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“Class of 2020” in Brussels and Luxembourg

 “Class of 2020” in Brussels and Luxembourg


By Muhammad Murad “Class of 2020”

ZEI fellows from the “Class of 2020” got the opportunity to experience firsthand the functioning of the EU institutions during their excursion to Luxembourg and Brussels from 27 – 30 January 2020. In Luxembourg, the visit to the European Investment Bank helped the fellows understand the purpose and functioning of the EIB which supports sustainable projects across the world. ZEI Alumnus – Matthieu Bertrand shared his valuable experience of working at the EIB with MES fellows who posed important questions pertaining to the functioning of the EIB. The next day, ZEI fellows attended the hearing of the ‘Hinkley Point C’ case in the Court of Justice of the European Union, which enabled them to gain firsthand understanding of court proceedings of the CJEU and received a briefing on the case from the responsible Advocate General. During the information session in the CJEU, ZEI fellows attended the presentation on the importance of multilingualism in the CJEU, which gives access to legal proceedings to every EU citizen in their respective language. In Brussels, ZEI fellows visited the Permanent Representation of the Federal Republic of Germany to the EU where they had a great discussion with ZEI Alumnus-Patrick Schafer who shared his insightful experience of working as a diplomat in Brussels. The visit to the House of European History exposed the ZEI fellows to the historical perspective of the EU. EP 2020Axel Voss, Member of the European Parliament, from Germany, shared his views about his responsibilities as an MEP with the ZEI fellows while they visited the European Parliament. The highlight of the excursion was the European Parliament’s Plenary Session on Brexit debate. For ZEI fellows, attending the historic Brexit debate was a surreal experience, which they will remember for the rest of their lives. ZEI fellows' visit to the European Commission was replete with information sessions ranging from the enlargement policy to the Multiannual-financial framework 2021-2027 of the Union. ZEI Alumni Alexandra Pana, Desislava Ekzarova and Johannes Noack shared the insights from their work experience at the Commission. The visit to the European External Action Service enriched the fellows with the understanding of the EU’s foreign and security policy services. Mr Adrianus Koetsenruijter, a Career Diplomat and former Ambassador of the EU, discussed the role and priorities of the EEAS with the ZEI fellows who enjoyed the discussion on EU’s role in world politics. Along with these visits to the EU institutions, ZEI -fellows had a networking opportunity with the ZEI Alumni who shared their EU related work experience.



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