developing Wood promotion in the new EU member countries

Tallinn, 30 June 2004
The European Timber Councils Annual Meeting was held
Wood promotion developing in the new EU member countries

Following the kind invitation from the Managing Director of the Estonian Timber Counci, some representatives from wood industry associations and the EU trade association from 15 different European Countries met in Tallinn on June 29th and 30th.
The European Timber Councils network was very pleased to welcome Latvia, Poland, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia to the meeting only 2 months after the biggest enlargement of the European Union.The goal of the meeting was to exchange experience and discuss best practice in European wood promotion and to support the establishment of wood councils in the new EU member countries. To achieve this, a workshop was organised focusing on cooperation issues in a European Union of 25 countries.

The conclusion was that the exchange of experience and information as well as cooperation is very important. There is a lot of existing promotion material in the old members countries that could be easily adapted for the new members. Another cooperation need was expressed on education. Existing wood programs, lectures etc. could be adapted to national needs. The aim should be to find best practice procedures and to apply them to those countries.

The European timber trade federation FEBO made a presentation appealing for more involvement of trade into promotion.

The participants concluded that there is already a solid basis for promotional activities leading to the creation of a “wood culture” based on sustainable development, which should increase consumption per capita in the European Union. These combined efforts will also help wood to compete more effectively against other materials.

The results of 5 pan-European projects were also presented at the meeting. For instance, the first issue of the European Wood Magazine was simultaneously released in 9 countries and 4 languages, showing best practices of wood in construction across Europe to architects, specifiers and public authorities. The European Wood Initiative is a project aimed at increasing wood consumption in China and Japan and includes the main European timber exporting countries.

The meetings were held in combination with the CEI-Bois promotion working group, who gave an update on the “Roadmap 2010 for the European Woodworking Industries”, as well as the presentation of its new website.

The participating countries in the meeting were Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Sweden and the UK.