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GENERAL ASSEMBLY CEC - Tuesday 25 May 2010 Constantinople – TURKEY Welcome by Mr Dimitri Paliokostas - President of new and small producing countries in CEC (Active vice-president of CEC).

Mr Chairman,
Mr. president of the Turkish Federation
Dear Colleagues ,
Ladies and Gentlemen ,
It is a real privilege and pleasure to welcome you to the GA of CEC.
• As we mentioned already yesterday, this General Assembly
has two main characteristics. The economic crisis and the absence of Mr Smets. It is the first time in the history of CEC that he is not present. Once again, I wish a speedy recovery to Mr Smets and to be always with us specially this difficult time .
• As vice president I have been entrusted by the general
assembly last year for the animation of the new countries and Small Producing Countries.
• To be a small country in Europe has a special signification.
• Indeed politicians from large countries seems to forget
that Europe is the result of a “ together story ».
• And small countries have not the feeling to be able to show
enough arguments to force the large countries to show respect and consideration.
• Ministers have all sorts of considerations but very often
not the once that are focusing our industry, our retail or our consumers. At least small countries and small producers receive a special attention from CEC.
• Small producing countries represent 50% of MEPs
(Members of the European Parliament ) and 44% of votes to the Council.
• So we have to focus on the lobby work of the small
producing countries in order:

• To express a common voice with our governments
• To offer a real support to the larger countries to be no longer isolated as the “big once”
• And finally to reach common goals.

• So, we, all the small producing countries, must contact our
governments, with the presentations that we will hear at this meeting and stress the importance of footwear sector. (Production, employment, fashion, innovation, cultural heritage) .
• Trade is of crucial value for our business. On one side the
large department stores, discounters and large retail chains.
• And on the other side, the specialized retailers on which
we have to focus. They still in most countries represent more than 55 % of the consumption. They are bringing the small pleasures in life to the consumer with attractive models, innovative technology, comfort improvements and healthy aspects.
And over all, in a friendly atmosphere and personalised service.
• We should support measures in favour of the specialised retailers.
• We should support measures providing EU Consumer Awareness on social and environmental issues.
• We could ask to the Commission (eventually with CEDDEC) for a study of European distribution and retailing changes on footwear (including national and EU policies on this matter and consumer behaviour changes).
• This year I focus on antidumping because it was considered by our General Assembly as a priority.
The extension of the measures was a very difficult task.
We succeed at first a positive proposal of the Commission.
But the Council was not in favour of the measures.
(of course Italy and personally the chairman Artioli, was the big fighter on this matter.)
From our part :
• We were in touch with the small and new countries.
• We had a very positive feedback by the Romanian
federation and I would like to thank our Romanian colleagues today for their support and lobby.
• We invited in Greece the Federation of Cyprus.
• We did a lobby to the Cypriot Government but without
• We took actions also to the European Parliament and we
succeed the support of Members of the European Parliament during the Commission consultation on antidumping extension measures.
• We took also action towards the Commissioners.
• As small producing and new countries we will continue to do so for the next year following the decisions of our general Assembly, of today.

Dear Colleagues ,

• The fingers and the comments of yesterday, say that :
- Till today we had to face the sector crisis.
- Now we have to face the general Crisis too.
(The moral crisis, the political and as a result the economic).
- Our survival is in stake.
- Risks are more important in the small producing countries.
- The common work through CEC is now more needed than ever.
- We have to be present everywhere, always, all together.
This is the real deal of the crisis.
- To fight against isolation.
- To promote communication.
- To promote solidarity.
• The biggest lesson of the current crisis is the
• In the global world problems, the solutions cannot be local.
• We need more strong common actions.
• This is necessary for the countries and for our sector too.
• CEC is our common reference. So in priority we must protect the consensus spirit of our confederation.
• I wish you a very instructive meeting and I thank you for your attention,

Dimitri Paliokostas






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