On the evening of 23 June EIF invited its members and friends to celebrate together the 15th anniversary in the European Parliament.
More than 140 guests, including MEPs, EIF members, European Commission and EU Member States representatives, former MEPs, joined to mark this occasion.
Pilar del Castillo, MEP and EIF Chair, delivered a speech on EIF's past, present and future ‘EIF 2000-2015 and beyond’.
Some facts about EIF from the last 15 years:
_EIF started with 8 founding business members. Today we have 46 business members and 70 associate members.
_Over the past 15 years upwards of 50 individual Members of European Parliament have served on our governance committees.
_Every year we organise at least 24 high level debates with speakers from all over Europe and the world, including CEOs, Ministers and other high level representatives. That adds up to something over 300 events since our founding.
_We have organized many study visits for MEPs in Europe, the US and Asia.
_We are always present at the world-level Internet Governance conferences.
_We have and continue to enjoy cooperative and productive relations with members and officials of the European Commission, and regularly welcome EU member-state representatives to our events.
_In 2009 at the outset of the then newly-elected European Parliament we published “The Digital World in 2025”, based on the active contributions of our membership, and repeated the exercise in 2014 before the most recent EP election with “The Digital World in 2030 – what place for Europe?”
EU Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Günther Oettinger joined the celebrations and met EIF members for this occasion. He also delivered a speech titled 'Towards the Digital Economy'.
Commissioner Oettinger congratulated EIF with its 15 years anniversary. He also encouraged public-private partnerships to work together to make Europe a place where innovation, start-ups and digital economy are flourishing.
After all celebration speeches EIF chair Pilar del Castillo, Commissioner Oettinger and EIF Board of Management Chair Peter Olson cut the birthday cake. EIF members and friends continued to exchange views with Mr Oettinger, enjoyed the cake and rhythms of jazz.
EIF was founded in March 2000 by three Members of the European Parliament from 3 different political groups: James Elles, Erika Mann and Elly Plooij-van Gorsel.