Our 3rd annual Brussels Trust Summit saw some fascinating discussion on where trust comes from, how people in the Brussels bubble can build it and what we can expect to see from European politics as...
Our 3rd annual Brussels Trust Summit saw some fascinating discussion on where trust comes from, how people in the Brussels bubble can build it and what we can expect to see from European politics as we navigate the ever changing political landscape of 2019.
We were honoured to welcome two global Edelman leaders for the Brussels Trust Summit.
Global COO Matthew Harrington presented the 2019 Trust Barometer data while Edelman Special Advisor and Mexican Ambassador Emeritus Sandra Fuentes-Berain gave the closing remarks. Matthew Harrington outlined global trends and how they compared to the EU specific data, which Brussels General Manager Gurpreet Brar presented.
This was the first year Edelman was able to show data on how respondents felt about the European Union as an institution. With European elections in May as well as more than 10 national or federal elections occurring in EU member states this year, it was a timely opportunity to expand our annual study to questions about the EU.
And that’s all without mentioning Brexit.
There were four key takeaways from this data:
1. Trust in the EU is increasing
In many cases, EU citizens actually trust the EU more than their own national governments. Despite the past decade of EU level challenges and problems, citizens are along for the ride – even in the UK.
2. Disparities remain between informed & mass populations
The inequity between informed and mass populations are a trend around the world and Europe is no exception. There were double digit trust gaps in 4 of 6 EU markets we surveyed.
3. Issue of immigration continues to dominate citizen concerns
Many public affairs professionals in Brussels spend most of their time working on food, technology, trade or healthcare, but EU voters are far more concerned about immigration and jobs – people working in the Bubble would do well to remember that.
4. More EU citizens favour a globally focused EU
Economic protectionism, it seems, is a niche policy interest for Europeans – even if it is a very noisy niche that supports them. On average, 59% of EU voters want the EU to remain a global player.
You can also see the global results here.
Following the presentation of our Trust data, there were two lively panels tackling related topics which prompted a lot of questions from attendees.
The first panel was moderated by Paul Maassen, Chief of Country Support at the Open Government Partnership, an international partnership that
brings together government reformers and civil society leaders to create action plans that make governments more inclusive, responsive and accountable – we were very excited to have them support the Brussels Trust Summit this year.
This panel discussed the challenges of online disinformation, the threats of election interference, and discussed how regulation might look to solve the issues associated with the online information economy.
“The question is always what can you trust. I believe that’s why we need more transparency. More transparency means that people are better placed to make their mind and make informed decisions,” shares Sam Jeffers (@wrklsshrd) at the @EdelmanBXL #TrustSummit2019. pic.twitter.com/cuiDHqtE4F— Open Gov Partnership (@opengovpart) March 19, 2019
There was a sense of growing dissatisfaction with the existing information landscape. Panelists had lost trust in both what is being presented to them – even if it is true – and the ability of populations to sift through false or misleading information. The threat of demanding more from citizens is that they disengage entirely, something borne out in the 2019 Trust results.
In the near future, the expectation seemed to be for further fragmentation, at least until the policy community can clearly articulate what a good information landscape might look like and agree steps to work towards it. In any case, real change is likely to come from the EU.
The second panel was moderated by our Digital Specialist Rowan Emslie who led a discussion on who trusts whom in Brussels. This panel had representatives of businesses, NGOs, online platforms and the traditional media – hearing where their respective points of view converged was fascinating for audience members whose work is to navigate the ‘unique village’ that is the Brussels policy community.
There was consensus on how to build trust – act with integrity, be authentic and never over-promise.
Brussels is a small community where reputations are easy to lose. There are any number of interests represented in town and people can learn to trust representatives of just about any point of view – we don’t have to agree with somebody to trust them. This was heartening to hear from such a mixed panel.
Leaders of the future will need to have the courage to speak out on societal issues and stand by their convictions. As the global Trust Barometer results noted, more and more people expect businesses and CEOs to take the lead – there is nothing to say future leaders have to be from the public sector.
A big thank you to all panelists and speakers. You can find all of them and their organisations here on this list – please give them a follow!
If you or your organisation want to speak to Edelman about building trust please get in touch.
Brussels Trust Summit 2019 - the event you've been waiting for! Join us for the European cut of the Edelman Trust Barometer as well as insightful discussion about the EU in 2019 and beyond.
We are pleased to announce that registration is now open for the third annual Edelman Brussels Trust Summit 2019.
As political unrest and unbridled advances in automation threaten job security and the vitality of global supply chains, people are increasingly expecting business to ease their fears and lead the way forward.
The 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer examines how well CEOs and employers are addressing their employees’ concerns about the changing world of work, preparing workforces — and society — for the future, and taking actions that build trust inside and outside their organizations.
At this half day event, our General Manager, Gurpreet Brar, will present the findings of the 19th annual Edelman Trust Barometer, the world’s most robust exploration of trust in business, government, NGOs and media, surveying more than 33,000 respondents in 27 markets.
Two panel discussions will explore the implications of the findings.
The Hotel — 27th Floor
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With the United States and China matching each other tariff for tariff, Europe finds itself at the center of a global trade conflict. In a world where uncertainty is the new normal, representatives from the...
With the United States and China matching each other tariff for tariff, Europe finds itself at the center of a global trade conflict. In a world where uncertainty is the new normal, representatives from the business, industrial, and government sectors find themselves without a clear direction of how to navigate current and future trade deals.
On October 16th, Edelman Brussels hosted a forum titled How to Survive a Trade War: Successfully Navigating EU-US Trade and Tariff Policy. This forum brought together representatives from business and the public sector to discuss the different elements of the trade war. The panelists included:
Moderated by Lisa Ross, President of Edelman DC, the panelists debated what a successful outcome of the trade war would look like, and how each individual sector could establish a plan to achieve that success.
From the collected US and European perspectives on offer, a common consensus drove the dialogue for most of the discussion: this is a trade war instigated and perpetuated by China and the US.
The EU, rather than being an active member of the trade war, stands in the middle. The Commission engages in a daily balancing act between the US and China, while simultaneously attempting to protect the consumers and businesses of the European Union.
Because China is the root cause of the trade war, there is an urgency for countries with similar trade goals to unite their actions in an attempt to bring China back to the table and back to market behavior.
>> Look back: we gathered some initial reactions on the trade war in June 2018. Read them here <<
Nonetheless, there was general agreement that the WTO rulebook needs to be modernized to make the sort of behavior China is engaged in illegal. There are no rules around that China can be accused of directly flouting, rather they skirt on the edges of the accepted rules-based trading framework.
Participants note that the goal of the WTO is to ensure that trade flows efficiently and predictably throughout the world, and therefore is the platform through which most trading countries negotiate their agreements. The panelists debated the necessity for the WTO to play a strong role in creating solutions during this period of trade uncertainty. They agreed that the organization could not be successful without the presence of the US, but the current trajectory of US trade policy fundamentally undermines the institution.
In the long term, the panelists agreed that the WTO still offers the best solution to creating unity in the midst of the trade war, and that the US needs to be convinced of its power to create any kind of agreement with the EU and China. The ongoing trade wars are about far more than one country’s actions against another. The true concern is the destruction of an entire rules-based system of global trade.
Some noted that trade is now depicted as a zero-sum game with winners and losers, a stark contrast to the depiction of mutually beneficial trade for much of the previous three decades. As governments continue with this rhetoric, some panelists suggested that businesses should speak up to protect for themselves and their consumers – but, so far, the private sector has mostly kept quiet.
The panelists warned that if this complacency continues, businesses will find themselves left to handle the tariffs being installed with no input into the process nor resistance. Businesses have a clear opportunity to lead the way in trade agreements, but this can happen only if and when they decide to speak up.
The forum brought different perspectives of the trade war together to discuss how different parties should be thinking about how to be successful in the coming months and years. At the end of the discussion, one point remained clear: the trade war cannot be fought without all sectors included.
Want advice on how to survive a trade war?
Contact Edelman Brussels to learn more.
Trust Summit 2018 28 March 2018, 14:00-18:00 | Brussels Presented by Edelman Brussels and the Public Affairs Council, with special thanks to our summit partners Pfizer and EY. Please register now to ensure attendance. Building...
Presented by Edelman Brussels and the Public Affairs Council, with special thanks to our summit partners Pfizer and EY. Please register now to ensure attendance.
Building on the success of last year’s European Trust Summit, the 2018 edition will take place on 28 March.
Co-presented by the Public Affairs Council and Edelman, we expect to attract over 100 mid- to senior-level government officials and public affairs professionals.
The publication of the Edelman 2018 Trust Barometer, along with major changes in social, regulatory and business trends have made this senior-level discussion a must-attend event for crafting your corporate or association strategy for 2018.
Prices exclude VAT @ 21%, includes light refreshments, handouts, and an evening reception.
Thon Hotel EU
Rue de la Loi 75
14:00-14:20 Keynote speech
14:20-14:25 Why trust matters for corporate governance
14:25-14:50 Trust Barometer Findings
14:50-15:50 Panel I:
15:50-16:15 Coffee Break
16:15-17:15 Panel 2:
17:15-18:00 Closing remarks
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