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Coalitions Building
Coalitions Building
Coalitions Building
Coalitions Building
Coalitions Building
Coalitions Building
Coalitions Building
Coalitions Building
Coalitions Building
Coalitions Building
Coalitions Building
Coalitions Building
Coalitions Building
Coalitions Building
Coalitions Building
Coalitions Building
Coalitions Building
Coalitions Building
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Coalitions Building

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How to build EU public affairs coalitions. A practical guide.

How to build EU public affairs coalitions. A practical guide.

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  • 1. Setting up and Managing Coalitions Successfully MARCO TORREGROSSA Founder and Managing Director Euro Freelancers & European Sharing Economy Coalition 01/02/2013
  • 2. Aristotle “The whole is more than the sum of its parts.”
  • 3. Coalitions: an overview • Unprecedented raise in the set up of ‘European coalitions’, now integral part of PA in Brussels • Google search gives 117mln results • Set up between groups and organizations which until recently would barely talk to one another • Focus, function and impact of coalitions vary considerably
  • 4. Coalitions: focus, function and impact 1. Focus – Aligning and common positioning on an issue – Advocating policy change or grassroots awareness – Influencing public opinion and EU decision makers 2. Function – Own internal governance – Information sharing – Interfacing with decision makers 3. Impact – Continuously achieve small milestones towards final outcome – Maximized outreach and stronger voice – Wider representation gives more credibility than single player
  • 5. Trends favouring coalition building • More complex and fast-moving PA environment (in terms of digital media, regulatory developments, transversal influence, complex hierarchies) requires flexible, yet well-aligned advocacy • High credibility, pan European outreach and focused goals make coalitions an ideal campaign vehicle • Coalitions can leverage the use resources more efficiently: – Make it easier to gather expertise – Have greater representativeness – Enable organisations to engage in a far higher number of key policy debates than they could possibly do on their own • New digital media opportunities and changing information landscape greatly enhance external profile and the reach of coalitions
  • 6. Coalitions: a very brief typology 1. Trade Association 2. Vertical Issue-Driven Coalition 3. Horizontal Issue-Driven Coalition 4. Multistakeholder Coalition 5. Front Coalition
  • 7. 1. Trade Association • Important source of information and intelligence for members based far away from Brussels • Powerful PA instrument to the extent that: – a common position can be found – a targeted and coherent campaign can be run – the EU regulator consults and trusts trade associations • Danger: internal decision making is time-consuming and results in the promotion of the lowest common denominator among members (vague, soft and unworkable consensus) • Agency support: instrumental to advise on strategy and support tactical execution of PA plans
  • 8. 2. Vertical Issue-Driven Coalition • Far more similar backgrounds of members, usually around a very technical issue • Congregates around one point the members agree on, eg. a specific sustainability issue • Yet linked by common concern throughout value chain • Agency support: keep members focused, manage sensitivities, facilitate dialogue, steer discussions, help drive agenda, translate technical issues in political positions
  • 9. 3. Horizontal Issue-Driven Coalition • United around one horizontal issue, often more generic than the vertical coalition • In principle, all those concerned by the issue along the value chain can adhere coming from very different backgrounds • The choice of members is no longer linked to their representativity but to their capacity to unite around a common issue • Need to clearly define the common goal to effectively bridge structural and cultural diversity among members • Agency support: maintain issue focus, provide practical support services and align strategy, unite and engage
  • 10. 4. Multistakeholder Coalition • Focus on discussions rather than trying to reach precise outcomes • The role of the coalition is to unite, exchange, experiment, inform and disseminate information • The role of the coalition is not about taking decisions or reaching common positions (members often too different) • Great sharing of skills and resources • Benchmarking of good practices • Better social recognition, stronger access to knowledge, innovation and opportunities that organizations might not be able to access alone • Enables civil society/business partnerships
  • 11. 5. Front Coalition • Often set up to counter balance a dominant opposite position • Often set up to defend industry’s interests in difficult EU dossiers before the institutions • Often used to improve the image of a certain sector to the eyes of the decision makers, consumers or citizens • Often the funding is not transparent • Typically run by guns-for-hire agencies
  • 12. Examples of Coalitions Activities • Educate on issues • Enable discussions • Mobilise constituents • Consult citizens • Crowdsource ideas • Inspire action • Drive advocacy
  • 13. Advantages of Coalitions • A single voice • Strength in numbers • A message that resounds • Rapid response • Dynamism • Mass outreach • Thinking out of the box
  • 14. Coalitions: Critical Success Factors • Sense of urgency • Clear goals • Tangible expected outcomes • Indicators to measure success • Motivated members • Real call for action • Seamless integration • Sustained nurturing • Transparency
  • 15. Why Coalitions Fail • Activism vs slactivism • Short-termism • Self interest vs community interest • Vocal opposition • Lack of transparency • Real or perceived manipulation • Favor representativity over credibility • Lack of strong leadership (or a facilitator) • Too much energy into internal management rather than reaching external results
  • 16. MULTIMEDIA PICTURE EDITOR NEEDED Examples of Successful Coalitions
  • 17. A word of advice to the wise Coalitions are on the rise, but remember: “Influence in Brussels is personal”. -Tony Long, Director WWF European Policy Office
  • 18. MARCO TORREGROSSA Founder and Managing Director Euro Freelancers & European Sharing Economy Coalition marco.torregrossa@euro-freelancers.eu @eurofreelancers Independent EU Affairs and Funding Consultants

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