In March EDRA members spent two successful days in Brussels meeting some of our sector's most important politicians. We were able to talk in some depth with Europe's Climate Change Commissioner about energy efficiency and how the home improvement sector could help householders reduce their monthly bills while contributing to fighting climate change. The Commissioner was very supportive and has offered to work with EDRA going forward our different initiatives; we hope this develops into some tangible successes for our lobbying work going forward.
Over dinner EDRA and Fediyma were joined by five leading European parliamentarians who were interested in getting to know the sector in more depth but who are also concerned over the power of retailers. There is a big debate in Brussels currently about limiting retailer power, through regulation of "unfair contracts". While we do not want Europe to go down this prescriptive route, we also wish to demonstrate that the home improvement supply chain is different. This was the idea behind hosting this dinner jointly with Fediyma. The approach paid off, and we have built some close links with these MEPs, but now we have to sit down with Fediyma and see if there is any possibility of furthering discussions between our sector. This was a good start for EDRA in Brussels but now the real work begins.