Head of Isle of Man’s Brussels Office is announced
The Isle of Man Government has announced the appointment of Patrick Bourke as its first Director of European Affairs and Brussels Representative.
Mr Bourke has been recruited from the UK Ministry of Justice in London where he led the Department's European, Crown Dependencies and Devolution team. As part of his responsibilities, he was the principal conduit for the Crown Dependencies' relationship with the UK Government.
Mr Bourke brings considerable EU experience to the new role, having led the Ministry's European team for the last five years, negotiating EU legislation across the justice area. He has also previously worked as a solicitor and in public affairs in Brussels and spent some time in UKRep, the UK's permanent representation to the EU, on trade disputes and transatlantic relations.
Mr Bourke said: ‘I am delighted to have been appointed to this exciting role and look forward to working with new colleagues in the public and private sectors to represent the interests of the Isle of Man on the ground in Brussels.’
Establishing a permanent presence in Brussels represents an important step towards furthering the Isle of Man’s interests in Europe across a wide range of complex and challenging issues. It supports the Island’s commitment to enhancing its international identity and constitutional development through positive engagement with the EU and its Member States. The Isle of Man Office will be located in a prime location in the heart of the European quarter, close to the Commission headquarters, many Embassies and the Parliament.
Mr Bourke will act as the eyes and ears of the Isle of Man in Brussels, lobbying on behalf of the Government, strengthening relations with key decision-makers, promoting the Island’s economic and cultural interests, and gathering intelligence on relevant issues.
The aim is to improve mutual understanding and recognition, address any challenges emanating from Europe, take advantage of potential business opportunities and participate in the development of EU policy.
Chief Minister, Tony Brown MHK, said: ‘I am pleased to welcome Patrick as the Island’s representative in Brussels. We have worked closely with him and his team at the Ministry of Justice over a number of years and he is perhaps uniquely well positioned to lead our Brussels office given his comprehensive understanding of the workings of the Isle of Man, our relationship with the UK and the EU and his hands-on experience of working in the Brussels environment. Although we are not part of the EU, decisions they make can have a major impact on the Isle of Man, so establishing a permanent office in Brussels will be beneficial on many levels.’
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