What is the Expo?
Expo Milano 2015 is a World or Universal exposition. World Expos take place every 5 years and have duration of 6 months. Participants include countries, international organizations, NGOs, corporations and other institutions such as the European Union. The size of the site is unlimited and participants build their own pavilions.
1 May -
Expos have always been major international events in which countries, private stakeholders and organisations present and promote their identity, their policies and achievements in relation to Expo themes.
The first article of the International Convention Relating to International Exhibitions says that:
"An exhibition is a display which, whatever its title, has as its principal purpose the education of the public: it may exhibit the means at man’s disposal for meeting the needs of civilization, or demonstrate the progress achieved in one or more branches of human endeavour, or show prospects for the future."
World Expos are indeed referred to as Universal Expos also because, contrarily to the Expos prior to the 1939–40 New York World's Fair which aimed to display major technological novelties, each world Expo has from then on adopted a specific cultural theme that concerns the whole of humanity.
The Theme of Expo Milano 2015, "Feeding the Planet: Energy for Life", embodies this idea as it brings forward the truly global challenge: is it possible to ensure sufficient, good, healthy and sustainable food for all mankind?
This edition of the Expo is meant to become a milestone of planetary debate on food and sustainability and will be a platform for political discussions and policy initiatives on these issues.
The theme cuts across several EU policies, including: agriculture; industry; trade; development and humanitarian aid; food safety and quality; energy; climate change, environment; education and last but not least, research and innovation.
Expo Milan 2015 therefore represents a unique opportunity for the EU to reinforce its role as a global actor in the global discussion about the evergrowing issues of food and sustainability.
The World Expo 2015 will take place in Milan from 1 May to 31 October 2015. The Exhibition site area is located northwest of Milan and will cover 1.1 million m². The Expo area will be constructed as a smart city and will have a hosting capacity of 140 000 visitors per day and will be developed along two perpendicular axes, the "Decumanus" where some 70 self-built exhibition spaces are located, and the "Cardus" reserved for the Italian exhibitors where the EU exhibition space will also be positioned.
To date (December 1st), 139 official participants have already confirmed their participation, including 19 European Member States, attesting to the significant commitment generated by this event.
A total of 20 million visitors are expected, offering a valuable opportunity to inform and communicate with European and International citizens on the critical topics brought forward by the Expo. In parallel a "cyber Expo" targeting 1 billion Internet users will be deployed, further increasing the scope for impact.
The Expo Theme
'Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life'
The theme chosen for Expo Milano, 'Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life' invites the participants to actively address pressing global challenges linked to food and sustainability: food security, food safety, food quality and healthy diets, preserving our environment, climate protection, sustainable renewable energy, and fair trade relations.
The EU plays a major role in finding solutions to these issues, which are at the crossroad of several EU policies, including agriculture, development, industry, health, research, environment and energy. Here are just a few examples of the EU's involvement:
The significance of the critical topics brought forward by the Expo is clear. The EU, through its participation to Expo Milan, will contribute to promoting awareness of the issues surrounding food and sustainability, will communicate key achievements in these fields and mostly, will take advantage of the opportunity offered by the Expo to work towards fruitful collaboration on these matters with other stakeholders, both public and private.