A Day in the Life of an MEP – Martina Dlabajová

MD2Martina Dlabajová is an MEP from the Czech Republic. She is a member of the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe and successfully stood as a non-party candidate for the ANO 2011 movement. She is also the vice-chair on the Committee for Budgetary Control.

Do you ever wonder what a day in the life of an MEP might look like? First, being an MEP means that you have to adjust to a hectic lifestyle. There are no fixed working hours and your duties simply do not end once you leave the office. As an elected person you become a public figure who is always in demand. The daily life is packed with a series of meetings and events and you barely get some rest or free time. On the other hand, every day is different and often full of surprises…

6.30 a.m. – Reveille! While opening my eyes a basic question flashes first through my head: “Where am I today? Brussels, Strasbourg, Zlín or Udine?” No matter where I am or what I do, just like any other woman, I feel it is important to look good. Based on my daily agenda, I choose between heels or sneakers, dress or trousers, handbag or suitcase. The latter, in case I need to run to the airport, right after work!

7.30 a.m. – Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Who knows when I will get another meal and a lot of energy is always needed, especially during the busy day of an MEP. Sometimes we organize a working breakfast together with my colleagues from our political group or with other Czech MEPs. It is time to discuss many important issues within our parliamentary work.

8.30 a.m. – Another busy working day full of meetings starts. Checkpoint: my office and short consultation with my team about the weekly agenda. Every minute matters, everything must be under control!

9.00 a.m. – It is usually time for Committee meetings. Depending on the week, they usually last all day long. Being a rapporteur on my recently adopted report on “Creating a competitive EU labour market” requires intense work. A lot of preparation, analysis and negotiations and finally voting! Voting is the daily gym of an MEP – hands up and down….thumbs up… and down….

…Emails, emails, emails…keep coming every minute. I wonder how MEPs used to live without mobile phones in their hand?! No matter where I am, I always have my “little office” with me.

On the way back from meetings, I give a quick interview to a Czech radio station and Italian TV. In English, Czech or Italian… trying not to mix these languages up! Fortunately, I learned to formulate my thoughts into short sentences. ‘Brevity is the sister of talent‘.

Flash news from the Czech Republic: my project of motivational traineeships for young people “PročByNe?” (WhyNot?) is running at full speed. While reading through the blog post in a Czech version of ELLE magazine from one of our interns, I start to think about the next traineeship offer. Motivation and young energy, that’s what I fully support!

3.00 p.m. – Back again to politics! As a Vice-Chair of the Committee on Budgetary Control I have to arrange important meetings with Commissioners and auditors. In the meantime I just manage to drink one small coffee. And two meetings regarding youth unemployment and support for SMEs are still ahead!

8.00 p.m. – Business dinner, finally! The opportunity to debate on interesting topics while enjoying a nice meal. Restaurants in Brussels offer a wide range of options. Italian cuisine is my favourite one!

10.00 p.m. – Going back home. On foot. It is the perfect opportunity to clear my mind. And to get all my ideas for the next day sorted. Before going to bed, I quickly scan all necessary documents for tomorrow’s meetings. I send some last replies to the emails of my staff….

I fall asleep…Ready for another challenging day to come!

Martina Dlabajová, Czech MEP

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