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By Euan Carey

There’s only a week to go until our virtual trip to the European Parliament in Strasbourg. We absolutely cannot wait to show you what we have in store. Grab a drink, get comfy – this is going to be the best trip to Strasbourg you’ve never had!

As you enter Strasbourg (virtually!) you will be able to enjoy all that the Chamber has to offer over these two days. We have a fantastic programme on offer. Each session deals with important areas of the European Parliament’s work and is sure to benefit you and your organisation.

Your trip to Strasbourg begins with a look at the EU’s Digital Agenda, an area that has seen a lot of discussion recently. MEPs such as Axel Voss, Damian Boesalager, and Brando Benifei will be taking you through the EU Parliament’s work on the Digital Agenda. They will, of course, be available to answer any questions that you have!

After leaving the session on the EU’s Digital Agenda, take a wander over to our breakout rooms on the priorities of the various EU Parliament Committees. You can choose between the priorities of the ECON, IMCO, ITRE, and TRAN committees, each with their own MEP to take you through the current thinking of their respective committee. You can, of course, walk between the various rooms and take in the various sights in each one.

Once our breakout sessions have finished, you can enjoy our final session of the day. Walk over to our final session room and enjoy our event on the European Green Deal, a massively important topic considering the priorities of the current commission. You will be able to meet some of the MEPs championing this major issue, ask them questions, and discuss any relevant issues with them.

With the sessions over, you can enjoy some additional fun activities! Look at the exhibition spaces where you can network with other member companies, as well as our streaming of the committee meetings! Finally, enjoy some networking and fun with Chamber members.

With that, day one finishes! Get yourself some rest and prepare for a fantastic day two of Strasbourg!

Unfortunately, on day two, we will have to depart Strasbourg, but before you go, we will be able to leave you with one final fantastic session. This session will be on Future EU-UK relations, a must for any business dealing with the impact of the agreement. We will be welcoming David McAllister, Emmanuel Maurel, and many other MEPs for this session! All the MEPs will be happy to deal with any questions that you may have.

As we wave you goodbye from Strasbourg, and as you digest all the information you have gained, we will make sure that you have access to our event reports which will detail anything that you might have missed! We will also be able to provide you with any slides that are used by the MEPs, as well as pass on any final questions that you have onto them!

We hope that we have set the scene for you and convinced you to register for this fantastic and ambitious event. We are at your disposal if you have any questions, and the Chamber hopes that you choose to join us next week for this innovative event!


Here at the British Chamber of Commerce, we will continue to update you with the necessary information to help all our members to succeed. We are all in this together, and with the right plans in place, consumer confidence can be restored. BritCham offers support, guidance and specialised coverage for both Brexit and COVID-19, including webinars, workshops and events that will give your firm the tools it needs to navigate through this challenging period.

See our website here for more details on how we can help you: https://www.britcham.eu/

By Yasmine Lingemann

What to Expect?


The Programme:

Sponsorship:


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Here at the British Chamber of Commerce, we will continue to update you with the necessary information to help all our members to succeed. We are all in this together, and with the right plans in place, consumer confidence can be restored. BritCham offers support, guidance and specialised coverage for both Brexit and COVID-19, including webinars, workshops and events that will give your firm the tools it needs to navigate through this challenging period.

See our website here for more details on how we can help you: https://www.britishchamber.be/

14-09-11 Zdechovsky portrait Bxl-8After spending last week in Strasbourg, Tomáš Zdechovský (pictured) recounts a day in his life of being an MEP. 

Many have a very distorted view on what Members of the European Parliament actually do. Since the beginning of my mandate, I have been trying to shed a bit of light on our work and I have encouraged citizens to interest themselves in what their representatives are paid for. On numerous occasions I have been trying to make an account of an ordinary day in a life of an MEP. But “an ordinary day” is quite an understatement. Indeed, now and then you find Members who are not so devoted to working habits but majority of my colleagues experience days like these often. Let me thus draw you a picture about one day in my life.

In Strasbourg I am usually staying in a hostel reminding me of a high school dormitory. It is located about two kilometres away from the Parliament, in the middle of an old Jewish quarter. Streets are lined with beautiful buildings and the air smells like old times. Today, I wake up at 6 a.m., early enough to have a shower and manage my e-mails. I go jogging sometimes, but not today, the rain discourages me. Instead, I walk to the Parliament on foot. When I am approaching my office, I see a colleague winking at me with amusement. I touch my face: my thick moustache is itching and I cannot wait for the Movember to end.

I start my working day with a French lesson with my lecturer Isabelle. Today I need to finish earlier because we have a work breakfast with other Czech MEPs, a regular event we organize every Tuesday during plenary session. We discuss the hot topic of division of Google and a case of Czech children that are held by Norwegian authorities – an issue that I take lot of interest in. At 9 a.m. I have a preparatory meeting with the budget committee. The debate on a new draft of budget 2015 is high on the agenda. An hour later, I am rushing to have a coffee with my colleagues and meanwhile I am collecting their signatures under an open letter addressing the issue of the children in Norway. Many of my colleagues express their support for me and regard it as a highly important act.

At 11 a.m., we are slowly moving to the hemicycle to listen to the speech of the Pope, who is attending the session today. He addresses the Parliament with an inspiring speech that moves several of us to tears. At one point, the voice of the Italian interpreter breaks. Later, I intend to have a quick lunch but it takes longer than expected since most of the staff have had the same idea. I arrived a few minutes later to the meeting with the regional director of Google; we have many important topics to discuss. After the meeting, I am heading back to the hemicycle to listen to the presentation of Federica Mogherini on recognition of Palestine. I intervene twice; engaging in this debate is of utmost importance.

When I get back to my office, it is already dark outside. I review incoming emails and peek on Facebook and Twitter. At 7 p.m. I am heading to a Group meeting which finishes two hours later. I and my team then go to a dinner, over which we discuss the agenda for the next day. We eventually get back to the hotel at 10.30 p.m. And there is still a full inbox awaiting me…

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