British representation in the EU Institutions – Rebuilding our presence in Brussels

British representation in the EU Institutions – Rebuilding our presence in Brussels panel debate, gave us opposing views on the reasons behind Britain’s poor representation within the EU and how this has occurred. Ideas were also put forward to improve the current situation and build a more positive future for Britain in the EU.

We were happy to welcome the following speakers:

Richard Corbett – Advisor to President Herman Van Rompuy

Robert Madelin – Director General for Information Society and Media, European Commission

Michael Collins – Managing Director for European Government Affairs, Citi

Jonathan Faull – Director General for Internal Market and Services, European Commission

Please see below the following points that were highlighted during the event:

Robert Madelin:
– BBC has strong influence on its viewers
– It is good for Europe to have British presence within the EU
– This has resulted in a loss in quality of decision making
– “Is there enough of a good thing”
– UKPLC should spend time with expats

Michael Collins:
– Multinational corporation’s are a good example of internationalisation
– Nationality is less important to business
– Experts in policy are more important than nationality
– British people help to create a positive climate for MNC’s within the UK
– It is easier to communicate with other Brits

Dr Richard Corbett:
– It is worrying that Brits are under represented in the EU
– It could be down to their poor language skills or the negative climate of opinion of the EU.
– Many British newspapers are euro-sceptical
– Britain’s potential withdrawal from the EU isn’t helping the situation
– There needs to be a political battle within Britain to change the publics’ opinion.

Jonathan Faull:
– The young generation of Brits think that the EU is corrupt, unnecessary and boring
– Figures of British representation are low, especially at entry level. For example there is not one Brit in the College of Europe
– British government should send more officials over
– Negative feeling about the EU, which is a shame as Britain has a strong backing and many allies

Questions raised during the Q&A:
– Is there a need to accommodate for a lack of languages?
– Are British people less likely to meet positive criteria?
– Is this down to salary? Is it less attractive for a Brit as opposed to a Romanian or a Pole?

Thursday, 3 March 2012



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