The Bureau of the EPP Group will meet on Thursday 8 and Friday 9 March in Valencia (Spain) to discuss innovation in the European economy, with special focus on agriculture.

The EPP Group considers that the EU needs a wake-up call on innovation in order to face US and Asian competition. The EU needs to speed up and catch up in order to shape the next digital wave that will see digital technology move from smartphones into households. Success will depend on our ability to transform innovation into daily life, and Europe is best placed to do that. The European way of life has all the ingredients for success: values, a fair social market economy, creative capacities and stable democracies. These competitive advantages are combined with industrial success stories, excellent research capacities, robust educational systems, and the strongest consumer power.

This is why the EPP Group Bureau Members will discuss a paper on innovation in Valencia and will exchange views with experts and business representatives.

At the meeting, several European companies will also offer examples of innovation projects they are developing in key sectors such as health, agriculture, security, environment or mobility. New innovations and technology are also reforming methods in farming and food production. The digital future of agriculture will be one of the main questions to be discussed.

The Spanish Prime Minister and President of the Partido Popular (PP), Mariano Rajoy; the Deputy Prime Minister of Spain, Soraya Saénz de Santamaria; the Spanish Defence Minister and Secretary-General of the PP, Maria Dolores Cospedal; and the President of the region of Galicia, Alberto Nuñez Feijoo, amongst others, will deliver speeches during the working sessions.

European Parliament President Antonio Tajani and the European Commissioners for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan; and Research, Science and Innovation, Carlos Moedas, will also feature at the event.

Esteban González Pons MEP, EPP Group Vice-Chairman and Head of the Group’s Spanish Delegation, said: “Valencia will be an opportunity to boost the debate on innovation, one of the main priorities of the EPP Group and the EU. In a globalised world, Europeans must work together to implement a strong policy on innovation which works in favour of all citizens.”