The preparations for EWEA 2015 are reaching their final stage. The build-up of the exhibition is almost complete. Security has been reinforced and the vast majority of exhibitors have reconfirmed their participation. So far only handful of companies out of 360 have cancelled their participation. The EWEA team is on site in Paris at the Porte de Versailles, and preparations for the event are running smoothly.
By way of general background, the situation in Paris seems to be getting back to normal; public transportation is working and schools will open Monday morning. People are on the streets and in the cafes. Returning to normal life is a way to show terrorists that we are resilient and not afraid. Three days of national mourning have started and EWEA will of course participate, including the minute of silence at the opening of the event. We will also amend all the social programme accordingly.
I wish to assure everyone that EWEA has not taken this decision to proceed lightly. But ultimately we decided that this week's EWEA 2015 event in the French capital must go ahead as planned in spite of the atrocious attacks.
EWEA and its partners feel strongly that it is essential that we stand firm in the face of adversity. We fully accept that not everyone will share that view but we are happy to see that our decision has been very strongly supported by an overwhelming majority of participants.
"It is not that the event will go ahead, it must go ahead," to quote one of the EWEA 2015 registered participants. We must continue as we mean to go on.
I hope to see you in Paris.