Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, EFB’s 2021 Director’s Retreat took place online.
The retreat saw Member Chapter Directors join an online conference to discuss the situation of family businesses across Europe and the challenges faced.
The retreat opened with EFB President Mr Udo J. Vetter welcoming the participants and explaining the work of EFB during the first wave of the COVID19 crisis. Mr Vetter highlighted that it is EFB’s job to ensure that the economy has a say in this recovery. It is our businesses money that is in the system and that money is going to be spent on these climate goals.
EFB Secretary General Jesús Casado then explained the situation that Europe’s businesses find themselves in. Mr Casado explained that it’s widely accepted that things will never be the same again or return to “normal” and that as a business community, we are in a moment of historical change. Instead, Mr Casado added that the new normal will be looking for fair and transparent businesses who are committed to sustainability, show a positive attitude towards problem-solving, more focused on the regions and the EU, who are resilient and care for all stakeholders not just shareholders.
The retreat welcomed Miguel López-Quesada, President of the Spanish and Latin American Association of Communication and Public Affairs Directors and Corporate Director of Communication, Marketing and Institutional Relations at Gestamp. Mr López-Quesada spoke to the Director’s on the topic: “Family Businesses speak up to exert influence”.
Mr López-Quesada gave an inspiring speech, highlighting that the COVID19 crisis has presented family businesses with the opportunity to put a face to family businesses and showcase their responsible approach to business. In order to do this, Mr López-Quesada argued that family businesses need to show that they care by being proactive and taking leadership in the crisis. He suggested that this should be done by building alliances such as with trade unions, workers, politicians and local media, then showing these to the world through good quality communication.
EFB’s Senior Policy Advisor Darius Movaghar then went onto to highlight the developments with the European Green Deal and highlighted that it had become the key pillar of the recovery and growth strategy following the COVID19 pandemic. These developments have included the increase of the Carbon Emission reductions targets and the introduction of the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS).
The retreat was a welcome experience for EFB and its’ Directors and resulted in fruitful discussion, helping EFB and its’ member chapters to progress their work and ideas.