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Brussels Matters Minsk Wednesday 18 June. Critical mass counts in Brussels Increased scale of institutions and complexity of EU decision making Change.

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Presentation on theme: "Brussels Matters Minsk Wednesday 18 June. Critical mass counts in Brussels Increased scale of institutions and complexity of EU decision making Change."— Presentation transcript:

1 Brussels Matters Minsk Wednesday 18 June

2 Critical mass counts in Brussels Increased scale of institutions and complexity of EU decision making Change in style of lobbying at EU level, making scale and reach important Importance of national efforts to support core campaign objectives

3 More QMV More difficult for national champions More problems for national trade associations Increased powers of EU federations of national associations Federations reform and evolve more responsive structures giving better service to large companies New Treaty SEA Maastricht PA NEEDS DRIVE EVOLUTION & REFORM POWER SHIFTS TO EU LEVEL SCALE & NETWORK MATTER National networking Ad hoc Coalitions Multiple bodies Diverse voices Amsterdam Nice 2001 New style of advocacy needed

4 Influencing the EU decision-making process 1 For new legislation, the European Commission will first consult with relevant stakeholders (including the EU Member States) and then publish its proposals These must then be either amended or approved by the European Parliament and the EU Council of Ministers. Coalition-building is an essential part of European public affairs work: representations from a single Member State are unlikely to lead to major change Therefore a co-ordinated approach to selected Member States across the European Union is often necessary. The European Parliament also now has a greater role under recent Treaty changes.

5 Influencing the EU decision-making process 2 In some areas of policy – such as trade, agriculture and competition policy – the European Commission retains executive powers of its own, allowing it to take the final decision. In practice, however, the EU Member States are always consulted by the Commission. In all cases, the role of Commissioners (and their staff or Cabinets) can be crucial in influencing particular decisions – esp. given current delicate political balance with the current College of Commissioners between market liberalisers vs. national interests / protectionism. Such interventions are often linked to DG policy responsibilities. Consequently, the role of the different Directorate-Generals (DGs) within the Commission is very important. Third parties (such as industry and consumer groups) and the European media can have a considerable effect in terms of influencing on the overall outcome of the process. Important to remember the power of the Brussels Press Corps to drive national and global reporting.

6 Public affairs within the EU Member States EU Member States retain exclusive powers over many areas of policy – in addition to being consulted by the European Commission on issues under its own jurisdiction. Procedures naturally vary considerably between the different Member States. This makes making local knowledge and experience of the political culture very important. Having a good public affairs network in Europe is important. Good public affairs consultants will advise clients on how to deal with specific situations, rather than seek to represent them formally in dealings with the relevant audiences in brief – what to say, when to say it and who to say it to.

7 Overview of Public Affairs services Development of overall strategic public affairs plan Identification of key political, regulatory and official audiences Establishing views held by key audiences and third parties Development of key public affairs messages Drafting and distributing correspondence & briefing material Tactical support and implementation Arranging meetings with key political audiences and contacts Provision of intelligence and feedback – eyes and ears Identification of potential issues – avoiding surprises Advocate of messages (though not formal spokesmen) Co-ordination of media messages consistent with political strategy

8 Stakeholder Engagement Lead DG + Commissioner Shareholders Consumer & other pressure groups Press and Media Financial Analysts Policy forums & think-tanks Industry groups & trade associations National Parliaments European Parliament (Plenary) Council Working Group (officials) EU Council of Ministers Member State Brussels Representative Offices European Parliament (Committees) Other Commissioners + Cabinets Legal Service Other DGs Commission President 6

9 Belarus EU Business Council The Belarus EU Business Council is an international not-for profit company registered in Belgium as an AISBL The Council was formed in May 2007 Founding Members include:- Fintec Belarus Potash Company Stemcor Santa Impex New members include Manulli, BMZ, Velcom, Belneftekhim and Nehman Legal advisers to the Council are Grayston and Company, Brussels Accountants and auditors are Moore Stephens Wood Appleton, Brussels

10 Objectives The Belarus EU Business Council is an independent pragmatic enterprise led initiative, It is funded by membership and business consulting fees The Objectives are:- To promote an open dialogue between business and the Governments of Belarus and the EU To provide business support for government negotiations To assist Belarusian companies to develop their businesses in the EU and to improve their abilities for international growth To help EU companies to develop their business in Belarus

11 Aims and Objectives To assist Belarusian companies to develop their businesses in the EU and to improve their abilities for international growth. To provide Belarusian companies with advice on market access issues, and specifically to provide a route to the Only Representative for companies seeking to comply with REACH To also assist international companies to develop their business in Belarus. To provide business support for the negotiation process. To promote an open dialogue between business and the Governments of Belarus and the EU.

12 Advisory Council The Council Advisory Group is made up of senior and respected academics, analysts, lawyers, bankers, economists, diplomats and expert advisers to provide expert help and develop policy.

13 The Secretariat The Council Secretariat provides a central communications and support service in Russian and English in Brussels. The Secretariat co-ordinates and facilitates the activities of all the working groups and is responsible for implementing the Councils actions and programme. The Secretariat works closely with the Development Group, which is made up of core sponsors. Members of the Development Group determine the policies and actions of the Council. The Secretariat is managed by Anastasiya Shchehlakova with quality control and management supervision delivered by James Wilson and John Scollay.

14 Programme of events and actions in March; High level meetings in Minsk and REACH workshop 15 May REACH Conference, Minsk, together with Gosstandart 17 June Workshop on Raising Capital for Belarusian Companies in Financial Markets, co-organised with the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce 18 June Round Table on EU Lobbying: An introduction to the EU institutions, co-organised with the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce 16 October Conference in Minsk on Raising Capital on Financial Markets, co-organised with the Belarusian Chmaber of Commerce 17 November, support role for Belarus Investment Forum in London

15 Actions planned for 2008 Progress Working Group on restoration of EU GSP privileges Progress REACH Working Group and establish Q&A support service through website Establish WTO Working Group, and develop strategy to produce a campaign road map for accession Develop business partnership portal internet based information service for business Establish Textiles Working Group, and develop strategy to campaign for elimination of EU textile quotas Grow membership Canvas additional founding sponsors Establish Secretariat support function in Minsk

16 Consulting Capabilities Government Relations Public Affairs Corporate Communications Translation and Interpretation Services Public Relations and Event Organisation Press and Media Relations Business and Strategic Consulting Market Research

17 Vodka – a case study

18 Vodka wars In 2006 the Regulation that defines and describes spirit drinks came under review by the Council and the European Parliament. A dispute broke out between different industry groups in the EU about the definition of vodka Finland, Sweden, Poland and the Baltic Group of states argued that vodka can only be made from grain or potatoes or sugar beet molasses Distillers in Italy Britain France and the Netherlands argued for a more liberal definition This dispute gave rise to heavy industry lobbying in 2006 and 2007 of all of the EU institutions, backed by strong commercial interests – at stake the business models and distillation methods for the production of spirits Diageo (the worlds largest producer of spirits) won the lobbying battle – and in December 2007 the new regulation was adopted by a qualified majority Regulation 3631/07 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the definition, description, presentation, labelling and the protection of geographical indications of spirit drinks.

19 European Parliament Established in 1952 as the Common Assembly President Hans-Gert Pottering 14 Vice Presidents 7 Political Groups 22 Committees 34 Delegations (including delegation for Belarus) 785 members Next Election June 2009 Meeting place Brussels and Strasbourg Website:

20 EP Delegation for Belarus Chairman, Jacek PROTASIEWICZ, Poland, EPP Vice-Chairman, Aldis KUŠĶIS, Latvia, EPP Vice-Chairman, Joseph MUSCAT, Malta, PES

21 European Parliament Political Groups GroupSeats% EUL395.3 PES EFA425.7 EDD152 ELDR679.2 EPP UEN273.7 Other669

22 European Council To reach a qualified majority 255 votes are required, as well as a majority of member states. As an added control, the votes cast will have to represent 62% of the EU population.

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24 Belarus EU Business Council Avenue de lArmée 103, B1040 Brussels tel: fax:

25 Questions?


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