EurActiv Awards 2009

Prof. Siegbert Alber

According to Public Affairs News Alber & Geiger is the leading EU government relations law firm in Brussels. Since 2007, it has been successfully lobbying with the EU institutions and governments on behalf of European and third countries, NGOs as well as major companies worldwide. To evidence that Prof. Alber is lobbying successfully with a wide range of different clients, its recent mandates in Bulgaria provide significant examples. Firstly, Alber & Geiger is representing the Bulgarian government before the European Commission regarding the Commission’s progress report on Bulgaria, released in the mid of 2008. In this report the Commission accused the Bulgarian government of being ineffective regarding the fight against corruption and not transparent with EU funds. As a consequence, the European Commission cancelled some hundred million Euros of funds. Working as a transmission belt Prof. Alber could solve the misunderstandings between both institutions and the situation has distinctly improved. Thus, it is to be expected that the forthcoming progress report on Bulgaria will be highly beneficial for Bulgaria. Secondly, Prof. Alber represented the Bulgarian Telekom, which accused the Bulgarian telecoms regulator, the Communications Regulation Commission (CRC), to determine unjustifiable mobile termination rates that operators charge to connect the call of another operator’s customer. Termination rates are an important cost element when consumers call a phone connected to another network and in 2008 the Bulgarian termination rates have been the highest in Europe. Prof. Alber’s lobbying activity finally resulted in the Commission asking CRC not to discriminate when setting the level of termination rates between fixed and mobile networks and to apply similar termination rates for mobile calls originating from other mobile and fixed networks. The request was based on legal problems that the Commission only regarded as significant and resolvable due to the preparation and communication through Prof. Alber.

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  1. Prof. Siegbert Alber – Promoting the European Idea

    I would like to express my strongest support towards the nomination of Prof. Siegbert Alber for the EurActiv Award 2009. From my point of view, Prof. Alber’s actual lobbying activity as outlined in the nomination should be seen as the perfect example of a former highly ranked politician within the European Union trying to fight for the European idea of unification through free movement and free access to Member State markets.

    Further, Prof. Alber’s recently successful engagement on behalf of the Bulgarian government and the Bulgarian consumers shows how important it is to give a voice to the little, relatively new EU Member States. Myself, being from Hungary, I have often the feeling that my country is not listened to enough in the EU.

    Alber & Geiger are in a position to give a voice to these little countries. Having successfully lobbied on behalf of Bulgaria, this leading government relations firm around the nominee Prof. Siegbert Alber seems to be in a position to move things in Brussels and to ameliorate the understanding between the EU institutions and Member States or Member States’ companies.

    This kind of connection between the EU authorities in Brussels and the European society in the different Member States seems very important to me. People working at this interface are needed to promote a better understanding between the institutional body in Brussels and the Member States. Having said this, I would like to emphasise that this kind of successful lobbying work, which Prof. Siegbert Alber stands for, contributes an uncountable high impact on the ongoing integration process of the European Union. Having lobbied successfully on behalf of the Bulgarian Telekom Prof. Siegbert Alber has supported the EU Commission in realising there consumer friendly policy in the area of telecommunication.

    From my perspective, all these elements of the recent lobbying work undertaken by Prof. Alber in Brussels qualify him highly for the EurActiv Award 2009.

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