The European Business Summit (EBS) is a mirror of current trends in EU Affairs, much like the concept of the 'Facebook timeline'. When ten years ago the EBS panelists were mainly from Western Europe, progressively we have seen a change towards business people and politicians from Central Europe. This was especially due to the big EU enlargement of 2004. This trend however was not very sustainable, because of the economical profile of these countries.
I also remember five-six years ago there was a great stir when ArcelorMittal bought the Belgian steel factories in Belgium. At the time we noticed many expressions referring to the Indians as the masters of the leading industry in Wallonia. In that year at EBS Mr. Mittal was one of the VIP's at the opening ceremony, along with the President of the European Commission.
After some years have passed, what is the current trend at EBS 2012? The BRIC countries: Joao Pedro Taborda of the Brazilian aviation company Embraer explained the Brazilian investment in the Portuguese economy in one of the panels. The Russian ambassador to the EU and big energy giants from Russia (like Gazprom) were very present in the programme as well. A lot of Indians participated in panels, next to European commissioners and top representatives from the private sector. But also the Chinese were very present, an outstanding example is Huawei.
Dan LUCA / Brussels