As has become clear over the past months, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to unprecedented shifts in health, economic, social, and business sectors. In these uncertain times, it is more important than ever to enable continuing, transparent communication between policy-makers and interest representatives in order to maintain the dialogue that is an essential precondition to wise policy decisions.

In the context of the shift from in-person to virtual e-meetings, it is particularly important to allow public affairs professionals to continue their work and help enhance the EU’s economic policy response to the current crisis. The work of public affairs consultancies in Brussels, and across Europe, has continued, highlighting the needs and priorities of stakeholders and organisations we represent to decision-makers.

The principles of transparency and integrity are increasingly important, allowing for ethical interactions across the board. EPACA’s transparency rules and Code of Conduct are particularly crucial in this regard, as they not only apply to in-person meetings but to all types of interactions with EU policy-makers, and we continue to train our members in this regard through various tools, such as our newly developed online learning platform which will be launched soon.

It is vital for all stakeholders that an open and transparent stream of communication be maintained during this period of COVID-19 related restrictions, in order to ensure informed decision-making as well as business continuity” says Isabelle De Vinck, chairwoman of EPACA.