An estimated 15,000 meetings took place at the 22nd Europartenariat, Denmark 2000, held in Aalborg, Denmark on June 8 and 9. The event provided a host of opportunities for its SME participants to get together, as it was attended by 5,000 visitors from more than 1427 companies from 66 countries. Also present at the event was the European Commissioner for Regioal policy, Mr Michel Barnier, who claimed that it represented the successful collaboration between two European Commission's DG, regional policy and enterprise. But while emphasising that SMEs hold a pivotal role in the EU, particularly in growth and job creation, he pointed out that there is still much to be done to help them. 'However, SMEs are vulnerable, particularly during the first few years of business...[when] around 40% of them are forced to stop trading in the first three years,' said Mr Barnier. The next event to provide similar brokerage opportunities will be the forthcoming Lux-Asia, to be held in Luxembourg on November 6 and 7. Further details of this event will be available shortly from CORDIS News.