Regional Session during the Global Forum 2024

On 21 February, we got together in Brussels for another GS1 in Europe Regional Forum.

The session covered the whole morning, with a packed programme of participants and speakers, activities and even a variety show, such as a DPP theatre and a film festival Awards.

In what was his first participation in this Forum as Chair of GS1 in Europe, Jan Somers presented our GS1 in Europe strategy, what guides our action for the next 3 years, in which we want to: help the industry in the transition to the circular economy and the transition to next generation barcodes; be recognised as a trusted partner among the industry and institutions; and continue to be a robust communication platform.

These lines fall within the central strategic pillars:

  • Circular Economy (which includes DPP and Packaging);
  • Traceability and Transparency (focused on the agriculture and construction sectors);
  • Digital Transformation (which includes the global data model).
Team Gf 2024 1

The first topic of the day was the Digital Product Passport, to which GS1 in Europe is strongly committed. A Mission Specific Working Group has been formed, which is going very well. We’re also still part of the CIRPASS project (the results of which will be revealed on 5 March), and we’re also going to be part of the next phase of the project, CIRPASS 2, which will move from theory to practice.

Afterward, we had the opportunity to understand exactly how the Digital Product Passport works, with a DPP theatre play – with excellent performances by Camille Dreyfuss and Jan Merckx, by the way – staging several different scenarios, concrete cases that illustrate how various aspects of the DPP work. In a pragmatic way, we illustrated that it’s not just the end consumer who needs to scan the QR Code in the shop, but there are a multitude of players, throughout the life of the products, who need access to the DPP for different reasons, from retailers to regulators, manufacturers or customers.

This Regional Forum also presented the three centres of excellence in which GS1 is involved. With the participation of key people involved, we learned in detail about the Centres of Excellence for Construction, Transport & Logistics and Rail.

These are three distinct sectors, but they all have in common the need to make the digital transition.

In Construction, the Centre of Excellence brings together 19 people from 14 MOs, whose main goal is to push for change, raise awareness for the use and implementation of GS1 standards in this sector, creating a community of Member Organisations to share knowledge and good practices.

The Transports & Logistic centre has 3 managers, from 3 countries, and is an important asset as it is a horizontal enabler that reaches all the sectors in which GS1 works. In this sector, digitalisation is fundamental and urgent, given that 99% of cross-border transport in the EU is paper-based.

As for Rail, the Centre of Excellence brings together European countries and also GS1 Australia, with the commitment to take a sector that was quite confused and disorganised, and turn it into something standardised and organised, through GS1 standards. And this is tangible, it’s not an abstract ambition, it’s actually happening and there are proven results.

After some engaging presentations showcasing GS1 in Europe’s work across sectors and CoE, Francesca Poggiali interviewed Mrs Antonella Marino (from DG CNECT – European Commission) who presented the first ever digital strategy commonly agreed by EU institutions with a multilevel governance: the Digital Decade Policy Programme 2030.

Mrs Marino emphasised the ongoing EU investments to support the digital goals and some programmes such as the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) and Horizon, for a total of 165 billion euros of available EU funds. Of particular interest was the mention of the areas in which international standards, like ISO and GS1, can be an accelerator in the digital transformation of companies. For GS1, these initiatives represent an opportunity that can’t be lost, in order to support focus sectors like agrifood, on-line sales and e-governance.


During this plenary session we also had the opportunity to attend the awards ceremony for the… Scannes Festival. The Palmes D’or were awarded, highlighting the achievements of GS1 colleagues across Europe in various areas.

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