EU – On January 14, 2016 during the PSI Show in Düsseldorf, the concept for a new European promotional products umbrella association was presented. Representatives of the European national associations 2fpco (France), Assoprom (Italy), BAPP (Belgium), BPMA (Great Britain) and PPP (the Netherlands) as well as several European promotional products distributors and suppliers were in attendance. Furthermore, the current board of the existing European umbrella association EPPA (European Promotional Products Association), Kjell Harbom (NAPA, Scandinavia), Gabriel Moese (Fyvar, Spain/Portugal), Ralf Samuel (GWW, Germany) and Annette Scott (Promota, Great Britain), also attended the meeting.
Michel van Bavel (BAPP), Neal Beagles (BPMA), Ulrik Heidbuchel (BAPP) and Yann Riou (2fpco) put the concept of a new association with the provisional name EPMO (European Product Media Organisation) up for discussion. The proposals had been worked out by a team of European industry representatives.
The objectives for the new initiative proposed so far include lobby work, the further education of the members, market research as well as the establishment of a functioning CSR programme.
The initiators underlined the necessity of a functioning European association that is ideally financed and supported by all of the individual national associations. The aim is to learn from the mistakes of the past, particularly concerning financial matters, to keep the structures lean, to delegate the tasks more strongly to the individual associations than hitherto and to benefit from mutual experiences and strengths.
An open, lively and in parts emotional discussion followed. Especially the question as to whether the new association should be based on the structures of the EPPA or not was a controversially debated issue. The majority of the attendees ultimately agreed to cooperate with the further development of the concept – a new meeting was scheduled in February for this purpose. The EPPA board announced that it would decide at its next General Annual Meeting whether and to what extent EPPA intends to participate in the new initiative.