I would like to welcome everyone today to the European Parliament;
When Zabala got in touch with me to host this event in the European Parliament I did not doubt that it was a great idea, particularly taking into account that Zabala celabrated their 30th anniversary last 12th of April, therefore it is my pleasure to have the chance to host this event on accelerating the commercialisation of eco-innovation in Europe‘s regions.
Eco-innovation is a key area for the european union as it aims at protecting, preserving and improving the environment for present and future generations.
In times of economic crisis, high unemployment rates, high energy prices, scarce raw materials and dependence on imports, sustainable job creation and economic growth is essential to secure social cohesion.
Innovation is one of the keys to meet this target and should therefore be fostered.
One way is through eco-innovation, which is a concept combining protection of the environment with growth, competitiveness and job creation.
Environmentally friendly innovations are essential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to use resources such as water and raw materials more efficiently, to increase the use of recycled materials and to produce quality products with less impact on the environment, just to mention a few examples, as well as to develop more environmentally friendly production processes and services.
It is responsibility of the European institutions to propose and implement policies that guarantee a high level of environmental protection and preserve the quality of life of European citizens.
At national level, it is essential to guarantee that member states apply EU environmental law correctly in favour of citizens and future generations.
I am glad that during this dinner debate we will have the chance to listen to the different stakeholders involved, we are going to have the point of view of smes, entrepeneurs, investor, the perspective from the regions and the view of the European commission.
Thank you very much,