and democratic rules. The third and final part of the event, the EU’s trade strategy and latest developments concerning Free Trade Agreements, was presented by Lutz Güllner (European Commission, DG TRADE).

“The European exhibition industry is a key service industry for businesses of all sectors, and we strongly believe in a successful future under democratic rules and with open and fair markets” concluded Barbara Weizsäcker (EEIA), speaking in the name of all those present at this event. It was agreed that the Exhibition Industry EU Dialogue generated significant interest and that the cooperation