We are Amaury, from France (23 years old); Radu from Romania (23) and a servant, María, Mari Trini, Trini or whatever you want to call me, from Spain (29). If you do not know why we are here and why we are writing this, we summarize.
We are the winners of the #EUinmyregion blog competition of the European Commission. We wrote articles about projects financed by the European Union and the jury thought that our posts were the best 3 of more than 100 that were presented. We feel very lucky!
The prize was a 3-week training in Brussels. What exactly did we do? The first week we were in the office of Old Continent, the marketing agency responsible for this blog contest.
The second week was during the European Week of Regions and Cities, where we met with other journalists interested in Europe, discovering the financing of ERDF projects, European Regional Development Fund. It was a very active period, attending conferences, meeting people from all over Europe, such as the travelers of the Road Trip Project and the IVYs, Interreg Volunteers Youth.
We spent the third week in Euractiv, which allowed us to participate in debates in the European Parliament, conduct interviews, meet Members of Parliament (MPs for friends), write articles and observe the internal functioning of the Euractiv newsroom.
After these three weeks in the heart of the European Union, we gained a clearer picture of our future as Europeans and young professionals. We want to thank all the people who made this incredible experience possible.
We wrote the previous text our last night in Brussels, with this experience. Together. Sitting on the sofa, after finishing cleaning the floor having had guests as "farewell" and gratitude.
Thanks to this experience, I have learned a little, beyond what we can learn in the books, about the internal functioning of the European Commission and the European Parliament. I have expanded my knowledge about cohesion policy, European budgets, the number of projects funded by ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) in all the member countries of the European Union. I was not aware of the number, there are many more than I imagined! It seems that almost everything is financed, from roads, auditoriums, cultural buildings, heritage reconstructions, innovations,...
Thanks to this experience, I have made professional contacts. I have met wonderful people, who have given me a lot, personally and professionally. I have discovered and, in some way, I have felt part of the "European bubble" that is breathed in the city. I have known Brussels, where I have felt well received from the first moment. Now, I know that whenever I want, I can return to this city, where I felt at home. And happy to be able to walk, feel like a child among some of my favorite comics.