On October 2nd and 3rd, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg organized in Brussels the first edition of the workshop on “Public advisory strategies and dialogue with the European institutions”, aimed exclusively at Spanish companies and associations.
Fifteen Spanish enterprises and sectorial associations participated in this course, looking forward to learning about the tools that will allow them to establish an effective dialogue with the European institutions and help them anticipate both the risks and opportunities for their companies that can be originated from the political and legislative action in Brussels.
The workshop was held by prestigious professionals from multinationals, business organizations and Spanish institutions as well as by European officials.
The first day began with an introduction by Pablo López Álvarez, Vice-President of the Chamber and Senior Managing Director at FTI Consulting, who offered a global view on lobbying and the European action. Following this, Ignasi Guardans, a European affairs consultant, spoke about the institutional structure of the EU and its adjacent ecosystem.
Afterwards, several sessions followed, held by the officials of the European Commission Mikel Landabaso, Communication Director, and Félix Fernandez Shaw, International Cooperation and Development Director.
Patricia Cirez, Permanent Representative at CEOE in Brussels presented the ways to tracking European policies/legislation and how to contribute to their definition and contents.
The day closed with Carlos Rodríguez Cocina, Europeans affairs Director at Telefónica, who spoke about the role of the Publics affairs Director and Bert Dehandschutter, lawyer at Racine Advocaten, who explained the legal process to follow in order to open a representative office in Brussels.
In the evening, the assistants attended a networking dinner with the Spanish professionals and European officials.
The second day started with a visit to the Permanent Representation of Spain to the EU, where Juan Aristegui, adjacent Ambassador, welcomed the enterprises and associations and spoke about the role of the Council and the Permanent Representation in Brussels.
Later on, Ignacio Sánchez-Recarte, secretary-general of the European Committee of Wine Companies (CEEV), spoke about the role of the sectorial and regional associations, as well as their purpose in the European legal process.
Attendees then visited the European Parliament and had a lunch organized by the MEP Pablo Arias. Other MEPs participated, such as Juan Ignacio Zoido, José Manuel García Margallo and Isabel Benjumea. Throughout this meeting, the MEPs explained the tasks of the European Parliament and how important it is that the interests of the companies reach Brussels.
Following this, the Elcano Royal Institute office Director, Luis Simón, spoke about the projects that this institution develops from Brussels and the role of the Think Tanks.
To finish, Ruth Estrada, Partner of Schuman Associates, explained the funding opportunities that the EU offers to enterprises and Xavier Quer Pietx, Manager at Everis, talked about the keys to the public contracts in the EU.
The workshop was closed by María Catalán, Secretary general of the Chamber, who explained the services of the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg as a support entity for the Spanish companies interested in defending their interest in Europe.