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17 Dec 2012


Public Affairs

Brussels / DC, 14 December 2012. Kellen Europe held its annual European Union briefing in Washington DC on 11 December. With over 60 participants, the event brought together representatives from US-based associations with a keen interest in international governmental relations and in exploring the potential for expansion of their activities in Europe.

The economic and trade relationship between the EU and the US remains the largest in the world by any measure. It is also unique in its balance, with direct foreign investment from both sides reaching around 1.6 trillion euro. Millions of jobs in the EU and the US -15 million according to some estimates - are supported directly or indirectly by transatlantic trade and investment. Adeline Hinderer, Counselor, Trade and Agriculture section at the Delegation of the European Union to the United States of America stated that "Trade is an important component of EU competitiveness. In the past years, the EU has maintained its 20% share of world exports. The EU pursues an active trade agenda to support growth and jobs, since trade policy can stimulate suffering economies without drawing on constrained public finances."

Paul Rosenthal, managing partner of the Kelley Drye Washington D.C. office and co-chair of the firm’s Government Relations and Public Policy practice group, added his views on trade issues and disputes. He also described the potential for negotiating a Free Trade Agreement between the US and the EU in the next few years. He commented that “if there is an agreement, Congress is likely to be very supportive", and added that "if the US and EU can work out their differences on agriculture and other controversial issues, the net economic gains could be significant."

Alfons Westgeest introduced the latest EU economic and policy developments impacting associations, including banking regulation, food labeling, energy efficiency and data protection. He also presented the trends in the structure of European associations, the formation of coalitions and alliances, and the restructuring of the association landscape. He underlined that it remains important for associations to have a strong value proposition to attract and retain members, to report on Key Performance Indicators to their governing board, and to invest in leadership and professionalism of staff and volunteers.

The briefing was concluded with a lively Q&A between speakers and the participants.

This event was the sixth event in the annual Europe Update briefing series and was sponsored by Visit Brussels and supported by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). This year’s Update was held during the “Brussels Days”, which included several seminars and also a Reception at the residence of the Belgian Ambassador to the United States celebrating the EU receiving the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize.

For more information visit or contact Ms. Nele Devolder

About Kellen Europe

Kellen Europe provides association management, strategic advice, communications, government affairs, benchmarking studies, Internet services and other professional advice to associations and corporations worldwide. Over the last 20 years, Kellen Europe has gathered considerable expertise that enables the company to rapidly anticipate the needs of emerging or existing associations and to provide tailored organizational solutions. For more information, please visit

About Kellen Company

Kellen Company currently serves more than 100 client associations representing over 10,000 companies from its seven offices worldwide. Among the services Kellen offers are association management, government affairs, public relations, marketing, meetings management, creative services and Web site development. Kellen Company is the premier global association management firm with offices and representation in the United States, Europe, China, the Middle East, India and Southeast Asia. For more information, please visit or


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