And the winner is...

The back of the BBC Birmingham headquarters in...

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It’s awards season here in Brussels. Like the 94 tram on Avenue Louise, you wait forever for a glitzy award ceremony and then two come along at once.

Last night saw the inaugural European Public Affairs Directory awards at the Vaudeville Theatre in central Brussels. Alas, Jonathan Ross was not on hand to compere, instead a comedian who looked like Billy Connolly‘s illegitimate younger brother pitched up. His jokes weren’t bad. Wine was poured. Fun was had by all.

FH sponsored the Political Journalist of the Year Award and we can happily report that two out of the three nominees are big believers in blogs. Mark Mardell of the BBC is an avid blogger about all aspects of the EU, both inside and outside the Brussels Bubble (check out his recent posts from a three day trip to Germany for example), while Jean Quatremer of Liberation has even caught this anglophone’s attention. Our only nominee who currently does not blog, Jamie Smyth of the Irish Times, left the table with a promise to start one and to even look into Twitter after a hounding from the FHers on the table. We look forward to it, dinner conversation proved he has a great many interesting insights to share and is happy to engage in debate.

As an aside, it was also good to see the NGOs in town recognised by their public affairs peers for the formidable lobbyists that they are. Friends of the Earth won the Campaign of the Year for its relentless agrofuels lobby and WWF won the award for NGO of the year.

Oh and before I forget, the winner on our table…drum roll…Mark Mardell of the BBC (ably substituted by Mark James, BBC Bureau Chief, on the night).

Thankfully there’s another award ceremony only weeks away and next time around we may win the Consultancy of the Year (last night’s award went to APCO, congrats). We’re nominated at the inaugural European Agenda Public Affairs Summit awards on 4/5 December, in part thanks to our work in digital public affairs. We’re also hosting a workshop on the subject as part of the two day event. We hope to see you there.


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