In a packed auditorium at the European Parliament, the Commissioner for the EU Internal Market (DG Markt) Michel Barnier and European Parliament members Edit Herczog, Bill Newton Dunn and Andreas Schwab hosted a prize giving for the “Real Fake” schools competitions, followed by an exhibition.
European Parliament celebrates real kids focusing on fakes
The events were designed to raise awareness of the nature and breadth of counterfeiting and piracy issues facing European citizens today. More specifically they were designed to change perceptions that this is still an issue about cheap reproductions of luxury items rather than something that undermines our trust in genuine supply chains, as I blogged about here before.
Over 70 children from the six winning schools were among the 180 people attending, accompanied by their national MEP. Considering the lack of physical space, there was a real buzz and feeling of excitement that was reflected in the warm remarks of the MEPs, Philippe Lacoste, Yasmin Le Bon and French musician Alain Chamfort who were handing out the prizes.
Heightening society’s awareness of what is counterfeited and diverting spending from these items to the real economy is a vital part of addressing the problem. It goes to the heart of the single market, as Jerzy Buzek put it. The Commission is working across departments, with member states and stakeholders to find ways to get this message out.
To get a taste of the competition winners, watch this film from the Hungarian team, or see the glasses designed by the Greek school (here, about 5 minutes in). It retells a series of fairy tales with a counterfeit twist...
Watch Commissioner Barnier’s speech and see some more photos here.