COBCOE - Representing British business in Europe
The chambers’ chamber
COBCOE, the Council of British Chambers of Commerce in Europe, was founded in 1973 by British chambers in Europe to meet their need for a joint platform. Based in London, COBCOE is an independent non-profit organisation representing British Chambers of Commerce. Our membership today spans 28 member chambers, 29 countries and represents over 7,000 businesses from all sectors of trade and industry across Europe. COBCOE’s remit is to act as an umbrella organisation for its member chambers, working with them to advance international trade and business with the United Kingdom.
We protect and promote our members’ interests
COBCOE’s main aim is to protect and promote the collective interests of its member British chambers and their members.
To achieve this we work closely with the British and other European governments as well as the various parts of the EU institutions and other key organisations. These include the Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform (BERR) and its division UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), the Institute of Directors (IoD), and the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC). Our efforts ensure that the voice of our members is heard at all times on issues of importance to the international business community.
Benefits for British chambers
Each individual British chamber must rely on its own – often limited - resources. As a member of COBCOE, every chamber now has the resources of 27 other British chambers to call on. Through a variety of networking and communication channels, COBCOE promotes best practice throughout the chamber network, finds and shares resources, and creates links from which every chamber can benefit.
This is what COBCOE does for your chamber:
- Provides a resource for ideas and a platform for directors and officers of British chambers of commerce across Europe to talk to each other
- Holds an annual meeting for all COBCOE chambers in London, a vital network for its members and attended by directors and officers of nearly all COBCOE chambers
- Arranges exchange visits and training programmes for chamber directors and staff
- Produces and distributes best practice guides for member chambers
- Acts as a referral point for key business speakers
- Runs regional meetings and conferences for COBCOE members
Benefits for members of British chambers
Members of British chambers benefit from the enhanced services and effectiveness that COBCOE provides to their local chamber. In addition, COBCOE helps members directly through:
- Assisting with commercial enquiries
- Providing an EU grants assistance programme
- Introducing individual members to British chambers in other countries (members of a COBCOE chamber can attend other COBCOE members' events at the local members' rate)
- Facilitating the COBCOE member discount programme
- Adding to the value that each member gets from his or her own local chamber.
Benefits for all
COBCOE coordinates and communicates, representing the interests of all its members at every level:
- Representatives from COBCOE and UKTI meet regularly to review areas of co-operation and to evaluate where COBCOE, its membership and the British Government can develop further their work together.
- Through our Public Affairs Commission COBCOE is in regular contact with ministers in the British Government and British MPs, commissioners and officials of the European Commission, as well as British and other Members of the European Parliament
- We produce and distribute our informative newsletter “Links” twice yearly as well as the COBCOE European Trade Guide
- The COBCOE website links all member chambers and their members creating a unique b2b network
- Public affairs seminars and similar activities with leading speakers
- Annual Gala Dinner in London with a top speaker, which is open to all members of COBCOE chambers and their guests.
How we are organised
COBCOE is led by a President and an Executive Committee made up of past and current presidents of COBCOE member chambers, all of whom serve on an honorary basis. It also has a Secretary General, located in London, who works on a professional basis and who acts as a day-to-day link with member chambers.
The Executive Committee is the driving force behind the organization. Regular meetings and frequent contact between its officers ensure that COBCOE continues to fulfil its aims. New services and activities are constantly initiated.