We’ve shuttled between London and Brussels frequently in the past, and now we’re setting up a permanent office.
Right now Team Brussels consists of me, myself and I. Come next year, we’ll have a small team in place. For the moment I’ve taken a temporary desk space in the ‘Hive’ at the fantastic new Mundo-b NGO building. I’m one of the many solitary bees in the Hive – turns out that fellow bees includes people working on the cotton trade, on Zimbabwe, and the rest of the building is dominated by climate change and development organisations.
It’s a really exciting time for us to be opening up an office and deepening our work in Brussels – it’s all change in the city with a new Parliament already sworn in, a new Commission due by November, and new rules of the game possibly coming in. There may well be a European President to boot. Change brings opportunity and we’re hoping to capitalise on some of that to the benefit of those in the developing world. Budget reform in the EU will bring opportunities to fight for more resources, trade and climate are also in the hands of Brussels. And we will be looking for all the opportunities to make change happen within those processes.
My first week here has been a heady mix of getting reintegrated into the Brussels policy village, working out how to book a meeting room and dealing with the slight technical hitches that accompany moving abroad. There’s a buzz in the air, Brussels is in flux and I’m eager to get on with the job. There’ll be more coming soon!
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