International News - BT Global seeks alliance with new European firm

British Telecommunications' global division is reviewing its pan-European public affairs contract, currently held by European Public Policy Advisers.

British Telecommunications' global division is reviewing its pan-European public affairs contract, currently held by European Public Policy Advisers.

The contract covers eight European countries - Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland - but does not include the UK.

BT Global is seeking an agency with affiliates or wholly owned offices in all these countries. The new agency will begin work in April, initially on a one-year contract, which is renewable for an extra three years. The brief has not yet been determined.

EPPA's present work covers both monitoring and strategic government relations advice on a national level in the eight countries concerned. The agency expects to repitch for the account. BT handles its Brussels-based European lobbying in-house. The agency will report to BT Global's head of European public affairs, Linda Porter.

Porter said, 'We are looking for people who understand the importance of communications to the future of Europe - not just telecommunications themselves, but also converging technologies such as broadcast and computing.

The agency will have good contacts with a wide range of opinion formers: not just politicians, but also academics, industry and user groups and trade unions.'

BT is present in each eight countries covered by the lobbying brief via joint ventures, apart from Belgium where it has its own office. Joint ventures include Cegetel in France.

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