17 Mar 2015

Sixth Bruges European Business Conference

E, A/B, D, G

Dijver, Bruges campus
Dijver 11
8000 Bruges

Dijver, Bruges campus


Conference website


Press Release




The College of Europe, in partnership with Deloitte, hosted the sixth Bruges European Business Conference on Tuesday 17 March 2015.

The focus of this year's #6BEBC conference was on “Drivers of Growth” and it emphasized three policy areas that can contribute to the recovery of European economy: Energy Policy, Digital Economy, Transatlantic Trade.

The European Commission’s top priority is to get Europe growing again and creating jobs. By establishing a connected digital single market, up to €250 billion of additional growth in Europe can be generated. At the same time, the EU needs to lay the foundations of an energy union that can ensure energy security and competitive prices. The EU also can boost trade through the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which can improve the export potential of quality European enterprises.

The purpose of the Conference was to bring together European political and business leaders to discuss the state of the European economy, appropriate policy responses and business strategies. Invited speakers analysed the factors impacting economic growth and outlined their proposals.  


After two plenary sessions in the morning, the afternoon was dedicated to three in-depth parallel workshops with panels bringing together eminent scholars, high-level regulators and business professionals.

The workshops focused on:

  • Digital Economy;
  • Energy Policy;
  • Transatlantic Trade (TTIP).



Jyrki KATAINEN, Vice President of the European Commission

Walter van KUIJEN, Senior Vice President, Global Government & Public Affairs, Royal Philips

John F. SAMMIS, Deputy Chief of Mission, United States Mission to the European Union 

Markus BEYRER, Director-General BUSINESSEUROPE

Klaus Dieter RENNERT, CEO of Hitachi Europe Ltd.

Philippe LAMBERTS, MEP, Co-Chair Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance

Arnaldo ABRUZZINI, Secretary General Eurochambres

Dame DeAnne JULIUS, Chair, Council of the University College London & Non-Executive Director of Roche Holding Ltd and Jones Lang LaSalle.

Juhan LEPASSAAR, Head of Cabinet, Cabinet of Vice President Ansip, Digital Single Market

Alain BERGER, Senior Vice President for European Affairs, ALSTOM

Denis REDONNET,  Head of the Trade Strategy Unit, DG TRADE, European Commission 

Joost VAN ROOST, CEO ExxonMobil Benelux

Stephen COLLINS, Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Microsoft EMEA

Simon HAMPT0N, Director, Technology Policy Advocates

Jacques PELKMANS, Senior Fellow, CEPS & Visiting Professor, College of Europe 

Federico TARANTINI, DG ENERGY, Directorate Energy Policy


Hylke VANDENBUSSCHE, KU Leuven and Advisor at DG ECFIN, European Commission



The conclusions of the plenary sessions and the insights gained from the workshops will be published in the conference proceedings and disseminated widely to policy makers, business executives and academics across Europe.


Past conferences

College of Europe:  Mr. Gil STEIN, Tel. +32 50 47 72 27; gil.stein@coleurope.eu

Deloitte Belgium:  Ms Aleksandra MALECKA, amalecka@deloitte.com

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