City of London’s Brussels Representative embarks on European tour
The City of London’s Special Representative to the EU, Jeremy Browne, has announced a plan to visit every member state of the EU in the first half of 2016. The goal will be to reshape attitudes towards the City of London and start a meaningful dialogue about how the City of London can contribute to the EU’s policy goals of increasing economic growth and boosting employment.
Jeremy Browne will start his series of visits by going to the following countries:
Germany (14-15 January)
Spain (21-22 January)
Romania and Bulgaria (1-3 February)
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania (8-11 February)
The aim is to complete the visits to the additional Member States by early July 2016. Each visit will comprise of a variety of meetings, including the Finance Ministry, Foreign Affairs Ministry, national parliament, central banks, financial institutions and relevant think tanks.
Speaking ahead of his trip to Germany, Jeremy Browne said:
“The City of London should retain a strong and vigilant presence in Brussels which is alert to the potential impact of regulation. That remains important and our ambition is to facilitate an even better dialogue between policy makers and the businesses that feel the force of any changes.
“At the same time, it is essential that the City of London is engaged and speaks effectively and systematically with political leaders across Europe. When those leaders travel to Brussels they are approving new policies and mandating the EU machinery to generate new regulations. Most crucially, they create the political climate within which all of the policies that impact upon the City of London are devised.
“If the City of London restricts itself to trying to modify regulations in Brussels it is only treating the symptoms of any problems, rather than also addressing their root causes. We need to do both. We should also shape the context within which the City of London is perceived. The benefits of this activity will not be instant – this is a process, not an event – but it is essential in order to establish a stronger understanding of the positive role of the City of London.
“The City of London is the world’s greatest financial centre. Far from being a burden for Europe, it is a fantastic asset. We need to be talking to policy makers across the continent about how the City of London can flourish and create widely felt benefits. I want to have a conversation not just about what they can do for us, but what we can do for them.
“The stated priorities of the EU are economic growth and jobs. I want European policy makers to see the benefits of a vibrant and successful City of London: helping them to turn small companies into big companies; helping to finance new infrastructure investment; helping them to establish better private savings and pensions systems.
“Our strongest connections have inevitably been with the bigger economies like Germany and France or near neighbours like Ireland, but every EU country has a place at the top table. No country should be overlooked and we should do them all the courtesy of visiting them and explaining how we can work productively together for our mutual benefit.
“This is not simply connected to the forthcoming EU referendum in Britain. This process would be necessary and desirable if there was not a referendum.
“I do not want the City of London to be resented by policy makers elsewhere in Europe. I do not even want it to be tolerated. I want the City of London to be admired and valued. I want it to be seen as part of the solution, not part of the problem. That involves getting out there and making our case.”
Jeremy Browne started in his role at the City of London Corporation in September 2015.
Media Officer – Financial Services, Planning & Transportation
City of London Corporation
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