By Phillip Souta, Director of Business for New Europe
Brussels is the de facto capital of the European Union. It is where the big decisions are made and where most of the vital networking between officials in institutions and senior players from the member states takes places.
The UK is one of those major players, and is a country that believes in the power of free markets combined with a progressive public sector. As such, the UK has every reason to try and push the EU to be as open as possible.
We believe that the open-market agenda championed by the UK needs to be pushed harder. There is not enough discussion, for instance, in Brussels, of EU affairs from the UK’s open-market perspective. The balance in the EU between statists and free-traders is in constant danger of tipping to the former. That would be a disaster for the EU, and deservedly relegate it to second or third rate global status.
The British Brussels Network (BBN) will seek to provide a platform to push this agenda. Launched by a number of partners in Brussels, the BBN is an open source project seeking to bring together Brits in Brussels to push the argument that growth and competitiveness will most likely come through openness.
First, we will provide a platform for debate on EU issues from that perspective. Secondly, we want to bring together Brits working in EU affairs in Brussels to network and discuss these issues. And thirdly, we want to engage Brits in Brussels in discussions with senior EU officials. We will also work closely with UKREP to promote EU Careers.
We hope that this project will contribute to the formation of a Europe, with the UK taking a leading role, which is open and competitive and will be a powerful force for good in the world.