The Hague, September 4th 2019
The relevance of global public affairs is growing. That is the conclusion of the annual trend report published by public affairs agency Dröge & van Drimmelen (DR2 Consultants) on September 3rd. Geopolitical trends such as increased protectionism and the Brexit, threaten free trade and the willingness of governments to facilitate foreign companies in public policy. At the same time, major policy issues extend beyond national borders. “Global public affairs more and more resembles international diplomacy”, according to DR2 Consultants-partner and founder Frans van Drimmelen. “That is why we have just opened offices in New York and Copenhagen, next to our existing offices in The Hague, Brussels and Shanghai.”
The increased relevance of global public affairs has been visible in DR2 Consultants’s annual trend report for a few years now. In 2016, then UN Special Envoy to Lebanon and current Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Sigrid Kaag, stressed the increased similarities between diplomacy and global public affairs in a speech held at DR2 Consultants’ annual late summer event. For many of DR2 Consultants’ clients – often operating in tech, healthcare, sustainability or circular economy – this is self-evident. Issues like privacy, data-protection, (cyber) security, CO2-emmisions and resource/waste management are not contained within national borders. This means that relatively small and innovative companies are often bound to legal restrictions in multiple countries. Van Drimmelen: “A tech company operating in one country, can be severely limited by GDPR-interpretations in another country. And a waste-management organization can benefit from stricter garbage-regulations elsewhere. Innovative companies need global public affairs support to make sure their goods and services can easily cross international borders.”
Another aspect in the changing geopolitical landscape is the rise of protectionism and nationalism. One of the results of this is an increased need for local stakeholder management when companies open offices, or start doing business in a new country. Where in the past cities were generally receptive to foreign companies opening a local office in their community, public sentiments – often fueled by rising housing prices and gentrification issues – have been shifting. When for instance major financial institutions or tech companies open new offices, they are often met with increasing hostility. This means that companies need to build strong ties to local communities and governments, when they start operating in new countries or areas. These kinds of developments result in a growing demand for global public affairs support.
Trends in Global Public Affairs
Attached to this press release, you will find the trend report 2019. Any and all information in this report can be copied and distributed freely, under condition of attribution or source.