EU and International Government Relations

Chelgate is an award-winning provider of public relations and international government relations services in EU government affairs  in Brussels and Strasbourg, placing great emphasis on working in close partnership with our clients.  Chelgate’s work with the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) was awarded the “Best in-house / Agency Collaboration award at the PRCA European Public Affairs Awards 2019.

From the types of chemicals companies are permitted to use to the structure of the market for digital services, the European Union now regulates a staggering number of businesses. Staying one step ahead of the legislative process in Brussels is, now more than ever, critical to the future of almost every company with interests on the continent.

Chelgate can offer a number of specialist services to companies whose interests may be affected by what happens in Brussels:

Political intelligence – often, those that get their arguments in first will emerge from any legislative round better off, especially in the EU where policy debates are complex and stakeholders may require help to understand the finer details of the work they are doing. In order to be able to provide this right at the start of the process, it is vital that companies are aware of developments in Europe. Chelgate’s Brussels office has its ear to the ground, and can offer an early warning system to companies that need to know what is happening as it happens, or even before it does so.

Twenty-five years’ experience in the European Parliament – over the last quarter of a century, our consultants have watched the European Parliament transform from a talking shop into one of the most powerful legislative bodies in the world. When it comes to the need for legislative change it is often the Parliament, not the Commission, to which companies should turn.

Engagement with the European Commission – the Commission can be the hardest nut to crack, and a strategic approach to all of its internal stakeholders is vital in shaping the legislative proposals that flow from it. Getting it wrong can lead companies to alienate the only EU Institution that can propose legislation. Our consultants have inside knowledge of how it works, and some have worked as its contractors, meaning we can structure engagement to make sure that companies do not make powerful enemies early on.

Coalition building – policy and legislative debates in Brussels often involve argument between opposing ‘advocacy coalitions’, loosely-organised groups of organisations with convergent interests. Building such a coalition is often the vital first step in an effective EU campaign, and Chelgate is well-positioned to devise and implement the strategies that create strong, winning coalitions.

Working with local government – a little-known institution of the EU, the Committee of the Regions is made up of representatives of local government from across the continent. Whilst the body plays only a consultative role in the legislative process, its members are in a position to aid the expansion of any business that works with local government, and engagement can hasten business development for such companies on the European market. Our work with local government in the United Kingdom, Cyprus and Romania puts Chelgate in a good position to help companies to engage in this way.

Our Brussels office is overseen and directed by Nick Wood-Dow, whose EU experience began in 1983 as a press officer to the European People’s Party, the largest political group in the European Parliament.