Working with the European Commission
Fern initially focussed on the European Commission because it is the only EU institution with the power to propose new laws (“legislative initiative”). We assumed it is most effective to raise awareness when regulations are being developed, rather than when legislators already have a position on a proposal.
Fern has a quarter century of experience of organising dialogues with different Directorates General (DG) of the Commission, the equivalent of ministries/departments of national governments. We focus on those that are instrumental for protecting Europe’s and global forests: DG DEVCO (International Collaboration and Development Aid), CLIMA (Climate), ENVI (Environment), Trade and Agriculture.
Working with other EU institutions
Fern works closely with Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), who, together with the Council of the European Union, have the power to adopt and amend legislation. We work with all political groups, except the far right.
Fern also regularly meets with EU Member States’ permanent Brussels representations, whose role is to promote national interests. The civil servants working as “Perm Reps” help inform and define their governments’ positions on Commission legislative proposals.
Sometimes Fern works directly with national ministries and departments, although we always aim to do this with or through national NGOs.