Announcement of groundbreaking European Commission recognition

We are delighted to announce the European Commission’s recent landmark recognition of the high-end luxury sectors as a cultural and creative force; a recognition which is the result of two years of close cooperation between Walpole and the European Cultural Creative Industries Alliance (EECIA). Walpole is a founding member of the ECCIA, alongside our counterparts in Italy, Altagamma; Comite Colbert in France; Spain’s Circulo Fortuny; and Meisterkreiss of Germany. Together we represent over 300 luxury businesses in Europe, which are worth 400 billion euros and employ over one million people. On 26th September, the European Commission adapted its Communication on the cultural and creative value of the luxury industry, by publishing the Commission Staff Working Document on the Competitiveness of the European High-End Industries.

This is a great victory for our sector, and a key milestone in positioning us alongside media, policy makers, civil society and the public at large. 

In the Working Document, the European Commission:
-              Defines our sector as relying on culture and creativity
-              Recognises our horizontal high-end business model vs vertical sectors
-              Recognises the strategic importance of our sector as growth driver

And it concludes that: 
“Considering the significant impact of the high-end industries on the EU economy and their contribution to EU employment and innovation, it is important to ensure that adequate policies are in place at EU level that take into account the high-end business model and help the sector to continue to grow and create jobs.”

As an industry we need extensive policy protection against national and international forces which threaten the unique aspects of our trade, industry and profession. Fortunately, it is clear from September’s ruling that we are heading in the right direction, which is good news for the luxury goods industry – and very good news for Europe.

To read this document for yourself, please click here for the Commission Staff Working Document on the Competitiveness of the European High-End Industries.