EXPO2020 Dubai (1 October 2021 – 31 March 2022) was the first in-person global event after the COVID19 pandemic, involving 192 countries and 16 organisations and institutions. Despite the challenging health and travel situation, EXPO2020 acted as a global hub with strong convening power, attracting over 24 million visits including several Heads of State and Government (e.g. Belgium, Brazil, Burundi, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Egypt, France, Fiji, Indonesia, Israel, Ivory Coast, Latvia, Lesotho, Lithuania, South Korea, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Maldives, Monaco, Morocco, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Rwanda, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Seychelles, Spain, Sri Lanka, Uganda).
Eight High Level visits at Commissioner/Vice-President level were organised at EXPO (HRVP Borrell, VP Schinas (twice), VP Šuica, VP Šefčovič, Cssr. Simson, Cssr. Wojciechowski, Cssr. Lenarcic), most of which included high-level meetings with Emirati senior officials. Other Commissioners participated in EXPO events through their virtual interventions or statements (VP Timmermans, Cssr. Urpilainen, Cssr. Gabriel, Cssr. Sinkevičius) as well as the President of the European Central Bank Lagarde. The President of the European Commission contributed with a “Letter to Future Generations” that was read at the closing ceremony of the Women Pavilion.
Notwithstanding the absence of a stand-alone EU pavilion, the EU was an Official Participants in EXPO2020 Dubai and contributed to the organisation of 60 physical events, 4 online pre-EXPO panel discussions, 3 expositions and a two-months long itinerant food fair and engaged at least 82.050 people physically and 2.170.380 people online.
This was possible thanks to a close cooperation with Member States in a “Team Europe” spirit, highlighting a sense of European unity and solidarity. Cooperation among EU services and Member States was established at an early stage through the EXPO2020 Task Force that matched EU Services with EU Member States interested to contribute or host EU-led events in specific policy areas. The coordination continued throughout the duration of EXPO2020 through weekly coordination meetings that allowed sharing information across EU Member States, fostering additional ideas for cooperation and reinforcing our collective visibility (e.g. EU flags displayed by Member States pavilions, joint campaigns, synergies across EU Member States events and distribution of common information material).
You can find more information and the pictures about EU events and activities at EXPO2020 as well as the cooperation with EU Member States in the report that you can find here.
What did the EU talk about during EXPO2020 Dubai?
EXPO2020 served as an opportunity to take part or trigger global conversations to raise awareness about EU policy priorities and engage with the UAE and with the broader public on a variety of global issues that require joint global responses. EU events focused on six thematic areas: the European Green Deal, Business & Economy, Innovation and Digitalisation, Inclusivity & equality (with a focus on women empowerment), Food & Farming and intercultural dialogue.
Video of EU Honour Day Celebrations at EXPO2020 Dubai
Video showing the main themes of EU participation in EXPO2020
Commissioner General, Amb. Andrea Fontana presents EU participation in EXPO2020
Deputy Commissioner General, Dr. Pietro De Matteis presents EU participation in EXPO2020 on EXPO TV
Visit by High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy & Vice President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell
Visit by European Commission Vice President for Promoting European Way of Life, Margaritis Schinas
Visit by European Commission Vice President for Democracy & Demography, Dubravka Šuica
Visit by European Commission Vice President for Interinstitutional Relations & Foresight, Maroš Šefčovič
Visit to the Ukrainian Pavilion by Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič
Visit by European Union Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson
Visit by European Union Commissioner for Agriculture, Janusz Wojciechowski
Intervention by European Central Bank President, Christine Lagarde