New era at European footwear advocate

Vito Artioli, president of the European Confederation of the Footwear Industry (CEC), wants to rejuvenate the organization that functions as an umbrella group to various EU national footwear associations. Artioli was elected in 2007 and 2009 as chairman of the powerful Italian Footwear Manufacturers Association (ANCI) and has now named Carmen Arias Castellano as general secretary to the CEC.

The European Confederation of the Footwear Industry (CEC) has appointed a new general secretary.
Castellano’s appointment comes after the confederation's managing director Roeland Smets passed away last February. Born in 1965, Carmen Arias Castellano studied law at the University of Valencia in Spain and started her career as a consultant at Ernst & Young, after which she worked for several European institutions. She will be assisted by policy officer Valentina Reino. The appointments represent a new direction and new motivation for the organization.

CEC has opened an office in the European Quarter in Brussels and will soon launch its corporate website. While the CEC intends to become more modern, the confederation's battles remain the same — continuing to lobby for labeling on shoes imported into the European Union. Vito Artioli describes himself as "the man of change" and wants to protect the European footwear industry, but he admits that it is difficult to fight against Chinese manufacturers.

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