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.
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.
The founding partners of Wagner-Hatfield are
Jean-François Furnémont 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 specialized in politics and former spokesman of a political party, he is the author of several political biographies.
Jean-François Furnémont has been the Deputy DG (2003-2014) and the DG (2003-1014) of the 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).
Marc Janssen 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 CSA, the regulatory authority for television and radio in French-speaking Belgium. He was of Chairman of REFRAM, the 27-member network of media regulators in French-speaking Europe, Africa and North America in 2011 and 2012.
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.