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London will have a stronger voice in Europe with the opening today of a Brussels office set up by the Association o...
London will have a stronger voice in Europe with the opening today of a Brussels office set up by the Association of London Authorities in partnership with Greater London Enterprise.

All 32 London boroughs and the City of London Corporation have subscribed to the services of the office to ensure that London's interests are promoted in the European corridors of power.

Situated just yards from the European Commission building, London House will provide a vital link for London boroughs to put their case for funding and to influence decisions made in the European capital.

The office will provide full business centre facilities, policy and administrative support, meeting rooms, information and advice, and a consultancy service. The facilities will also be available to businesses and other London-wide organisations at low cost.

ALA and GLE staff will be on hand to help visiting council officers and London business leaders find their way around Brussels and its bureaucratic maze. They will assist in developing lobbying strategies, arrange study tours, and offer help in identifying potential partners for international initiatives.

ALA chairman Toby Harris said:

'Now London will have a strong presence at the heart of the European Union, promoting London's case, keeping us up to date with new policy developments and ensuring that London does not miss out on funding opportunities.

'London House will be an important resource for London councils and voluntary organisations and will give a welcome boost to London businesses.'

London receives a substantial amount from the European Social Fund, which supports vocational training schemes for unemployed people. In 1994 the London local authority allocation, managed on behalf of all boroughs by the ALA, amounted to over £5m - around a quarter of the national local authority share.

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