From news article:
BRUSSELS (EJP)---More than twenty years after its creation in Paris, the European Jewish Congress (EJC), the umbrella body representing Jewish communities across Europe, opens a permanent Brussels office this week.
The main activity of this office will be to closely follow the developments of the EU institutions - the European Commission, the European Parliament and the EU Council-, in issues of importance to the European Jewish communities.
The official opening ceremony will take place on Wednesday in the presence of European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, Vice-President Jacques Barrot, European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek, Israelâ€™s Minister of National Infrastructure Uzi Landau and several MEPs.
The need for an EU representation had been regularly raised within the EJCâ€™s executive body, but it is only last year, at the organizationâ€™s general assembly, that the decision to open the Brussels office was unanimously taken.
"While the EJC is based in Paris since its creation in 1986, we found that there was a vacuum on European level and that there was a need for a powerful lobby organization to work closely with the EU institutions. This is easier when you are in Brussels," Raya Kalenova, who heads the new office, told EJP.
"We have always seen the growing importance of the EU for the European Jewry and we are committed to the relationships that we have established over the years with the EU institutions."
The representation will be the hub for the EJCâ€™s projects and initiatives at the highest level of decision-making in the European Union, while the Paris office will mostly manage relations with the diverse Jewish communities around Europe.