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New Belgian federal government’s sustainability policy priorities

After 493 days of negotiations between the political parties in Belgium since the elections in May 2019, the new federal government of the Kingdom of Belgium was sworn in on 1 October 2020 with Alexander De Croo (Open Vld) appointed as new Prime Minister. With a clear difference in engagement compared to Charles Michel’s so-called ‘Swedish coalition”, sustainability – together with employment and solidarity – is one of the key themes in the new coalition agreement, which confirms full commitment to the climate ambitions of the Paris Agreement and the European Green Deal. The ambition is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030 and make Belgium climate neutral by 2050.

Another urgent focus of the new government will be addressing the corona crisis and the path to economic recovery by transitioning into a more sustainable economic model. The “Government De Croo” sets out investments and new policies in line with the goals of the European Green Deal, however, it often remains unclear how the goals will be achieved in practice.

Renewable energy sources 

The new Belgian federal government proposes to invest more in the development of renewable energy sources, in particular in wind and solar energy, i.e. by exploring potential additional capacity for offshore wind in the Belgian North Sea. However, environmental organizations already raised their concerns about the lack of measures that would protect nature reserves in the North Sea in case economic activities would be exploited in the area. Additionally, in their pursuit of climate neutrality, public companies are encouraged to develop their own sustainable energy supplies and to gradually replace polluting sources, including nuclear energy.

Sustainable transport 

Railway is within the competency of the federal government, where additional investments are expected with the ambition to create more efficient and faster international (night) train connections to major European cities and consequently make Brussels a truly international train hub. The government is also aiming to double the freight traffic by 2030. In consultation with the regions, the government will put forward proposals on the uptake of zero-emission vehicles (subject to the availability of such affordable vehicles on the Belgian market) including an obligation on zero-emission company vehicles by 2026. Also, together with the regions, this government will strive for an ambitious modal shift and the promotion of Mobility-as-a-Service with a view to a significantly increase the share of sustainable mobility modes.

Circular economy 

The new government – in consultation with the regions – will develop a federal circular economy action plan to significantly reduce the use of raw materials and the material footprint in production and consumption. The federal government will also set best practices and include the principle of a circular economy in its public tenders. In line with the ambitions of the European Green Deal, the Belgian government will also promote reduction of waste, reuse and recycling.

Biodiversity 

To improve the negative impact on the biodiversity, the new federal government will investigate the impact of the ban of certain plastics and push to harmonize these standards at the European level. Furthermore, the government will realize an ambitious reduction plan for pesticides with special attention for Belgian (agricultural) companies in order to avoid any competitive disadvantage. In general, the new government seems to align the national biodiversity strategy much more with the European biodiversity strategy.

Recovery 

The new government is investing €3.2 billion in new policies, out of which  €2.3 billion will be earmarked for social policy. €1 billion is reserved for relaunching the economy following the corona crisis, including investment in a new economy (e.g. more energy-efficient government buildings, the development of the use of sustainable accumulators and batteries, improvement and intensification of freight transport by rail and inland waterways). Furthermore, spin-offs that have a positive effect on sustainable development, more specifically on renewable energy, insulation of buildings, climate-friendly technologies, but also in the field of digitization and mobility will be set as priorities. Further details are set to be announced in the coming weeks and months.

Conclusion 

The new Belgian federal government has without doubt set out ambitious goals to achieve a more sustainable and circular economy for the coming years. Together with the recovery plan following the COVID-19 crisis, this provides new opportunities but also poses challenges for companies to adopt their operational and business environments. It is therefore crucial to stay up-to-date with the latest developments and understand when is the right momentum to proactive influence the political agenda.

Dr2 Consultants offers comprehensive Public Affairs support for companies and organizations that are impacted by Belgian policies – either at federal or at regional level. Furthermore, registration is still possible for our dedicated online Belgian Public Affairs training on 16 October 2020 that will provide participants with the opportunity to have a deeper look at the new priorities of the federal and regional governments.

 

Traineeship Vacancy: Public Affairs Trainee

Job title: Public Affairs Trainee

Expiration date: 20 September 2020

Country/City: Belgium, Brussels

 

Company name: Dr2 Consultants

Contact name: Ward Scheelen

Contact e-mail address: w.scheelen@dr2consultants.eu

 

Company profile

Dr2 Consultants is a dynamic Brussels-based consultancy firm that provides companies, organizations and NGOs with guidance on EU and Belgian affairs (www.dr2consultants.eu) in the digital, transport and sustainability policy domains. We are looking for a highly-motivated Dutch-speaking trainee to assist our team.

Job description

  • Preparing background notes, briefings, reports, and articles;
  • Assisting consultants in conducting research, analysis and monitoring activities for their clients;
  • Assist consultants in the development and execution of Public Affairs and communication strategies;
  • Assisting consultants in their interest representation on behalf of their clients;
  • Assist and learn to influence political decision-making through the development and execution of Public Affairs strategies;
  • Assisting the Office Manager with day-to-day administrative duties.

Background and qualifications

  • Graduated from a Master’s degree in a relevant field such as European studies, Political Science, Communications or other relevant education;
  • Previous traineeship experience within the European Institutions and/or Public Affairs is an asset;
  • Language skills: Excellent spoken and written Dutch and English (Native-speaker level or equivalent). Knowledge of other languages would be an asset;
  • Strong PC skills (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, etc.);
  • Proactive and dynamic person with excellent communication and personal skills;
  • Flexible work attitude, hands-on mentality, able to work on multiple tasks simultaneously;
  • Sound interest in digital, transport and circular economy related policies at European (and Belgian) level.

Terms and conditions

Procedure

To apply please send your CV and cover letter (in English) explaining why you would be the right candidate for this position to: w.scheelen@dr2consultants.eu. Applications should be sent as soon as possible and no later than 20 September with ‘Application Public Affairs Trainee’ as subject line. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

We are looking for a Public Affairs Consultant

Expiration date: 25 May 2020

Country/City: Belgium, Brussels

Experience: 5-7 years (in Brussels)

Contact name: Viktoria Vajnai

Contact e-mail address: V.Vajnai@Dr2consultants.eu

 

Job Description

Operate in the heart of Brussels, contribute to satisfied clients and celebrate successes with colleagues. This is what your job at Dr2 consultants looks like. Our firm grows in a flourishing way and this is why we like to hire talented people.

Do you have a proven track record in the European bubble? Are you able to support our clients in implementing their Public Affairs Strategy? Then we invite you to apply for this Public Affairs Consultant vacancy.

What you will do

  • Develop, manage and deliver creative Public Affairs and lobbying strategies to achieve our clients’ objectives;
  • Advise clients on policy developments across our three focus areas: Digital, Transport and Sustainability;
  • Manage Public Affairs programmes and liaise with relevant stakeholders across the EU institutions;
  • Build and lead clients’ influence in the European Institutions, across governments and other relevant stakeholders;
  • Expand the client portfolio of Dr2 Consultants;
  • Drive business solutions for our clients that will have tangible and quantitative results.

How you can contribute

  • A proven track record of 5-7 years of experience in EU Public Affairs in Brussels;
  • The ability to manage clients independently and cope with multiple priorities;
  • University level education (Master’s degree), preferably in an area related to European studies, economics or law;
  • Previous consultancy experience is an asset;
  • Network in the European sphere;
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills;
  • Excellent analytical skills;
  • Business acumen;
  • Proficiency in English. Knowledge of other European language(s) – particularly Dutch and French – would be a strong asset;
  • Strong computer skills (in particular Microsoft Office, social media).

What we offer

  • A challenging and growing environment where personal development and growth are encouraged;
  • A dynamic and international team of Public Affairs professionals;
  • An attractive and competitive salary

Terms and conditions

To apply for this position, please send your CV and cover letter to Ms. Viktoria Vajnai (v.vajnai@dr2consultants.eu). Applications should be sent not later than 25 May 2020 with ‘Application Public Affairs Consultant’ in the subject line of the email.

Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

About Dr2 Consultants

Dr2 Consultants is a dynamic Brussels-based consultancy firm. We provide companies, organizations and NGOs with guidance on EU and Belgian affairs in the digital, transport and sustainability policy domains. To discover more about us, please visit our website (www.dr2consultants.eu).

 

We are looking for a Digital Public Affairs Trainee

Company profile

Dr2 Consultants is a dynamic Brussels-based consultancy firm that provides companies, organizations and NGOs with guidance on EU and Belgian affairs (www.dr2consultants.eu) in the digital, transport and sustainability policy domains. We are looking for a highly-motivated trainee to assist the Ecommerce Europe team.

Ecommerce Europe is the sole voice of the European Digital Commerce sector. As a result of joining forces with EMOTA, Ecommerce Europe now represents, via its 23 national associations, more than 100,000 companies selling goods and services online to consumers in Europe. Ecommerce Europe acts at European level to help legislators create a better framework for online merchants, so that their sales can grow further.

Job description

  • Preparing background notes, briefings, reports, and articles;
  • Assisting consultants in conducting research, analysis and monitoring activities for Ecommerce Europe;
  • Assist consultants in the development and execution of Public Affairs and communication strategies;
  • Assisting consultants in their interest representation on behalf of Ecommerce Europe;
  • Assist and learn to influence political decision-making through the development and execution of Public Affairs strategies;
  • Assisting the Office Manager with day-to-day administrative duties.

Background and qualifications

  • Graduated from a Master’s degree in a relevant field such as European studies, Political Science, Communication or other relevant education;
  • Previous internship experience within the European Institutions and/or Public Affairs is an asset;
  • Language skills: Excellent spoken and written English (Native-speaker level or equivalent). Knowledge of other languages would be an asset;
  • Strong PC skills (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, etc.);
  • Proactive and dynamic person with excellent communication and personal skills;
  • Flexible work attitude, hands-on mentality, able to work on multiple tasks simultaneously;
  • Sound interest in digital and circular economy related policies at European level.

Terms and conditions

Procedure

To apply please send your CV and cover letter explaining why you would be the right candidate for this position to Ms. Maike Jansen at m.jansen@dr2consultants.eu. Applications should be sent as soon as possible and no later than 26 February COB with ‘Digital Public Affairs Trainee Ecommerce Europe’ as subject line. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Traineeship opportunity at Dr2 Consultants

Company profile

Dr2 Consultants is a dynamic Brussels-based consultancy firm that provides companies, organizations and NGOs with guidance on EU and Belgian affairs (www.dr2consultants.eu) in the digital, transport and sustainability policy domains. We are looking for a highly-motivated Dutch-speaking trainee to assist our team.

Job description

  • Preparing background notes, briefings, reports, and articles;
  • Assisting consultants in conducting research, analysis and monitoring activities for their clients;
  • Assisting consultants in the development and execution of Public Affairs and communication strategies;
  • Assisting consultants in their interest representation on behalf of their clients;
  • Assisting and learning how to influence political decision-making through the development and execution of Public Affairs strategies;
  • Assisting the Office Manager with day-to-day administrative duties.

Background and qualifications

  • Graduated from a Master’s degree in a relevant field such as European studies, Political Science, Communication or other relevant education;
  • Previous internship experience within the European Institutions and/or Public Affairs is an asset;
  • Language skills: Excellent spoken and written Dutch and English (Native-speaker level or equivalent). Knowledge of other languages would be an asset;
  • Strong PC skills (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, etc.);
  • Proactive and dynamic person with excellent communication and personal skills;
  • Flexible work attitude, hands-on mentality, able to work on multiple tasks simultaneously;
  • Sound interest in digital, transport and circular economy related policies at European (and Belgian) level.

Terms and conditions

Procedure

To apply please send your CV and cover letter explaining why you would be the right candidate for this position to: m.jansen@dr2consultants.eu. Applications should be sent as soon as possible and no later than 13 February COB with ‘Application Public Affairs Trainee’ as subject line. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Dr2 Consultants hosts successful transport networking event with focus on sustainability

On 22 January, Dr2 Consultants hosted a transport networking event welcoming over 60 representatives of the transport sector both from EU institutions and private companies.

The event at Holland House provided an opportunity to exchange views about the policy priorities of the EU. The networking event featured two keynote speakers, Mr. Kristijan Ležaić, Counsellor at the Croatian Presidency of the Council of the EU, and Mr. Daniel Mes, member of Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans’ cabinet giving interesting insights about the impact of the European Green Deal on transport.

The Presidency will focus on the improvement and finalization of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) and the achievement of a competitive and sustainable shipping sector. The Croatian Presidency will also try to finalize trilogues on the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) as soon as the negotiations for the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) 2021-2027 are completed.

Mr. Daniel Mes explained that the Commission is committed to work towards a sustainable transport sector that is beneficial for all. The Climate Law that will be presented in February will propose binding targets that will allow the EU to become climate neutral by 2050. Mr. Mes invited stakeholders to take an active role in shaping the EU’s climate agenda.

“At Dr2 Consultants, we promote constant interaction between policymakers and stakeholders in order to ensure future-proof legislation, especially now, at the beginning of the new policy mandate and in view of the challenges the EU is facing. We look back at a successful event and we look forward to gathering colleagues from the transport, digital and sustainability sector in the coming months.”- added Margreet Lommerts, Managing Partner at Dr2 Consultants.

We are looking for a Public Affairs Consultant

Dr2 Consultants is a dynamic Brussels-based consultancy firm that provides companies, organizations and NGOs with guidance on EU and Belgian affairs in the digital, transport and circular economy policy domains. To discover more about us, please visit our website (www.dr2consultants.eu).

In light of Dr2 Consultants’ flourishing growth, we are looking for a consultant with a proven track record in EU Public Affairs who is able to represent the interests of our clients in Brussels. The applicant’s experience should be relevant, i.e. situated in the Brussels (EU) sphere of activities, as well as related to the company’s focus areas. The consultant will be particularly involved in supporting the work of the Ecommerce Europe’s Secretariat in implementing the association’s public affairs strategy. Applicants should therefore have a proven experience in ecommerce-related policies, in particular digital policies and sustainability.

Job description 

  • Develop, manage and deliver creative Public Affairs and lobbying strategies to achieve our clients’ objectives;
  • Advise clients on policy developments, with a focus on digital policy and sustainability;
  • Liaise with relevant stakeholders across the EU institutional landscape;
  • Build and lead clients’ influence in the European Institutions, across governments and other relevant stakeholders;
  • Able to expand the client portfolio of Dr2 Consultants, with a focus on digital;
  • Drive business solutions for our clients that will have tangible and quantitative results.

Background and qualifications 

  • Proven track record of minimum 3 years in EU affairs (focus on Digital is preferred);
  • A proven ability to manage clients independently and cope with multiple priorities;
  • University level education (Master’s degree), preferably in an area related to European studies, economics or law;
  • Previous consultancy experience is an asset;
  • Network in the European sphere;
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills;
  • Excellent analytical skills;
  • Business acumen;
  • Proficiency in English. Knowledge of other European language(s) – particularly Dutch and French – would be a strong asset;
  • Strong computer skills (in particular Microsoft Office, social media).

What we offer

  • A challenging and growing environment where personal development and growth are encouraged;
  • A dynamic and international team of Public Affairs professionals;
  • An attractive and competitive salary

 Terms and conditions

To apply for this position, please send your CV and cover letter to Luca Cassetti (l.cassetti@Dr2consultants.eu). Applications should be sent no later than 21 January 2020 with ‘Application Public Affairs Consultant’ in the subject line of the email.

Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Digital Ambitions in Flanders

The Flemish Government Agreement 2019-2024 was announced on Tuesday 1 October and was negotiated by N-VA, CD&V and Open Vld. Although the coalition agreement does not contain a separate chapter on digital topics, the new Flemish Government is committed to making innovation and digital transformation a priority in its policies. To achieve this, the agreement emphasizes that Flanders must raise to the top of the digital infrastructure. Moreover, the Flemish Government also wants to take the lead in experimenting with new digital applications and digital transformations in its services.

Lifelong learning

The agreement stresses the importance of digitalization to stimulate a culture of lifelong learning. Therefore, the new Flemish government wants to set up a Lifelong Learning Platform and aims to use smart data to proactively make people aware of career opportunities and threats on the labor market. In addition, embedded in the VDAB (Vlaamse Dienst voor Arbeidsbemiddeling en Beroepsopleiding, Flemish Office for Employment and Vocational Training) career platform, the Flemish government is developing a smart digital tool that will help Flemish people find their way in the private and public labor market. Citizens who do not have sufficient digital skills will be proactively tracked and supported to increase their self-reliance. However, already during the formative years in high school, the government wants to have an eye for digital innovations in the “classroom of the future” and for the corresponding IT applications. In addition, courses should be substantively up-to-date and respond to the reality of tomorrow, certainly also with regard to the necessary digital and transversal competences.

 

Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence will play an important role in the digitalization of Flanders. Therefore, the new Flemish Government is preparing an integrated plan for further digitalization of Flanders and the valorization of artificial intelligence. With this plan, the Flemish government wants to increase support for the policy programs and projects for Artificial Intelligence, Cyber Security, I-Learn and Mobilidata and ensure that these remain optimally tailored to the needs of Flemish companies and society as a whole. In addition, the government agreement states that the quality of life will also increase thanks to the efforts of AI. The Flemish AI policy plan fulfills the ambition to put Flanders on the world map in this strategic domain through research, training and practical applications in companies.

Digital security

The new Flemish government is also concerned about its digital security. Through the cyber-security policy plan, aimed at research, practical applications in companies and training, the coalition of N-VA, CD&V and Open Vld wants to develop in particular a resilient digital economy in Flanders. In this regard, also privacy is very important according to the government agreement. The government will, in accordance with international evolutions, develop standards for pooling, opening and exchanging data, with the utmost respect for user privacy. In addition, in the rapidly evolving media society where the impact of (social) media on society is enormous, the importance of media literacy and digital literacy should be increased to guard against fake news. Therefore, the Flemish government will continue to implement the media literacy policy together with the Knowledge Center Media Literacy so that they are able to pursue a coordinated policy throughout the media sector with other policy areas.

The ambition of Flanders is clear. The new government wants Flanders to be the world reference for a number of innovative technologies and sectors and to be a pioneer in digital entrepreneurship. Flanders must be the testing ground for companies and citizens who want to taste the digital applications of the future. The question remains, however, how these ambitions will be financed and how these priorities will be implemented concretely in order to give Flanders a leading (digital) position in the world.

Dr2 Consultants is looking for a Public Affairs Trainee

Company profile

Dr2 Consultants is a dynamic Brussels-based consultancy firm that provides companies, organizations and NGOs with guidance on EU and Belgian affairs (www.dr2consultants.eu) in the digital, transport and circular economy policy domains. We are looking for a highly-motivated Dutch-speaking trainee to assist our team.

Job description

  • Preparing background notes, briefings, reports, and articles;
  • Assisting consultants in conducting research, analysis and monitoring activities for their clients;
  • Assist consultants in the development and execution of Public Affairs and communication strategies;
  • Assisting consultants in their interest representation on behalf of their clients;
  • Assist and learn to influence political decision-making through the development and execution of Public Affairs strategies;
  • Assisting the Office Manager with day-to-day administrative duties.

Background and qualifications

  • Graduated from a Master’s degree in a relevant field such as European studies, Political Science, Communications or other relevant education;
  • Previous internship experience within the European Institutions and/or Public Affairs is an asset;
  • Language skills: Excellent spoken and written Dutch and English (Native-speaker level or equivalent). Knowledge of French would be an asset;
  • Strong PC skills (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, etc.);
  • Proactive and dynamic person with excellent communication and personal skills;
  • Flexible work attitude, hands-on mentality, able to work on multiple tasks simultaneously;
  • Sound interest in digital, transport and circular economy related policies at European (and Belgian) level.

Terms and conditions

Procedure

To apply please send your CV and cover letter explaining why you would be the right candidate for this position to: w.scheelen@dr2consultants.eu. Applications should be sent as soon as possible and no later than 18 October COB with ‘Application Public Affairs Trainee’ as subject line. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

We are hiring!

Public Affairs Consultant

Dr2 Consultants is a dynamic Brussels-based consultancy firm that provides companies, organizations and NGOs with guidance on EU and Belgian affairs in the digital, transport and circular economy policy domains. To discover more about us, please visit our website (www.dr2consultants.eu).

In light of Dr2 Consultants’ flourishing growth, we are looking for a consultant with a proven track record in EU Public Affairs who is able to represent the interests of our clients in Brussels. The applicant’s experience should be relevant, i.e. situated in the Brussels (EU) sphere of activities, as well as related to the company’s focus areas (transport, digital and circular economy). The consultant will be responsible for supporting our clients in their Public Affairs strategy and implementation.

Job description 

  • Develop, manage and deliver creative Public Affairs and lobbying strategies to achieve our clients’ objectives;
  • Advise clients on policy developments across the three focus areas of Dr2 Consultants: digital, transport and sustainability;
  • Manage Public Affairs programmes and liaise with relevant stakeholders across the EU institutional landscape;
  • Build and lead clients’ influence in the European Institutions, across governments and other relevant stakeholders;
  • Able to expand the client portfolio of Dr2 Consultants;
  • Drive business solutions for our clients that will have tangible and quantitative results.

Background and qualifications 

  • Proven track record of 5-7 years of experience in EU Public Affairs in Brussels;
  • A proven ability to manage clients independently and cope with multiple priorities;
  • University level education (Master’s degree), preferably in an area related to European studies, economics or law;
  • Previous consultancy experience is an asset;
  • Network in the European sphere;
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills;
  • Excellent analytical skills;
  • Business acumen;
  • Proficiency in English. Knowledge of other European language(s) – particularly Dutch and French – would be a strong asset;
  • Strong computer skills (in particular Microsoft Office, social media).

What we offer

  • A challenging and growing environment where personal development and growth are encouraged;
  • A dynamic and international team of Public Affairs professionals;
  • An attractive and competitive salary  

Terms and conditions

To apply for this position, please send your CV and cover letter to Ms. Viktoria Vajnai (v.vajnai@dr2consultants.eu). Applications should be sent not later than 25 October 2019 with ‘Application Public Affairs Consultant’ in the subject line of the email.

Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.