109 rue Henri Maubel
1190 BRUSSELS - Belgium

Who we are

We are a consultancy specializing in public affairs, policy, regulation & strategy. Our extensive experience in and outside governments, across the EMEA region and the United States, make us particularly familiar and sensitive to the ways the public and private sectors work, think, and speak in these various political and cultural environments.

Wagner-Hatfield was founded on the will to promote and build innovative approaches to policy advocacy, public management, expertise & capacity-building, corporate development, and communication strategies.

We are particularly active in the media sector and in the digital economy.

Based in Brussels, we use our knowledge, expertise and network to help our clients grow, innovate, and build effective relationships with public authorities in Europe.

Our team is composed of:

Jean-François Furnémont, Founding Partner (jff@wagner-hatfield.com)

Jean-François has an M.A. in Journalism and Communication Studies at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), a B.A. in International Relations and European policy at the Université de Liège (ULG) and a B.A. in Public Finances at the Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL). Former freelance journalist and former spokesman of a political party, he is the author of several political biographies.

He has been the Deputy DG (2003-2014) and the DG (2003-1014) of the audiovisual media regulatory authority (CSA) of the French speaking Community in Belgium. He has also been involved in the Board of the European Platform of Regulatory Authorities (EPRA) as vice-Chairman (2008-2011) and as Chairman (2011-2014).

Jean-François is also Senior Adviser at the Centre on Regulation in Europe (CERRE) and a Member of the Scientific Committee of the Revue du droit des industries de réseau – Tijdschrift voor het recht van netwekindustrieën – Network Industries Law Review (RDIR – TRNI).

Marc Janssen, Founding Partner – on leave (marc.janssen@wagner-hatfield.com)

Marc has a PhD in political science from the University of California, Los Angeles – UCLA, a BA at the Université Libre de Bruxelles in Journalism & Communication, and a MA in political science from the Maxwell School of Citizenship & Public Affairs at Syracuse University, New York. He has been a Teaching Fellow at UCLA, at the Center for American Politics and Public Policy in Washington, DC and at the University of Kent – Brussels School of International Studies.

He was spokesperson and a senior advisor to the Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium from 1994 to 1999, overseeing the communication department. Member of the Board of the Belgian Public Radio and Television (RTBF) from 2004 to 2007, he was appointed, at the end of 2007, for a five-year term to the presidency of the audiovisual media regulatory authority in French-speaking Belgium (CSA). He was also Chairman of REFRAM, the network of media regulators in French-speaking Europe, Africa and North America in 2011 and 2012.

Tanja Kerševan Smokvina, Associate Partner (tanja.kersevan@wagner-hatfield.com)

Tanja has a PhD in Communication Science from University of Ljubljana. As a media and internet governance expert with background in journalism and research she spent 18 years in various senior positions in the Slovenian media and communications regulatory authorities.

Internationally, she has worked with the Council of Europe, the European Audiovisual Observatory, OSCE, OSF and EU funds and instruments. In 2011-2013 she managed the EU co-funded transnational project SEE Digi.TV for harmonisation of the digital switchover in the Adriatic region. In 2016 she chaired the European Regulators Group for Audiovisual Media Services (ERGA) Subgroup 3 developing the Digital European Toolkit for efficient and flexible regulation.

Tanja has served two mandates at the Council of Europe CDMSI sub-committees, in 2016-2017 as Member of the Committee of Experts on Internet Intermediaries (MSI-NET) and in 2018-2019 as Member of the Committee of Experts on Artificial Intelligence (MSI-AUT). She teaches media related subjects at University of Maribor.

 

Our name

picture of both

Robert F. Wagner (D-NY) and Henry D. Hatfield (R-WV) were both US Senators in the 1930’s. Together and separately, they were known for initiating and pushing for measures that aimed to be progressive, innovative and pragmatic. Rising above party lines and striving to find new solutions to the dominant issues of post-depression America, they tackled Social Security, labor relations, aid to Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany, but were especially active in regulatory issues.

The 1930s saw the emergence of new forms of governance, with the creation of several independent agencies what we call now regulatory authorities:  the Federal Communication Commission (FCC, for broadcasting policy) in 1934, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC, for securities, stocks and options exchange) the same year, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB, for labor policy and agreements between unions and corporations) in 1935, the latter being created by the Wagner Act.

This fundamental shift in public administration later progressively became an important source of inspiration in Europe. The United Kingdom was the first in the fifties and sixties to start establishing hundreds of so-called « quangos » (quasi-autonomous non-governmental organizations); Western Europe followed in the seventies and eighties, as well as Central and Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia.

Network industries (transport, energy, telecommunications…) and sectors dealing with the protection of fundamental rights (media freedom, freedom of speech, privacy, fight against discriminations, transparency of public administration…) are now regulated by such agencies which cumulate normative, administrative and jurisdictional functions, yet function outside and independently of the legislative, executive or judiciary branches.

Wagner and Hatfield worked to address regulatory challenges which are still very much relevant today: impartiality of arbitration, efficiency and pragmatism of rules and legislations, innovation in public governance, quality of working relationship between regulators and private actors…

While we have no personal or professional affiliation with the political leaders and their families, we chose the name of our firm as both a tribute and an affirmation of shared commitments.

Wagner-Hatfield was founded on the will to promote and engage in new, emerging forms of institutional relations, and to build innovative approaches to policy advocacy, public management, expertise & capacity-building, corporate development, and communication strategies.