Event: Circular Choices for a competitive EU bioeconomy

Aug 30, 2023

26 September 2023


registrations from 13:30*

Thon Hotel EU

Rue de la Loi 75, 1040 Brussels

Panel debate: Supporting EU competitiveness for green industrialisation objectives
As the Spanish EU Presidency prioritises the reindustrialisation of the EU and how to ensure open strategic autonomy, the role of sustainable value chains of manufacturing industries will be key as they provide meaningful employment, reduce continuing dependence of Europe on fossil resources and help cutting carbon emissions of other sectors. But this focus also opens new questions: How can EU sustainable industries remain competitive in the long term? How to ensure and re-build EU competitiveness while moving towards a circular bioeconomy?

TED TALK-style session: Bioeconomy talks
Through this session, we wish to highlight the already positive developments and the “real examples” of low-carbon innovations that are taking place at national level across the sector. Additionally, we wish to reflect on why it is important to keep investing in the EU and what challenges our companies might be facing to make that happen in the years to come.

With this event, Cepi wishes to facilitate an open discussion on EU competitiveness in the context of the green transition: the bottlenecks, opportunities, and solutions ahead of 2030 and beyond.


Welcome and registrations



Jennifer Baker



Opening keynote address

Alberto Ruiz

Counsellor for Industry, Permanent Representation of Spain to the EU


TED TALK-style session: Bioeconomy talks

Company representatives

Veronique Hoflack
CEO of panels division, Unilin, Belgium

Pau Vila
Director General, LC Paper, Spain

Prisca d’Oultremont
Co-Founder, Live Light, Belgium

Stefan Sundman
Vice-President of Public Affairs division, UPM, Finland

Massimiliano Spallanzani
Sales Manager, ECOBLOCKS, Italy


Coffee break


Panel debate: Supporting EU competitiveness for green industrialisation objectives

Hans Ingels

Head of Bioeconomy, Chemicals & Cosmetics Unit, DG GROW, European Commission

Ilkka Hämälä

Cepi chairman and CEO of Metsä Group

Isabel Yglesias

Head of EU Affairs and Delegate to the EU, Spanish Confederation of Business Organizations (CEOE)


Discussion with the audience


Closing remarks

Jori Ringman

Cepi Director General

Circular Choices*

In March 2023, Cepi launched the Circular Choices Coalition for a competitive EU bioeconomy, which promotes the policy and market conditions necessary in the EU to scale-up the circular bioeconomy. The coalition, which is the broadest ever within the sector, brings together 14 EU trade associations that represent providers of renewable products and renewable energy solutions -wood, fibre-based, paper, products and packaging, bioenergy industries. And it is supported by a further of six trade associations that represent EU forest owners and managers. 

These integrated value chains are a pillar of the EU economy. They are also key for the strategic autonomy of Europe: they are renewable and sourced, made and recycled in Europe, with European technology. Together, they directly employ more than four million Europeans, representing 520 billion euro in annual turnover. It is also a manufacturing powerhouse: one in every five manufacturing companies in Europe are in this sector.