Spain chairs European excellence in 2018

| 27 February 2018
  • Círculo Fortuny took over the presidency held by Comité Colbert of the European Cultural and Creative Industries Alliance (ECCIA), which comprises over 500 companies from the high-end industry.
  • The presidency’s objectives will be to protect intellectual property, build a more secure and sustainable digital environment, and present updated figures of the high-end industry’s contribution to the European economy and employment.
  • It is estimated that the worldwide sales volume for high-end products and services will be 1.160 billion euros in 2017 (similar to Spain’s GDP), where Europe accounts for 70%, i.e. 812 billion euros. 1
  • This industry employs around 1.7 million people in the EU. 2 It is estimated that the companies in the high-end industry in Spain currently have a turnover of around 9 billion euros per year, with average growth rates higher than the GDP rate.

This year, Círculo Fortuny, the association which represents the Spanish companies in the high-end industry and cultural institutions with international prestige, took over the presidency of the European Cultural and Creative Industries Alliance (ECCIA), which comprises over 500 companies and institutions from the European Union.

At an event held at the Prado Museum hosted by its board chairman, Mr José Pedro Pérez-Llorca, the executive chairman of Círculo Fortuny, Mr Carlos Falcó – Marqués de Griñón, received the baton from his predecessor, Mr Guillaume de Seynes, chairman of Comité Colbert, to take over the presidency of the ECCIA, the alliance which groups the five leading institutions in the European high-end industry: Comité Colbert (France), Altagamma (Italy), Walpole (United Kingdom), Meisterkreis (Germany) and Círculo Fortuny (Spain).

 1 Luxury Goods Worldwide Market Study, October 2017 Bain & Company

2 Frontier Economics Report for ECCIA 2014

During his speech, Carlos Falcó presented the association’s lines of action for this year, which are mainly to foster the e-commerce development of the high-end brands in a secure and sustainable way; protect and foster creativity by defending intellectual property; provide fair support to third markets; foster the savoir faire and capabilities of our industries in Europe; and foster Europe’s power to act through tourism.

According to Carlos Falcó, the president of the ECCIA and chairman of Círculo Fortuny, “taking on the presidency of the ECCIA is a true privilege and an obvious responsibility. Following the example of the Prado Museum, the aim is to preserve the best European cultural values and traditions while, at the same time, maintain our creative dynamism to enable Europe, which is based on excellence and innovation, to continue being the model for prosperity and quality of life in the fascinating world of progress provided by the 21st century.” Carlos Falcó also added that all of this was “for those who know how to integrate the new technological advances with the traditional values.”

According to Guillaume de Seynes, the former president of the ECCIA, who is the chairman of Comité Colbert and Executive Vice President of Hermès, “in these two years of my presidency, we have seen how our industry has contributed to boosting economic growth and employment in Europe and we have worked on being the best ambassadors to show our values throughout the world. By speaking directly with the European bodies, we have defended intellectual property, which is so important in our industry, and we have demanded, among other actions, legislative measures to strengthen the protection of EU citizens and companies vis-à-vis the online distribution of illegal products. We also carried out other actions with excellent results to maintain selective distribution, which is a fundamental cornerstone of our industry’s business model. The reality is that we are now a stronger and more consolidated industry that is acknowledged by all the players which influence our markets in one way or another.”

 The industry’s figures

The high-end industry contributes to an improvement in the economy, competitiveness, creativity, innovation and employment. According to the Luxury Goods Worldwide Market Study by Bain & Company, presented in October 2017, it is estimated that the worldwide sales volume for high-end products and services was 1.160 billion euros in 2017, where Europe accounts for 70%, i.e. 812 billion euros3, with growth of nearly 50% with respect to 2013. Of the top 25 international companies in the industry, 17 were from the European Union4.

3  Luxury Goods Worldwide Market Study, October 2017 Bain & Company

Frontier Economics Report for ECCIA 2014



The industry employs around 1.1 million people directly and 600,000 indirectly in Europe5. Over 75% of EU citizens acknowledge the importance of the high-end industry for the future of culture, the economy and quality employment6.

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