The four UK national associations of local government (Local Government Association, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, Welsh Local Government Association and Northern Ireland Local Government Association) are represented in Brussels, as are the UK devolved administrations, UK Government and UK Parliament.
These offices are present in Brussels to:
obtain and disseminate early intelligence on future EU initiatives
influence the drafting and amending of EU laws in order to minimise red tape and reduce their financial and administrative burden
maximise the overall UK receipt of EU funding programmes
brief and support visiting UK national and local politicians and their participation in EU bodies
build working contacts with key decision-takers and participate in networks of representatives from other countries
share experience, innovations and good practice with counterparts across Europe
be contact points and ambassadors for UK local and national government.
Some UK local councils choose to have their own, independent presence in Brussels, most often in the form of regional or sub-regional consortia. Sometimes co-located with regions from other countries, these offices pursue their specific local or regional interests. In particular they seek out EU funding opportunities, seek partners to jointly design and run EU-funded projects, and build links in EU departments to ensure that funding proposals meet criteria and stand the best chance of being selected. Sub-national offices will develop good links with their MEPs to promote the regions' interests on law and policy; participate in UK and European networks for debate and exchange of experience; and will promote the profile of the region within the EU and specifically within Belgium (one of our largest trading partners and tourism market).
9 April 2013