To establish a strong presence as an NGO in the EU, it is crucial to set up offices in Brussels as the de-facto capital of the EU. However, many civil society organizations lacking sufficient legal expertise struggle when embarking in the timely and complicated process of opening an office in Belgium.
EuroNatur Foundation is an organisation which campaigns for a Europe that protects its natural landscape, including free-flowing rivers, pristine forests, and diverse cultural scenery. They are working to ensure there is great awareness for wildlife within the European ecosystems.
As environmental matters transcend national borders, it is ultimately important their missions are dealt with at the European level. When in the process of hiring new staff members to establish a presence in Brussels, however, they needed pro bono legal assistance to ensure the employment contracts complied with Belgian labour regulations.
The Good Lobby matched the requirements of EuroNatur with the Brussels office of law firm Pierstone, a valuable member of our pro bono network. Maarten Vanderhaeghe, Partner at Pierstone, and Hélène van Rijckevorsel, Associate, employed their expertise to draft work regulations for new staff members in Brussels in accordance with Belgian labour law.
The support provided by Pierstone through The Good Lobby allowed EuroNatur to finalise the employment contracts for new staff members in Brussels, overall simplifying their establishment process in Belgium and amplifying their activities on the protection of the European wildlife. Transnational presence is becoming more paramount when fighting for change at an EU level, especially when dealing with environmental issues that should be dealt with collectively through a common approach.
Furthermore, the type of pro bono assistance provided by Maarten and Hélène is crucial in allowing civil society organizations to amplify their presence on a European scale. Here the pro bono assistance The Good Lobby provides is extremely crucial in making sure civil society organizations don’t lack fundamental expertise needed to face big public interest issues.