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LUXURY’S MUSCLE: European Union leaders may have their hands full with debt crises and sluggish growth in the region, but they still have ample time to devote to the luxury industry. On Tuesday, Antonio Tajani, vice president of the European Commission responsible for industry, met representatives from Europe’s main luxury goods organizations and from brands including Chanel, Harrods, Max Mara and Thomas Pink in Brussels. He proposed the creation of an advisory board on competitiveness, the creation of a European data observatory for the luxury market and the launch of a study on the importance of the luxury sector to Europe and its links to tourism. The association of Europe’s main luxury goods organizations, known as the European Cultural and Creative Industries Alliance, or ECCIA, said in a statement after the meeting that it welcomed the proposals, and called on the European Commission to support employment in the sector and the export industry. The ECCIA also wants the Commission to encourage the growth of online sales and innovation in the creative industries. “The sustainable business model and drive for innovation and excellence has proven the sector’s resiliency in the financial crisis,” the ECCIA statement said.