Schuman trainees working at TermCoord’s Communication Department Doris Fernandes and Katerina Palamioti were invited to join the welcome session for trainees from the European Commission (EC) and the European Parliament (EP) in Brussels.
On Monday, 13th of March, trainees first attended the EC Traineeship Welcome Conference for the March 2017 session. The opening plenary session, which took place in the Hemicycle of the European Parliament was Chaired by Mr. Jens Nymand Christensen, Deputy Director General (DG EAC). Trainees were welcomed to the European Institutions and were briefed on several topics relevant for the EU, through the speeches of Mr. Tibor Navracsics, EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Ms. Kaja Kallas, Member of the European Parliament, and Mr. Jonathan Holslag, Professor of International Politics (Free University Brussels).
Afterwards, the audience was split in four parallel temathic sessions on the topics of “Global economy: a role for Europe” by Przemyslaw Wozniak (DG ECFIN), “Europe: the challenges of today and what solutions for tomorrow” by Jimmy Jamar (DG COMM), “Europe in the world” by Matteo Arisci (EEAS) and “A greener Europe” by Adalbert Jahnz (DG CLIMA). TermCoord Communication trainees attended the session chaired by Jimmy Jamar in which they had the chance to participate and raise issues on the EU’s policy for its Southern borders, such as policy dealing with the migrant and refugee crisis in Greece, Italy and Spain or the EU’s responsibility in designing a less centralised communication agenda to fight detachment from EU institutions and mainstream serious issues affecting EU citizens outside the Brussels-Luxembourg-Strasbourg area of influence.
— Doris Fernandes (@dorisfernandess) 13 de marzo de 2017
Later, Luxembourg and Strasbourg trainees were invited to a guided tour of the Hemicycle with Mr. István Laurinyecz, in-house trainer from the Professional Training Unit, where they learnt about:
- The history of the Hemicycle and of the other premises of the European Parliament
- The regular activities of MEPs
- Other every-day issues affecting the logistics, such as the seating arrangement or the language policy, especially with regards to the implementation of translation and interpreting services.
Trainees also had the opportunity to visit the Parlamentarium, the EP visitors’ centre, where through a blend of interactive formats, visual and written, visitors are presented with very interesting information about the history and identity of the EP and of the different Member States of the EU.
On Tuesday, 14th of March, the invited trainees participated in a training session on the functioning of the European Parliament chaired by Mr. István Laurinyecz. During the first half of the session, newcomers were briefed on “10 things you need to know about the European Parliament“, and during the second half a very interesting debate was held around the topic “What’s on the EP’s agenda in the spring-panel debate about topical issues“. Attendants had the chance to ask questions to members of the EP Press Office focusing in particular on the issues affecting Brexit and international trade agreements such as CETA or TTIP. In this context, TermCoord Communication Trainees Palamioti and Fernandes had the chance to raise the issue about EU language policy in the post-Brexit era and how it will affect English as one of the working languages, to which the general response was that it was too early to know how events will unfold and that it is important to remember that Malta, for example, also has English as one of its official languages.
The overall impression of trainees was that these missions are very relevant to make newcomers part of the new challenges faced by the EU institutions and that they help enhance cross-institutional cooperation and mutual understanding for a better and stronger Europe in times of change and uncertainty.
Written by Doris Fernandes del Pozo – Journalist, Translator-Interpreter and Communication Trainee at the Terminology Coordination Unit of the European Parliament. She is pursuing a PhD as part of the Communication and Contemporary Information Programme of the University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain).