Within the framework of the Spanish Presidency of the European Union, the Leading Brands of Spain Forum has organised a Leading Brands of the EU Meeting, in collaboration with La Caixa and IESE Business School along with the support of the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Commerce and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation. The aim of the Meeting, which will take place on 22 April at the headquarters of La Caixa, in Barcelona, is to present an initiative so that Spain can promote a policy of competitiveness for European brands and for the backing of the international image of the products and services, namely, the ‘Made in/by EU’ image. This confirms that the pooling of interest and effort not only strengthens the image but also that it is fundamental to guarantee the competitiveness of European companies. This initiative will clearly benefit in particular Spanish brands and companies in their international expansion process. In this Meeting, in which Spanish and European authorities will be taking part, a report prepared by the lecturer José Luis Nueno (IESE Business School) will be presented, which will analyse the competitiveness and strength of European brands in the international arena. In addition to this, the positioning of the image ‘made in/by EU’ will be studied along with its co-existence and how it complements the image of the member states. The challenges concerning the legal protection of European Brands will also be analysed. The report will include a series of measures and proposals that are the foundations for the development of a policy of international competitiveness for European brands, and to improve the image of European products and services in tertiary markets. High-level representatives of European brands will be present at the meeting. They will explain their view of the competitive position of European companies in the world, and the challenges and opportunities presented in the context of a global economy. The Leading Spanish Brands, with an increasingly strong presence in Europe, are a benchmark of competitiveness, innovation and sustainable development and can therefore significantly contribute to the success of the Spanish Presidency of the EU and the image that Spain wants to convey internationally. Spanish brands share common interests and problems with European brands, both on a European and global level: competitiveness with American, Japanese and emerging country brands, commercial barriers, industrial property infractions, harmonisation of the internal market etc. The common challenges convert the pooling of effort among European brands into a strategic project for the EU. This project will benefit Spanish brands in particular, by supporting the image and the historic establishment of the leading European brands in third markets, e.g. USA, Asia-Pacific, Russia, etc. The vocation of our Forum is and has always been deeply pro-European; as such, we consider it fundamental to promote the pooling of interest and effort of the Leading European Brands in consideration of the new global agents and in favour of their competitiveness in third markets.

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