Public Affairs Leadership Series – The EU Question

How to Effectively Navigate and Influence the EU from the UK?

Women in Public Affairs and Ellwood Atfield are building on the successes of our 2014 and 2015 training programme in 2016. We have refocused and are working on a joint programme of breakfast workshops with the aim of increasing the number of women into leadership positions in the public affairs industry.

Whatever the outcome of the referendum, UK public affairs professionals will undoubtedly continue to engage with the European Union, not least because most businesses are affected by the EU regardless of our membership.

Laura Gilmore, Head of Public Affairs & Campaigns at Dearman (and one of the network’s founders) and Chloe MacEwan, Senior VP, Global Public and Regulatory Affairs at Argus provided two perspectives on EU engagement and how to make the most of it regardless of your organisation’s resources.

Laura shared her experiences building profile for a start-up whose innovative product lines are poorly understood and accommodated by EU regulation, whilst Chloe offered insights into challenging the unintended consequences of regulation that could wipe out a whole business.

Top tips from Laura & Chloe

  • Get out and meet face to face – get your organisation known on the ground. Meetings with MEPs are often easier to secure in Strasbourg but the Commission, trade associations and other stakeholders are very welcoming.


  • The Commission is your (detail oriented) friend  – the Commission’s Directorates-General are incredibly open, get in touch with key officials and attend their conferences but make sure to take your technical experts.


  • And don’t forget about all the moving parts – the institutions all have varying degrees of influence so don’t neglect them. See the incoming Council Presidency, work with the Commission’s Cabinet, get in front of MEPs and visit similar organisations in other member states.


  • Get involved with the debate and add new insights – throw new information into the mix where you can: launch a report, release new stats, offer up speakers and give access to your senior team.


  • Don’t be afraid to break into established networks – carve out space in your relevant trade association’s policy agenda, attend relevant conferences and get added to distribution lists.

About women in public affairs

Founded four years ago by Ella Fallows and Laura Gilmore, the Women in Public Affairs network offers creates spaces for women to learn from mentors and peers about how to succeed and thrive in this dynamic and influential industry. From networking drinks to speed mentoring and training workshops, check us out on Twitter and LinkedIn for more information about what we can offer.

Public Affairs groups and networks:

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