ECOLISE members were recently given three top tips for engaging with policy makers: dare to knock-on doors, bring your own expertise and understand who you are talking to.
The advice came from Marlène Siméon, Director of Operations at the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR), the oldest and broadest European association of local and regional governments encompassing 100,000 local governments in 41 countries.
She met with ECOLISE members on 27th April as part of the Meet & Greet series, where ECOLISE members have an opportunity to engage in depth with senior policy makers and partners.
Ms Siméon stressed the importance of daring to engage with policy makers at different levels. Over time it becomes a habit and creates a culture of collaboration, she said.
It is important to link ones own projects and recommendations with plans that are being produced by the policy makers you are talking to. For example how does your community-led project respond to the objectives of any operational and regional development plans.
Her third top tip was about clearly understanding the vision and purpose of the municipality or region you are engaging with. What is the aim of the civil servant you are talking to? What are their constraints?
During the exchange, ECOLISE members also learned about the role and position of CEMR on long-term rural vision, ways to influence EU policymakers and how to benefit from EU funding.
See here for a full report of the Meet & Greet with Marlène Siméon
And watch her post Meet & Greet testimony!