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Shanghai 2010 - a first for the EU - 03/05/2010

The EU pavilion at the world expo in Shanghai marks the first time the EU has presented itself to a large Chinese audience.

It's the first time the EU has been represented at a world fair outside Europe: for 6 months (starting 1 May), the bloc will have its own pavilion in Shanghai - at the specific invitation of China, its second biggest trade partner.

The pavilion - in the expo's European area, along with most of the national pavilions of EU member countries - will be shared with Belgium, the country taking over the EU's 6-month rotating presidency this summer.

Over 70 million visitors are expected at the Expo, in China's best-known industrial and financial centre. One early, high-profile visitor to the Belgo-European pavilion was José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission.

Under the theme "intelligent Europe", the EU wants to showcase its achievements - such as the Erasmus student exchange programme and the single currency - not just to the Chinese but also to visitors from across the world. Other highlights of the pavilion's 3D animated presentation include environmental protection, European history and tourist attractions like the Acropolis and Eiffel tower.

European culture will also be to the fore: a festival of science, various concerts and plays, even football, with UEFA president Michel Platini one of the pavilion's sponsors. As part of a special themed week, a team of European football stars will play a match against a Chinese all-star line-up.

EU at Shanghai Expo 2010

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