The European Union will tomorrow officially kick-start its programme of activities at the EXPO 2015 Universal Exhibition in Milan. Centred on the theme of global food and nutrition challenges, EXPO is an opportunity for the EU to showcase its work in different food related areas and help raise awareness of this important global issue. To ensure a lasting legacy, the main focus will be put on the role of science with dedicated events and a set of recommendations to be unveiled on 15 October, the day before World Food Day. The central role of science will also be reflected in the EU pavilion, the EU's main exhibition space at EXPO.
Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, and responsible for the Commission's Joint Research Centre, added: "We want to seize the EXPO opportunity and make sure the EU delivers a legacy. The best way of doing this is to harvest the potential of research, science and innovation to overcome our food challenges in a sustainable manner."
Several Commissioners are expected to attend EXPO during the 6 month event. The programme will kick off on 8 May with the international conference on the role of research for the global food and nutrition security with Commissioner Tibor Navracsics. The following day, when EXPO officially opens its doors to the public, High Representative and Vice-President Federica Mogherini and the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, will hold a special Citizens' Dialogue with more than 1000 students.
Other Commissioners who will attend one or several events between May and October include Phil Hogan, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Vytenis Andriukaitis, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Neven Mimica, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, as well as Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.
A crucial date is 15 October, when Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, will present the Commission's paper on the role of research and innovation in ensuring safe, nutritious, sufficient and sustainable food globally.
The EU's presence at EXPO Milan, which is coordinated by the Joint Research Centre, aims to showcase the EU's role in tackling food-related challenges to a global audience. More than 145 countries are participating in this year's EXPO, which is expected to attract more than 20 million visitors.
The EU is at the forefront in many food-related areas: It guarantees some of the highest food standards in the world, its food industry is the largest manufacturing sector and employer, and it is a prominent player in international development and humanitarian aid.