Europe’s promotional banks are joining forces to overcome the major challenges of our time – a mission best accomplished with direct interactions on a day-to-day basis in the EU’s political and administrative capital. David Denzer-Speck runs the KfW office at the heart of the EU.
Head of the KfW Liaison Office in Brussels.KfW Liaison Office to the EU in Brussels
I provide initial assistance for …
… European affairs at KfW.
What are your team’s responsibilities?
We help our colleagues with the acquisition of EU promotional funds, inform them about relevant European laws and represent KfW's interests vis-à-vis EU institutions. We also support KfW’s cooperation with other European promotional institutions. In concrete terms, our work involves a wide range of activities: replying to requests, preparing position papers, organising events, meetings, international workshops and staff exchanges, and evaluating new EU initiatives. Finally, we help to explain the EU within KfW and KfW within Europe.
What are some of the biggest challenges?
To ensure that professional cooperation between the individual national promotional banks proceeds efficiently. This involves very different institutions coming into contact with one another across borders. Everyone leaves their national environment, while bringing their structures and requirements with them. It takes time, mutual understanding and creativity to find common positions on EU issues and jointly develop products that are appealing to our customers.
Has the work grown in complexity?
The tempo has increased, especially the law-making process In the past, most laws were first transposed into national legislation. Today, they are often directly applicable. For us, that means that KfW’s interests need to be taken into account right away at the European level. This requires a different kind of cooperative work and faster coordination, both within our own institution and with our European partners.
You work under the same roof as other European promotional banks. Does that have an impact?
That’s right, my workplace is the shared EU representative office for the national promotional banks in Brussels – with counterparts from Italy, Germany, France, Poland and the Netherlands. Part of our work is to build mutual trust and understanding between the European promotional banks. Simple processes and close personal relationships are very helpful for this. Naturally, the coexistence of the promotional banks is also interesting for the EU institutions, as it allows them to benefit directly from the experience of several member states. But good networking with the Head Office in Frankfurt is just as important.
Aren’t there constant opinions about Europe in this sort of workplace?
Yes, Europe is part of our everyday life – and not only in Brussels. We’re often at the Head Office in Frankfurt, as well as Paris, Warsaw and Zagreb. I’ve noticed great interest in Europe in those places. Coming up with common solutions and bringing the right people together with each other is something I find very enriching. Whether we're talking about climate protection, Africa or the digital transformation, the challenges facing promotional banks in Europe do not stop at national borders. And nor should we. We should learn from each other instead and, where possible, work together.
Published on KfW Stories: Tuesday, 21 May 2019