News archive

Bubbling Up – For the First Time

Tuesday 30 May marked the launch event for Bubbling Up – a new network of young public policy professionals which will address the big questions facing the EU “bubble” today. The event was the first in a series hosted by Community Public Affairs, designed to bring together all those ready to speak up and take on the issues of the day themselves. Bubbling Up promises a unique networking opportunity and a chance to exchange with others looking to test the mood of the crowd and throw around different approaches and big ideas.

The launch brought together a wide variety of young professionals working in EU Institutions, thinktanks, consultancies, NGOs, trade associations and businesses, who were put to the test on issues surrounding “fake news”. A number of interactive displays invited participants to reflect on where they get their news and whether it is trustworthy. All attendees had the opportunity to prove whether they themselves could tell the difference between fake news and real – with mixed results. Throughout the evening it became clear that even in the Brussels bubble, people often use news sources they do not fully trust. But it was also clear that those in attendance were critical news consumers, who are comfortable with calling upon a variety of sources as long as they can identify the origin.

To get involved or find out more write to:

Italian PM Matteo Renzi Visits Prysmian Plant

The Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, this week visited the Prysmian Group’s plant in Battipaglia for a demonstration of its work producing optical fibre. The company is not just a European but a world leader in the production of this next generation technology, which will provide the backbone of Europe’s future telecommunications networks. The Commission’s proposed reforms to the EU’s telecommunications framework, also released this week, provide a welcome recognition of the centrality of fibre to the EU’s digital future and economy.

Prysmian Group has been a committed participant in the Europe-wide debate on the future of the continent’s telecommunications infrastructure. Prime Minister Renzi’s visit was organised as part of a series of activities that Prysmian has undertaken to engage both national and European politicians in the ongoing work to reform the EU’s telecommunications rules for the 21st century. Events such as these help to bring European level discussions onto a national stage. Prysmian Group will continue to engage in the debate during this crucial period and share its technological expertise with all interested institutions and stakeholders.


Ivana Di Martino and Barilla go the distance against Child Food Poverty

On 11 May, Ivana Di Martino left Milan with an important message for Europe. In just 13 days, she will run more than 900 kilometres to deliver it to the European Institutions in Brussels. The message is simple: poverty is also a European problem. Millions of men, women and children are at risk of poverty and social exclusion.

Belgian authorities and prominent Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) will join the welcoming crew of charity organisations, activists and children waiting at the finish line in Brussels on 23 May.

“We are failing our kids,” says Di Martino.  “We all can do something to fight the problem, whether by raising awareness or passing laws. I run.”

Di Martino’s run will benefit the European Federation of Food Banks, including the French, Belgian and Italian Food Bank Federations. Italian family-owned food company Barilla will be cheering her on. “I continue to be impressed by the strength and stamina of ordinary people to pursue extraordinary goals. We support Ivana because we share her values”, said Paolo Barilla, Vice Chairman of Barilla. “We aspire to give people food we would give our own children”.

We at Community Public Affairs are proud to work behind the scenes for Di Martino’s important cause. If you would like to meet her at the finish line (17h00, 23 May 2016 at the Solvay Library), please contact


EU sustainability specialist Martin Porter joins Community Public Affairs

Dr. Martin Porter has joined Community Public Affairs as a Senior Counsellor, bringing with him over 20 years of invaluable experience and expertise in EU affairs. Martin is Executive Director for Industrial Innovation and EU Affairs at the European Climate Foundation, and also serves as Senior Associate for the Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership and is on the Board of University College London’s European Institute.  He previously worked for the leading global agency, Edelman PR Worldwide, where he chaired the European Public Affairs Practice and ran its Brussels office. Prior to this, Martin was also co-founder and Managing Director of The Centre, Brussels’ first “think-do tank”.   A European of British nationality, he has a First Class degree in Modern Languages and European Studies and a Doctorate in Political Science, both from the University of Bath, UK.

“We are thrilled to have him as a member of our team,” said Paolo Nicoletti, Senior Partner at Community. “His endeavours have been prominent and respected for their thought leadership across Brussels. His strategic perspective and long experience of EU public affairs consultancy will be of great benefit to the management team here and enrich the offering we provide our portfolio of clients across the board”.

Martin Porter commented “I am delighted to join Community Public Affairs in this capacity. They are an exciting and dynamic agency which has its finger on the pulse of Brussels, and in a short period of time has developed an impressive track record of high quality team of colleagues. I look forward to helping them develop further and integrate sustainability considerations as well as other strategic imperatives into their work and advice.”

Community Public Affairs announces collaboration with Merck

Community Public Affairs is pleased to announce its collaboration with Merck, following their recent brand overhaul that unified the group under the Merck name worldwide outside the US and Canada.

Merck is charting a vibrant course towards innovative technologies for improved patient outcomes. Community’s support will concentrate on the company’s Oncology portfolio, in particular Merck’s endeavours in immunotherapy for cancer treatment. Although cancer has been on the EU agenda for over 30 years, much remains to be done to improve survival and quality of life. Immunotherapy has the potential to revolutionise treatment of some types of cancer by using the body’s own immune system to fight the disease.

Community Public Affairs will support Merck in building further its presence in this area, while ensuring EU stakeholders are aware of the benefits these innovative treatments offer to patients and, ultimately, the entire health care system.

“We are thrilled to count Merck among our clients,” said Francis Boeynaems, Director of the Health Practice at Community Public Affairs. “Their advancements in immuno-Oncology hold great promise for a great number of patients in the years to come. Merck is part of an innovative change and we are honoured to be a part of it too”.

Paolo Nicoletti to lead Community Public Affairs

5 May 2015

Community Group, a top financial, corporate and crisis communications firm named Mr. Paolo Nicoletti to lead Community Public Affairs as Senior Partner.

Mr. Nicoletti brings with him a passion for public affairs and over 20 years of experience in Brussels in both the public and private sectors, notably at the European Commission and as Director of Confindustria and Managing Director of APCO Worldwide. He will focus on client engagement, strategic partnerships and counselling clients, working closely with Managing Director Bernard Verdoodt to further build the Group’s international network.

“Since its launch in 2013, Community Public Affairs has been able to establish itself in a highly competitive market. This has been an opportunity to broaden our service portfolio by adding a solid public affairs component and reach new clients in leading brands and corporations”, said Community Group President Auro Palomba. “Paolo Nicoletti brings a unique entrepreneurial drive to our Group. He is an exceptional public affairs practitioner whose track record makes him an invaluable addition to build our business prospects.”

For his part, Mr Nicoletti commented: “We are ambitious and have been able to attract talented professionals. We link our clients’ success to ours, and I believe our clients notice. This has proved a recipe for success and I have every intention to move forward. My vision is to deliver best-in-class work to our clients and expand our reach across the EU.”

About Community Public Affairs

Community Public Affairs is a member of Community Group – a leader in financial, corporate and crisis communications. In Brussels our multinational team is dedicated to providing European Union public affairs and communication services for our clients in new and innovative ways that appeal to European policy makers.

For more information please call: +32 (0)2 503 02 95 or email:

Community Public Affairs Manages New European Coalition on Data Protection

Community Public Affairs is proud to announce its collaboration with a new Coalition of European Organisations on Data Protection launched in January 2015.

Seventeen European member companies—and counting—belong to the Coalition, spanning from SMEs to global multinationals and NGOs operating in a variety of sectors. With an aggregate turnover of over € 111 billion and some 567,000 employees worldwide, Coalition members bring growth, progress and jobs to the EU economy. Since the launch, Community Public Affairs has been responsible for managing the Coalition’s various activities, including its relationship with institutional stakeholders and external communication.

“The Coalition gives a voice to the concerns many European companies and organisations have with respect to the proposed revision of the EU data protection legislative framework,” said Paolo Grassia, Consultant at Community Public Affairs and manager for the Coalition. “For the very first time, a cross-sector group of European companies have joined forces to ensure these concerns are heard. We at Community are excited to be part of this initiative and believe the Coalition’s contribution will strengthen and improve the regulation considerably.”

Community Public Affairs coordinates the efforts of the Coalition to transmit their messages clearly to EU policymakers and show concretely how data protection rules impact European business operations, jobs and innovation at a fundamental level.

“The exclusive European composition of the coalition illustrates that data protection is as much about European ICT companies as it is about their US counterparts. Even more so, data protection is and will continue to be crucial for several key segments of European industry whose future competitiveness will rely on augmented ICT and data processing intensity,” said Rene Summer, Director Government and Industry Relations at Ericsson, a member and spokesperson of the Coalition. “We advocate for clear and separate roles and responsibilities in the data processing value chain, the preservation of cross-border data flows, appropriately measured sanctions, an effective one-stop-shop mechanism and the abolition of prescriptive administrative burdens. These aspects keep Europe growing by encouraging innovation, investments and job creation.  Our partnership with Community Public Affairs has proved an effective and constructive way to engage with policymakers in Brussels.”


Community Public Affairs looks forward to the third and last dinner in its successful series in collaboration with the Italian Presidency of the European Council. On 16 December, the guest of honour will be Gian Luca Galletti, the Italian Minister of Environment, Land and Sea.

Like in previous editions, a select group of prominent business representatives will have the unique opportunity to discuss in an intimate setting with Minister Galletti and Deputy Permanent Representative Marco Peronaci the proposed overhaul of EU waste legislation, the state of play of 2030 climate change targets and the outlook of the post-2015 environment policy framework.

Companies around the table will represent the energy, consumer goods and manufacturing sectors.

“Facilitating a dialogue between policymakers and industry is at the core of our work” said Antonio Dai Pra, Partner at Community Public Affairs. “Even more so as Europe copes with slow growth. Industry and government are constantly challenged to innovate while reducing CO2 emissions and waste. These are vital steps for the future well being of both EU citizens and the EU economy”, he concluded.

In an effort to offer a platform for direct interaction between business leaders and senior policymakers, Community Public Affairs will continue this initiative throughout 2015.

Community Public Affairs Organises Second Dinner in the Series with Italy’s Minister of Health

Following a successful dinner with Vice-Minister Carlo Calenda on 20 November, Community Public Affairs and the Permanent Representation of Italy to the European Union will organise a second closed-doors event on Monday 1 December, with Beatrice Lorenzin, Italy’s Minister of Health.

The dinner is set to follow the Health Council meeting, which is taking place in Brussels in the morning on the same day. Minister Lorenzin will report to participating companies on the Council’s outcome, such as the progress made on the upcoming regulations on medical devices and in vitro diagnostic medical devices, and the adoption of Council conclusions on vaccination, patient safety and quality of care, as well as innovation for the benefit of patients.

Leading players in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries will also have the opportunity to raise their concerns to Minister Lorenzin and Deputy Permanent Representative Marco Peronaci in an intimate setting.

“At a time of intense pressure on public finances, balancing the competing needs of ensuring affordable patient access to therapies and care while rewarding innovation is of utmost importance. This second exclusive dinner will contribute to fostering an open and frank discussion on such important issues between industry representatives and the current Presidency of the Council. We are proud to facilitate such an interaction at the highest level of EU policy-making”, said Francis Boeynaems, Director at Community Public Affairs.

Community Public Affairs Organises Dinner with Italian Presidency of the Council

On 20 November, Community Public Affairs and the Permanent Representation of Italy to the European Union are organising a high-level dinner with Carlo Calenda, Vice-Minister of Economic Development responsible for trade.

The dinner will gather around the table a selected group of business representatives. They will discuss with Vice-Minister Calenda the state of play and outlook of negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the United States and of the EU-Japan Free Trade Agreement.

“This exclusive dinner will allow for an open debate on the ongoing trade negotiations between the EU and key counterparts and will explore their direct impact on industry. Participating companies will have an opportunity to obtain insight on the Council’s stance on specific policy issues and to raise their concerns directly to the Italian Presidency in an intimate, informal context”, said Paolo Nicoletti, Senior Counsellor at Community Public Affairs.

Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition Foundation (BCFN Foundation) Collaborates with Community Public Affairs

The Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition Foundation (BCFN Foundation) has appointed Community Public Affairs to develop and execute a campaign to promote their work with European stakeholders.

“We look forward to working with Community Public Affairs to help advance our objectives in Europe and beyond: the global challenges of food and nutrition must become priorities on the agendas of governments and decision-makers. With the support of Community Public Affairs, our mission will be to bridge science and policy action with EU policy makers and all stakeholders,” said Luca Virginio, Executive Director of Communication and External Relations at Barilla.

“We are excited to bring our experience to such an important foundation,” said Auro Palomba, President and Founder of Community Public Affairs. “Thanks to their unique multi-disciplinary approach, the BCFN Foundation is at the forefront of the debate on food and nutrition. We are proud that they have entrusted Community Public Affairs with leveraging their contribution within this critical political debate which will shape the world to come.”

Established in 2009, the BCFN Foundation develops scientific contributions to help address the global challenges related to food and nutrition. The BCFN Foundation operates with a high-level independent Scientific Committee composed of reputable experts from a range of different – but complementary – professional backgrounds: Barbara Buchner (Director, Climate Initiative Policy, Venice), Ellen Gustafson (Founder and Executive Director of the 30 Project; Co-Founder of FEED Projects and the FEED Foundation), Danielle Nierenberg (Expert on sustainable agriculture and the co-founder of Food Tank: The Food Think Tank), Gabriele Riccardi (Professor of Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases, University of Naples “Federico II”; President, Italian Society of Diabetology – SID), Camillo Ricordi (Professor of Surgery, Medicine, Biomedical Engineering, Microbiology and Immunology, University of Miami) and Riccardo Valentini (member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – IPCC, Nobel Prize for Peace 2007).

FoodDrinkEurope Appoints Community Public Affairs

FoodDrinkEurope, the Brussels-based trade association representing the European food and drink industry, has appointed Community Public Affairs to help improve the effectiveness of the association and increase its value for members.

“As the trade body representing Europe’s largest manufacturing sector, we need a clear understanding of the expectations of our members in order to realign as appropriate our governance and activities. The internal survey to be completed by Community Public Affairs will be instrumental in ensuring that we continue to provide the best service to our members”, said Mella Frewen, Director General of FoodDrinkEurope.

Community Public Affairs is very excited to work with a leading organisation in Brussels”, said Auro Palomba, President and Founder of Community Public Affairs. “FoodDrinkEurope’s continuous search for excellence is a sign of strong leadership. Our trade association management practice builds upon the extensive experience of our professionals, who have created and managed trade associations. We are very happy to share our knowledge to serve FoodDrinkEurope’s needs”.

Community Public Affairs Welcomes U.S. Students

On 23 May, Community Public Affairs welcomed a group of undergraduate students in political science from the University of South Carolina at the Cercle de Lorraine. Organised by CISabroad, the visit allowed the students to meet with Community’s consultants and gain a wider perspective on the day-to-day life of EU public affairs consultants.

Community Public Affairs Announces Re-launch of Website

Community Public Affairs is pleased to announce the re-launch of its website, deigned to give a more user-friendly experience for users. The new website has a completely redesigned layout that is simple to use with a strong focus on delivery of content.

Community Public Affairs is happy to announce the re-launch of our company’s website,’ said Bernard Verdoodt, Managing Director of Community Public Affairs.  ‘We have aimed to create a website where current and prospective clients will be able to find concise information on our capabilities, our activities and the services we provide.’