Deloitte Belgium teams up with the College of Europe

3-year partnership kicks off with key event: “EU 2020: What Role for European Business?”

Brussels, 15 March 2010 - Deloitte Belgium today announced the start of its 3-year partnership with the College of Europe in Bruges.In the context of this co-operation, Deloitte becomes the first partner of the new ‘European Economic Integration and Business’ Programme at the College. Furthermore, the two organisations will work closely together on events and on general development (e.g. case studies, papers, articles, studies, awards, etc.). Deloitte will also be offering internships to the College’s graduates every summer. On 18 March, the firstDeloitte – College event will be organised in Bruges, with as its central theme: “EU 2020: What Role for European Business?” Deloitte will chair the “Lowering Red Tape for business” workshop,  in which  corporate cost-reduction measures, to be implemented by the Commission and by EU Member States, will be highlighted and discussed.

The College of Europe is the most genuinely ‘European’ of all university institutes for European studies: it attracts a highly qualified pan-European faculty and welcomes students from across the entire continent and further afield, and it relies on a unique network of personal and institutional relationships developed, throughout Europe and beyond, over the past 59 years. Rik Vanpeteghem, CEO Deloitte Belgium, comments: “We are very pleased and highly motivated to make this support programme work for both parties and look forward to strengthening the ties between the College and Deloitte. This partnership means a lot to us; we as a firm attribute great value to supporting young talent. We attach great importance to the European integration process and this new co-operation fits perfectly within those goals”.

A new specialisation on “European Economic Integration and Business”

This specific study programme,organised by the College of Europe and supported by Deloitte, focuses on the manifold interaction between business and the EU. It emphasises the role of European business in European economic integration and the key two-way influence of the EU / business interface. Through business case studies, students learn how the European Union affects companies, and how a company or a sector develops an EU strategy towards policy makers[1].

The European aspect remains key at Deloitte - our own Public Sector industry practice continues to specialise in these specific areas”, Rik Vanpeteghem explained. Deloitte has now been providing services to the European Commission and other EU Institutions for more than a quarter of a century. Over that time, the firm has worked for the vast majority of the Commission’s Directorates-General and services. The international team, based in Brussels, works with colleagues throughout the Deloitte organisation across the EU and beyond, and delivers strategy, policy and risk management items, as well as internal controls, financial audits and verification services to the EU. “This partnership with the College will allow an important exchange of subject-matter content and will enrich our own work on relevant subjects through regular contacts with the faculty and specialists”,  Vanpeteghem said.

First Bruges European Business conference in partnership with Deloitte: “EU 2020: What Role for European Business?”

In the framework of the partnership an annual Bruges European Business Conference will be organised. The conference will take place for the first time on 18 March 2010 at the College of Europe in Bruges and it will include a workshop with Deloitte practitioners chairing/speaking.

The set-up of the conference is such that in-depth debates are encouraged. The six workshops (three parallel in the morning and three in the afternoon) have been scheduled for three hours so as to facilitate extensive exchange and solid argumentation. Business speakers, EU officials and academics play a role in all workshops, which will address topics such as Innovation in European Businesses, Logistics in the EU Internal Market and Energy & EU2020[2].

Workshop chaired by Deloitte: What can the Commission and EU Member States do in order to Secure Significant Corporate Cost Reductions?

This workshop “Reducing Red Tape for Business” will be chaired by Richard Doherty, Lead Partner for the European Institutions at Deloitte, and will focus on the concrete benefits of the Commission’s recent initiatives with regards to red-tape reduction in the EU, how business is finding the measures taken so far and what the challenges are for proper implementation. The workshop will also shed light on things that are still in the pipeline and what more the new Commission can do in specific policy areas.

Richard Doherty indicated: “European business directly "feels" these red-tape irritations and costs, so the benefits from the red-tape initiative should be both 'visible' for–companies - something not easily accomplished without EU regulation - and cost-reducing in very practical ways. This is welcome, not least for SMEs, where the relative burden is known to be much heavier than for big firms”.

[1] More information about the new study programme can be found here: www.coleurope.eu/eeib
[2] Further information and details about the workshops can be found here: http://www.coleurope.eu/template.asp?pagename=ecoconf.