BRUSSELS (May 4, 2005) — The latest edition of the EuroConference series “The New European Agenda of EU Business Associations” was held on April 28 th in Brussels and attracted over 100 participants. The event, co-hosted by Kellen Europe and Professor Justin Greenwood from the Aberdeen Business School and College of Europe , has proven yet again to be a successful formula. The conference provided executives the opportunity to discuss with experts and colleagues the following topics:
- Implementing the change processes in an association
- Association development in the context of enlargement
- The future of consultation with, and participation by, EU interest groups
- Social partnerships and competitiveness objectives in Europe
- The contribution of research to association effectiveness
More than 20 speakers included, among others, Elspeth Attwooll , Member of the European Parliament, Bernadette Ségol ( UNI-Europa), Bernard Jansen (European Commission), Joris Pollet (Procter & Gamble ), Michael Bartholomew ( European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association ETNO) and Jens Nymand Christensen (European Commission) .
“I believe these are really interesting times for anyone involved in European affairs, and in particular those working in and with associations. This is not only because of the EU enlargement, even though it is true that the new Member States are certainly bringing a fresher, more dynamic and more practical look into matters. The many challenges -economic and institutional- require new and more innovative approaches, where all stakeholders have a role to play”, said Ivan Hodac, Secretary General of the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA).
The EuroConference is “a very useful tool” analysing the effectiveness of EU Business Associations “including debate in which interventions ‘”compete’” with each other in a very constructive way”, said Bahadir Kaleagasi, EU Representative of Turkish Industry and Business Association (TUSIAD) and to UNICE.
For Liliane Volozinskis, Social Affairs Director, European Association of Craft, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (UEAPME) , the session in which she participated offered “a very good opportunity to reach out to a bigger audience when discussing topics such as the social dialogue“.
Professor Justin Greenwood said: “This was another quality event. We are attracting a new audience every time. With a record of five events under our belt, each with over 100 delegates, the EuroConference series is making a contribution to the professional updating and exchange of know how in the business association sector”.
“This conference continued to demonstrate our involvement with the leadership of the association community, explained Alfons Westgeest, Managing Partner, Kellen Europe. “We also took the opportunity to present the main outcomes of a recent survey carried out by EurActiv in partnership with Kellen Europe on ‘Strategy and Governance’ in order to better identify change processes in associations and discuss how to best handle them “.
Conclusions from that survey underlined the importance of several services that Kellen offers on a EU, US and global level:
- Strategic planning and adaptability of the association in times of change
- Governance issues covering mostly composition of the working bodies and communications strategy and lobbying
This event was sponsored by I.R.I.S. Doc Share, and media partners European Voice, AmCham EU, EurActiv, Landmarks, ESAE & EIS.