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2 June 2016: Last night, Financial Times editor Lionel Barber and news editor Peter Spiegel hosted a reception for 150 VIP guests at the historic Halles Saint-Géry in Brussels.
A warm send-off for Peter Spiegel, the outgoing bureau chief, and a hearty welcome to Alex Barker, who takes over, provided opportunity for contacts and sources to connect with the FT’s Brussels bureau. The event brought together EU officials, diplomats, policymakers, lobbyists and media, with a keynote from Baron Frans van Daele, Private Secretary to King Philip.
Lionel Barber, who is a former Brussels bureau chief, commended Spiegel’s award-winning work in Brussels during a defining moment in the history of the EU, punctuated first by the Eurozone debt crisis, and more recently by the issue of European immigration and the upcoming referendum on the UK’s EU membership.
Commenting on Spiegel’s achievements, European Commission director Koen Doens said: “Doing a good job as a journalist is hard work. It is much easier to take a piece of information and build your article on opinions, passing judgement. To sell views and comment. Speaking is easy – listening is the real skill. It is difficult to dig down into reality, but in doing so Peter made all of those he spoke to feel that their views and their work mattered.”
The FT’s coverage of Europe and the eurozone financial crisis, including the series How The Euro Was Saved, has consistently topped the most-read topics on FT.com this decade. In 2012, 2013 and 2015, the FT Brussels team won recognition for its eurozone coverage at the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.