To be or not to be there

We are shortly to publish a research study, in partnership with a Brussels-based headhunting firm, Viapublic, which investigates how companies organise and resource their Brussels and broader EU public affairs capability. It should be of interest to any company either reviewing their approach to monitoring and influencing policy in Brussels/EU or considering establishing a presence there.

One interesting finding was the noticeable difference of opinion between UK interviewees and those from other regions/countries about whether an office in Brussels is absolutely necessary. Many of the UK domiciled companies prefer to locate their Brussels/EU resource at head office on the basis that they wanted the individual/team to be close to the business and its leaders, rather than embedded in the Brussels system. Regular visits to Brussels by Eurostar, often accompanied by relevant senior executives, are sufficient. Two quotes nicely encapsulated this view… “People go native very quickly and lose sense of what the business needs” and “The CEO wants someone who is visible to the key leaders of the business and understands their thinking and strategic priorities”.

It would be interesting what to hear others have to say on the issue. Let us know whether you would like to receive a copy of the research, which is entitled “Getting your voice heard in Brussels”.

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