Why Europe Matters
Ahead of the upcoming European Parliament elections, Tim Brett and Lana Popovic, Presidents of Coca-Cola Western Europe and Central and Eastern Europe, outline how Coca-Cola has been supporting Europe for more than a century, and why Europe matters today.
This month’s European elections come at a crucial time. Recent passionate campaigns on climate change, circular economy and on the idea of European integration have brought the debate on Europe’s future to the fore. As a business that is interwoven in the fabric of our society, we believe Europe matters now more than ever.
For the first time in modern history, Europe has enjoyed more than half a century of peace, stability and prosperity. Together with our bottling partners, distributors and suppliers, we benefit from a strong, prosperous Europe every day. The creation of the single market has allowed businesses like ours to operate efficiently across borders and offered consumers a wider choice of goods at lower prices. And today EU decisions on topics as diverse as GDPR, nutrition labelling, plastics and packaging directly inform our approach.
Our European business makes a substantial contribution to our global Company. With Coca-Cola European Partners, Coca-Cola Hellenic and some smaller bottling partners in Europe, we are also proud to contribute to the societies we serve. As a system we have 75 bottling plants across 24 EU member states, supporting more than 39,000 Coca-Cola jobs and more than 400,000 indirect jobs across our value-chain. Our operations create more than €27.4 billion for European economies annually. You can find out more about our presence here.
None of this is built overnight. It requires investment, perseverance and long-term commitment. 2019 is an important year in Brussels and a truly historic year for Coca-Cola. Our drinks have been available in Europe since 1900, but our Europe story really began 100 years ago when our first bottling plant opened in Paris in 1919. Our French colleagues recently began their centenary celebrations, and we’ll be marking the European milestone later in the year.
We firmly believed in Europe’s promise a century ago and continue to have great confidence in its future. 2019 represents a critical point on the journey. The next European Parliament can play a vital role in advancing the qualities that make Europe strong. As always – Coca-Cola is committed to working together on our common ambitions every step of the way.
Whatever your political passions, your vote counts. Democracy needs to be lived to remain alive. We encourage you to take some time to learn more on the important debates ahead of the elections in late-May and to exercise your right to vote. Europe’s future depends on it.