Empowering consumers – European Parliament on FoP labellingEUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, OCTOBER 12th

>> Download the press release <<

Empowering consumers

FoP labellings reform: health, knowledge, liberties 


European Parliament 

October 12th – 16:00 CEST 

The European Commission is reviewing regulation 1169/11 to adopt a mandatory front-of-pack nutritional label by the end of 2022, as part of the broader Farm to Fork Strategy.

The roundtable presented science-based arguments to help policy makers produce public policies that will enhance individual liberties and the freedom of choice, advance knowledge and individual critical thinking, strengthen free trade, protect local diets and traditions, and promote a healthy and sustainable diet. 

On October 12th, more than 200 people joined a high-level panel of distinguished scientists and analysts to discussed the reform of the front-of-pack nutritional label.

FoP labels are important tools because they can either determine or condition consumers’ behaviour and freedom of choice. They can direct or empower consumers. Behind FoP there’s a philosophical interpretation of the roles the State and citizens play. 
The roundtable helped participants understanding the science (nutrition, economics, philosophy) behind the FoP reform. Particularly it provided an in-depth analysis on the following topics:
  • The most recent findings in the science of nutrition.
  • The science behind the different FoP labels schemes.
  • The impact of FoP labels on trade and free market.
  • The role of the EU public policies in fighting obesity and related diseases. 
  • The link between FoP, knowledge and critical thinking. 
  • The philosophy behind the FoP labels.

The roundtable was hosted by MEP Jordi Canas and co-organized by Competere, Renew Europe and Ciudadanos.

If you missed the event, download the slides some of the presenters used and watch the full video of the event.

Download the slides

At this link, find the remarks by Christina Papanikolaou. 


Pills from the event 

Ramon Estruch, Professor, University of Barcelona


Pietro Paganini, President, Competere.eu

Herbert Dorfmann, MEP, EPP 

Georgios Kyrtsos, MEP, Renew Europe 

Jordi Cañas, MEP, Renew Europe


>> Download the programme <<.


What does the Science of Nutrition say? Latest research and projections of the scientific community
Prof. Michele Carruba, University of Milano 
Prof. Ramon Estruch, University of Barcelona 
How will a FoP labelling affect our economy and trade? The voice of the SMEs and local producers in Europe
Mr. Horst Heitz, Taxpayers of Europe
Ms. Véronique Willems, SMEunited 
Knowledge is Power: Promoting critical thinking or guiding consumers choice?
Ms. Madalina Balau, Danubius University of Galati
Prof. Pietro Paganini, Competere.eu 
A force for change: what policies are needed to empower consumers toward healthier diets?
MEP Jordi Cañas, Renew Europe
MEP Herbert Dorfmann, EPP 
MEP Georgios Kyrtsos, Renew Europe 
Check out the speaker bios below!
Download the flyer



Mădălina Bălău is a passionate researcher in consumer behavior, sustainable consumption, symbolic consumption, individual choice modeling, business and marketing strategies. In some of her articles she explores the limits of consumers’ empowerment, of freedom of choice and rationality. She obtained the title of doctor in Marketing in 2015 at the Doctoral School of Economics and Business Administration of the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration – “Al. I. Cuza”, Iași, Romania, with the doctoral thesis entitled “Motivational determinants in the modeling of the decision to purchase passenger cars in Romania”. She is Lecturer at Danubius University of Galați, Romania, Faculty of Economic Sciences and Business Administration and she is member of the Scientific Committee of the Research Centre on Socio-Economic Dynamics in Sustainable Development (DiSEDD) of the Danubius University of Galaţi.

Michele Carruba graduated in Medicine and Surgery at the University of Milan and in Pharmacy at the University of Rome. He is a specialist in Pharmacology applied to industry. He is a current member of national and international scientific societies, ministerial and university research commissions, author of more than 350 publications in qualified international journals; contract professor of Pharmacology at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Milan; president of the Scientific Committee of the Nutritional Institute Carapelli Fondazione ONLUS, president of the Scientific Committee of ICAMP (International College of Aesthetic Medicine Pratical), president of the executive committee of “Milano Cities Canging Diabetes” and member of the executive board of the Health City Institute.

Ramon Estruch is Senior Consultant of the Internal Medicine Department of the Hospital Clinic (Barcelona), Professor of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Barcelona, and Director of the Research Group on Nutrition, Cardiovascular Diseases and Aging of IDIBAPS (Institut d’ Investigació August Pi i Sunyer ) at Barcelona. He has published more than 600 papers in high-impact journals and in the years 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 has been named one of the most influential scientists in the world (“Highly Cited Researcher” by Claryvate Analytics). His “H” index is 98.

Horst Heitz is Head of Office of the Taxpayers Association of Europe (TAE). In 2019 he was already appointed Deputy Secretary General and Special Envoy for SMEs for TAE. He joined the SME Connect (SMEC) Steering Committee in 2017 as a representative of SME Europe (SMEE) and the European Economic Senate (EES). In 2015 he was appointed as EES Senator and Horst Heitz became Executive Director of SMEE in 2012.

Pietro Paganini is an economic and (geo)political analyst and disseminator, and the Chair and Founder at Competere. Pietro serves as Adjunct Professor in Business Administration at Fox School of Business – Temple University of Philadelphia (2015), and as Adjunct Professor in Business Administration at John Cabot University, Rome (2008). He served as Visiting Professor for the MPOB-UKM Endowment Chair, The National University of Malaysia (UKM) (2021). He served as General Director of Fondazione Luigi Einaudi. He is the founder of the Italian Institute for Privacy – Istituto Italiano per la Privacy e la Valorizzazione dei Dati – where he seats in the Board. He is a regular contributor to the Italian national newspapers and international publications and media, in which he has continuously advocated for an open society and innovation policies. He is regularly hosted in TV and radio talk shows on main Italian and international broadcasters.

Véronique Willems is secretary general of SMEUnited (formerly known as UEAPME), the organisation that represents the Crafts and SMEs in Europe. Previously, Willems was head of European affairs at UNIZO, an SMEunited Belgian member organisation, where she was responsible for advocacy on policies affecting SMEs at the EU-level. She started her career over there first as a policy officer in charge of education, training and SME counselling and was then in charge of counselling and mentoring SMEs and advocacy at the regional level in the regional office (Vlaams-Brabant & Brussel). In January 2016, Willems was nominated deputy to the SME-representative for Belgium at the European Economic and Social Committee. She holds a law degree from Vrije Universiteit Brussel as well as a master’s degree in commercial sciences and business management from VLEKHO Brussel.

Jordi Canas 

Herbert Dorfmann 

Georgios Kyrtsos

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