Updated: May 19, 2018
Written on the 23rd of April
After only a few hours of sleep, the alarm woke us up at 6:00 (except for Sarangua, who always gets up at 4:00…). Anyway, a super interesting day packed with both an EU Parliament Tour, a meeting with an EU Commissioner and so much more, motivated our tired and excited bodies to climb out of bed.
To blend in with the busy EU politicians around the EU building, our first stop was at a croissant and coffee place outside the EU buildings. Then at 9:00, we went through the Parliament Security check to get a private lecture about the function of the European Parliament. Also the future questions of the EU budget, the Parliament structure and the Commissions after Brexit were discussed, which led to a conclusion of an unsolved money gap and uncertainty for the new EU size and structure. Our friendly guide also gave us a tour inside the parliament and as the pictures shows, some of us negotiated some diplomatic EU deals afterwards.
Here is some beautiful sights of the city in the morning!
Inside the EU Parliament:
Next stop was the Institute of European Studies (IES). In the political heart of Europe, this institution really showed to have an incredible network and conditions for doing research and studying the European Union.
Two PhD researchers and and the Head of Communications, Jurgen Smith, gave us some very interesting insight on how the academic work is being carried out at IES, including a broad corporation between scientific fields such as engineering, anthropology, political science and private corporations etc.
Getting back outside in the sunny city of Brussels, we quickly had time to pick out the most Swedish looking bucket that Brussels could offer and quickly rush to the day’s highlight……
Final destination of the day was the office of the EU Trade Commissioner, Cecilia Malmström. She is said to be the most powerful woman in Sweden, and we were all much honored to get the chance to spend an hour in a conference room with her. Cecilia looked fresh and busy, coming directly from another important meeting, but she took the time to calmly listen and answer questions about everything from her personal life to the trade deal that she settled with Mexico a few days before. She shared a lot of inspiring views on politics, supranational corporation and the ‘loose loose’ situation coming from one of her biggest political challenges right now – trade wars. The best personal tip we got before leaving, was the importance of coffee and lack of sleep in order to successfully fitting the position as an EU Trade Commissioner into only 24 hours a day.
Our association gifted Cecilia the bouquet of flowers as well as a SAIA goodie bag filled with Swedish delicacies.
At 16:30 our minds were bubbling with inspiration, political views and not least hunger…. And there is no better way to deal with these three things, than ending the day with a homemade barbeque dinner. The night included lots of laughs, a small fire emergency with our grill and not of course some delicious food that ended up being fried on a regular pan and in the microwave….
It didn’t take long until the hunger showed up again, but this time it wasn’t a regular type of hunger… It was the hunger and craving for Belgium Waffles. So of course we put on our shoes, and walked out in the night life of Brussels to find amazingly greasy waffles after 9 pm.
The night ended around midnight, where our tired and grateful minds went to bed to get some rest for next day’s adventure…..
- Anne Sophie
Member of the Travel Committee Spring 2018