key questions to international associations

In this section we present views of international associations organising events or established in Brussels, to learn more about them, their Brussels experience and receive some personal comments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • The 6th edition of the European Association Summit (EAS) is approaching.

    With 4 weeks to go we ask this year’s edition Chair– Ms. Małgosia Bartosik from WindEurope - about her approach to the event.

     

    Being the Chair of the European Association Summit – how do you feel about it?

    I am very pleased and honoured to chair this year’s EAS. I have been involved in the Summit since many years and it is my great pleasure to work more closely with visit.brussels and top associations’ minds to develop this year’s event.

    What are the strong points of the event?

    It is an event developed by the associations for the associations. The programme topics are those that we associations want to hear and learn about. The event is not commercial, so it is the content that takes the priority and not the revenue making. And the participants benefit from this by not having commercial presentations, sales pitches and suppliers’contacts during the event. And as revenue generation is not the event’s objective, it allows to offer a lot of learning and networking for a moderate fee. And last but not least, the contacts you make at this event, go beyond the event. Brussels has more than 2000 different associations. The people you see at the event become your “work friends”. You can meet for lunch to continue discussion some topics, find solutions together and learn lessons from each other.

    Being long time based in Brussels, how does this event feature into associations life in the city?

    I think this event should be part of the agenda of all the associations in Brussels. Brussels being the capital of Europe, the center of politics and lobbying powers, there is no better place to have a strong annual gathering for the associations. We need a place in Brussels to discuss the role of associations, new challenges, new opportunities. There is so much we can learn from each other!

    What did you learn at previous editions and what outcome you wish for EAS2018?

    At the last edition I met great communication experts. One of them I invited later in the year to give a presentation at my association’s Working Group. We are trying to replicate one of her association’s very successful campaigns. We got such a great and details brief how to do it, that we can do it in house, with the resources we have. I have also made contacts with other associations that we realised we have common advocacy goals.

    One of them spoke at our Brussels’ events last year. And I got to know the visit.brussels team well! And they are so helpful! Every time we have an event in Brussels, they are our first point of contact, recommending venues, helping us to negotiate contracts, advising on the overall event’s concept. It is great to have a contact like this while your associations is based in Brussels!

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  • The European Federation of Envelope Manufactures (FEPE) is one of the smallest and one of the oldest European industry federations. Founded in 1957, it celebrates 60 years of existence this year.

    With digitalization and electronic communication being high on national and the EU´s agendas, the sector is busy defending the right of existence of letter mail, being not only a cultural heritage in Europe, but also a reliable, trusted and often preferred communication medium.

    Lisa Kretschmann, Managing Director, provides more information about the association and its activities.

     What is the main mission of FEPE in current times?

    The main mission of FEPE is to support, defend and promote the envelope industry in Europe. We promote the use of envelopes through campaigns, which address both direct mail and transactional mail. For example, our campaign “Keep Me Posted EU” asks for the citizen´s right to choose between electronic and paper communication.

    This is a major issue also for me personally as citizens are often forced into digital communication or have to pay extra when preferring paper. This creates not only a problem to inclusion as elderly people may not feel confident or have the necessary skills to deal with administrative issues online. Also people like you and me often struggle with electronic admin procedures, prefer to keep paper records of important documents or, for evident reasons, do not trust the internet with our personal data.

    Acting as the voice of the industry at EU level, we closely monitor and communicate our opinions to different EU institutions on postal affairs, e-invoicing, data protection and environmental issues. We do work closely with partners in the paper, graphic, postal and marketing value chain on all those matters, mastering the challenges of a rapidly changing world of communications and ensuring that European decision makers and consumers clearly understand the value and role of the envelope now and in the future.

     Why it was important to set the seat of the association in Brussels?

    Being a European association, it is of utmost importance for us to be based in Brussels: it allows close contacts to a network of related industries which is key in order to form alliances and cooperate in order to best represent our interests. Furthermore, being close to the EU Institutions makes contacts and exchange with them much easier. And of course, living in the “Brussels village” is not only a pleasure but also facilitates useful contacts with people that you meet during leisure time.

    How about your personal perspective of being in Brussels?

    I personally love the unbeatable internationality of Brussels. Meeting and working with people from different countries, communicating in different languages with people from different backgrounds on a daily basis corresponds to my vision of a living in the United Europe (EU).

    Thank you very much and we look forward to meeting you at the European Association Summit 2018.

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  • Our guest is Giannalia Cogliandro Beyens, Secretary General of ENCATC, representing the cultural management and policy sector, since the association is organising its 25th Congress on 27-30 September in Brussels.

    What is the key role of the association?

    Existing since 1992, ENCATC (European Network of Cultural Administration Training Centres) is a network active in the education, training and research within the broad field of cultural management and policy. We have currently more than 100 member institutions and professionals in over 40 countries cooperating in the development of training for cultural managers.

    How long are you based in Brussels and why?

    The ENCATC network has been based in Brussels since 2003. As the leading European network on cultural management and policy, it was a symbolic move for our office to be here in the heart of Europe. We are in close proximity to EU institutions and to world-renowned arts and cultural organisations. Brussels is also a well-connected location for our members based in over 40 countries around the world, not to mention an attractive city for our international staff.

    25 years, an excellent opportunity to celebrate?

    This year, there’s no better city than Brussels to hold our 25th Congress and anniversary celebration! On 27-30 September we are looking forward to welcoming academics, researchers, cultural professionals, and students from Europe and beyond to meet with representatives from various EU institutions, governments, and European and international networks. We will focus on the value of networks and their sustainability. Join us to “Click, connect and collaborate” together!

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