Appraisal and praise

Remember, at the beginning of the traineeship, when we discussed about journeys of self-discovery and self-awareness? It was just the beginning of our collective Luxembourgish journey and we probably couldn’t even imagine how good it was going to be…


Even though this journey ended more than a week ago, we can now say that we share the experience of those hectic, funny, priceless, and ‘wine-filled’ adventures which brought us closer and made us wiser and nicer. 🙂

We had the finest company of the most positively energetic trainees in Luxembourg. We exchanged the best in us, either through parties, charity, trips, language courses, communication channels, or coffee breaks. If you have a look back to our earlier posts, you can witness the fruit of our efforts. We set the bar high for the next generation of trainees and we came up with new standards of partying, working, sharing, inspiring, connecting, learning, and loving. Let’s all acknowledge it: we have stamina as a group, we stood shoulder to shoulder, and we positively proved we are capable of doing great things together.

You are probably now enjoying the hot (or less hot :)) summer holidays somewhere by the sea, hiking, spending time with family or maybe you are just in front of the computer with your new ‘extended working family’ (the EC). Or maybe not! You may just be, out there, desperately looking for a job, in the ‘job hunting jungle’. After this amazing journey, you have probably now joined the club of those racing for ‘breadwinning opportunities’. Indeed, it is a truth universally acknowledged that, at the end of their traineeship, the majority of the Blue Book trainees are in search of a reasonable job or path in life. It is also true that after this experience, we have now enhanced our intellectual and spiritual potential. So please do not forget that when hunting out there. Be brave in the jungle!

I also wish to remind you that we have pooled a list of interesting books, films, websites, etc. which can keep you busy if you ever feel bored or want to have some time with yourself over the remaining month of August. I particularly recommend a book I am reading at the moment, called ‘Letting go: the pathway of surrender’, by David R. Hawkings. This book may help you find the answers to some of your questions regarding emotions, how to surrender to them and move to the next level of consciousness. I believe we are all humans and emotions are innately part of us. So, we better learn how to deal with them in order to better live, work and love.

In addition, if nostalgia takes over, don’t forget to have a look at our previous posts and obviously at our ‘Who’s who book’! Those words and pictures are the evidence that this was not just a dream. It was positively real!

I send you loads of hugs and positive energy! May your wishes come true!

Enjoy the rest of the summer, enjoy life and remember that you are always welcome in LUXEMBOURG!

Affectionately yours,






Useful info about EPSO: Part 4 – training for the Assessment Centre

Hey guys,

I hope you’re enjoying your beautiful, amazing and perfect Who-is-Who books ;). I promise you that this is the last EPSO blog post. (I just realised that this is the only thing I’ve been writing about on this blog… boooring). Also, OMG the traineeship is soon over? I can’t believe it!

Anyways. Last part, part 4, is about preparing for the Assessment Centre. Fun, right? It might not be useful right now, but it will in the future. DGT trainees, you heard the lady talking about freelance – NOPE! DO THE EPSO! So. Here it goes.


The Assessment Centre

The Assessment Centre consists of 5 parts, where 3 of them are done on the same day:

The E-tray
The case study (or translation)

The structured interview
The oral presentation
The group exercise


Before starting, let’s look again at the beautiful picture
with the different skills that they are evaluating:



1. Special advice for the E-tray

We know that the e-tray exercise serves as an intermediate test between the Pre-Selection (CBT) phase and the Assessment Centre phase of the AD exams and that it is done in your second language (En/Fr/De). We also know that an e-tray exercise is a computer-based simulation of a real work situation and replicates an email inbox which contains information relating to a particular issue. You need to find solutions in the best way possible within a fixed amount of time.

OK. 18 questions, 50 minutes. For each question you will have 3 options and you are requested to rank each of the options using the following 5-point scale.

The 2 main things that are evaluated in this test are:

– “Analysing and Problem Solving”: looks at the candidate’s ability to analyse critical, complex information and suggest workable solutions.

– “Delivering Quality and Results”: examines a candidate’s ability to maintain the quality of their work output, even in challenging situations.



– Always read the question first.

– Do not (ever!) forget any of the documents, scan through them all.

– There are hidden traps. Remember that they want you to fail! Watch out for sneaky footnotes, etc.

– Search for key words.

HERE are some sample tests!



2. Special advice for the case study/translation

For this written exercise, the main thing is to understand the question. Read through it really thoroughly to be sure that you got it right.

For the case study, you have a mixture of 8–13 emails, regulations, articles and reports, and the time limit is 90 minutes. For the translation, you have 40 lines to translate in 60 minutes.



– As you saw in the previous picture, one of the skills is to prioritise. You have all the information that you need, the hard part is finding it in the million pages you have (organise!).

– Scan everything, all the information that you have (5 min).

– Make sure that you have UNDERSTOOD the task.

– Then plan the structure of your essay (with headlines, preferably with words/phrases from the question/task).

– Decide how much time you want to spend reading the material.

– Start writing ASAP.

– Write down everything you find relevant from when you start. You won’t have time to go back.

– There are no rules about length, so write as much as you can (think 2 pages, 500-1000 words).

– Do not get stuck on the subject, show that you can handle organising a loooot of material/texts.

HERE is a mock case study!




– You could, even from now, ask your advisor for texts to practice on (legal texts, press releases, etc.).

– Always ALWAYS practice with the same time limit.

– The goal is to produce a workable translation that is understandable in your language.

– Don’t forget to translate the title!

– If there are (and there will be) expressions that you don’t know how to translate – rewrite the phrase and come up with something more general.

– Try to finalise phrases in your head before writing them – don’t write drafts. You won’t have time to go back and correct them.

– Spare some time at the end to READ your own translation without thinking of the source text. Read it afresh and see that the text works in your language. That is the most important thing.

– You can bring 1 dictionary of your choice per language.

– Usually, the translations are articles from The Economist, EurActiv, Politico, Le Monde, etc. Keep updated and practice with texts from these newspapers.

– On the bottom of THIS PAGE, you will find translation tests for all EU official languages.



3. Special advice for the structured interview

Do you remember what it is? It is NOT a job interview. The aim of the structured interview is to test 4 competencies, one by one, via relatively easy-looking questions (e.g. “Tell us about a time when you had a disagreement with your superior”), where you are required to tell the “story” of a past event in a relatively detailed manner so that it provides assessors with an idea of your competency in that field. The test is around 50 min long and in English.


– For this part, remember the STAR method: (Situation, Task, Action, Result). Base your answers on this!

Here is a very good picture describing what you need to do:



– Go through your own CV beforehand: which situations have you encountered and what can you talk about/mention? Find examples of the competencies that are tested for this part.

– Try to create and write down a “database” (or a list) of useful events from your life that you can mention.

– Practice on finding answers with the help of the STAR model, HERE IT IS AGAIN (I know it’s awesome, so don’t forget it):


– Make sure to think of 2-3 relevant “stories” from your professional (or exceptionally, private) life that you can tell as examples for each of the competency questions that are tested in the structured interview. (You can check some sample questions here to get a better idea of what to expect).

– Make sure you prepare an introduction of yourself but make sure it sounds natural when you say it. Also, keep in mind the structure of your answers: start with the context in which the event happened, then talk about your approach and “feelings” when you were faced with the event or challenge, then discuss your personal role in it and contribution to the solution, and finally end with a conclusion or take-away lesson you learned as a result of this experience.

– Keep all this under 3-4 minutes to allow time for follow-up questions, and make sure your example and the story is relevant to the competency in question (e.g. learning and development instead of working with others).


4. Special advice for the oral presentation

As you know, you will have 15+5 minutes to prepare a presentation based on an extensive background document that contains emails, press releases, official communications and other types of elements. Then you will have to give a presentation for 10 minutes, and you will be asked questions for another 10 minutes.



– As always, make sure that you really understand the task. It can be about anything (!!!).

– Scan through the material for 5 min. Know that you are under EXTREME TIME PRESSURE. Be very careful of your time as 15 minutes plus 5 is very short. Make sure to take lots of notes, including figures, numbers and data which may be asked in the Q&A section of the exam.

– Structure your presentation with headlines based on the questions that you get in the task.

– You cannot take the material with you, so you will have 5 min at the end to write some words down on a flip-chart (write down key words).

– Be sure to have a wrist watch on you to keep track of the time!

– Start by briefing the people on the subject.

– This is a role play – try to perform as you would in a situation like this IRL.

– Practice with the same time pressure…

– While presenting, be very aware of your body language (no closed gestures, how you stand next to the flip-chart, eye contact, folded arms, etc.) and your tone of voice (especially if you don’t know the answer: it matters a great deal how you say “I don’t know”).


5. Special advice for the group exercise

40 minutes to discuss with others, only 10 minutes to prepare. Here, they will evaluate your skills in leadership, working with others, and communication.



– The most important thing is to quickly read the background briefing (which you can take with you to the actual exam so you don’t need to take extra notes).

– Figure out what your role is.

– Try to participate in the discussion as cooperatively as you can, don’t read/stare at the paper too much.

– Take notes, but show people that you’re listening (nodding, etc.) Only take notes on what is important for the discussion.

Ask questions to others, summarise what group members have said, remind others of the time and the required deliverables, yet make sure not to dominate the group or to be overly reserved.

– Be aware of your body language (are you leaning forward? are you crossing your arms? are you pointing at others?) and try to call other participants by their names as all of you will have a name tag to facilitate the discussion.

– If you have the possibility, the best practice is to do a classroom simulation with 5-7 other candidates.

– Again – DON’T FORGET TO TALK 🙂 (but be humble at the same time. Yep.)



More generally speaking, I think you know what you have to do: a good night’s sleep, a big breakfast, not too much coffee (but a little, right? ;)), breathe (!), etc., etc…



And oh, here is an FAQ about EPSO!

Lastly, all questions you wanted to know but never dared to ask ;D, (including “how do assessors actually evaluate me throughout the day?”)

OK guys, this was my absolute last EPSO post! I really hope that you will find some use for them now or in the future. And I would also like to wish you all GOOD LUCK!



You know you love me,
Gossi… no, Mathilda






Useful info about EPSO: Part 3 – training for the Admission stage

Hello again everyone! Welcome back from Amsterdam to the harsh reality 😉
Also, welcome back to Mathilda’s EPSO school! Practicing for the EPSO is difficult, but I’m going to try and give you some advice anyway. “Enjoy”!

The most important thing, throughout the whooole procedure (Admission and Assessment), is to know what they are actually evaluating. Both stages focus on your professional skills and these general competencies: 

general c

The second most important thing to know is that they are not evaluating all of these in every test. (More of this will come in the post about the Assessment stage.)


The Admission Stage

Let’s start with the admission stage (the computer based tests, or CBT). Let’s refresh, what is it again? The admission stage is an initial eliminatory round that determines which applicants are admitted to the assessment phase. It is done either by computer-based testing and/or by sifting CVs (in specialist competitions). The best applicants are invited for the assessment. This part is divided into 2 parts with 4 different tests: Verbal, Numerical, Abstract (part 1) and Situational Judgement Test (SJT, part 2).You should also know that you only need 50% to pass – but if you want to make it further in the competitions, you usually need to have at least 90%…

The first part, the reasoning skills test, is all about SPEED, PRACTICE and READING THE QUESTIONS THOROUGHLY!

Some strategies for the time pressure:

– Calculate your time for every question. Remember the schedule I did? No? Here it is again, under this list.
– Count down so that you know that you have a minute or two left in the end.
– Do not get stuck. Move on!
– Mark a question you’re not sure of and go back to it at the end.
– When you practice, you should come up with a strategy that you will remember and use for when you freak out and do not know the answer (i.e. mark and come back, guess on C…)
– Try to stay calm. Work out a strategy for if (when) you freak out (a deep breath, count to 3…)

table proofread

IMPORTANT!!! Always practice with THE SAME TIME PRESSURE! This is essential; otherwise you will get a shock when you’re actually doing the real thing.

Anyways… The good news is that the tests are quite “easy” to prepare for. It’s a question about practice. You just need to see you brain as a muscle that needs to go to the gym once in a while to strengthen it! In Swedish, we call it “hjärngympa” which basically means “brain gymnastics“. Practice practice practice. Download an app with “logical reasoning tests” and practice on the bus to work or 5 minutes before going to bed.


Special advice for the verbal part

– This part is about analysis, comprehension and interpretation. You have 1 min 45 seconds per question. It will be in your main language. The question has multiple choice answers.
– The most important thing is to read the questions thoroughly!
– Sometimes the question is “which of the following statements is correct” and sometimes it is “which […] is NOT correct”.
– Many times, the correct statement is not 100% correct – if nothing fits – choose the one that fits the best. (Maybe they changed the word “some…” to a synonym to confuse you)
– Be aware that they have a “template” for the wrong statements: usually it is the wrong information, other information, new information, an opposite statement (to fool you!)

– Sometimes, it helps by reading the statements first (before the question)! That way, you know what to look for.
– Try to find the relevant parts of the text as quickly as possible.
– If nothing works, try the elimination method (cross out the wrong answers).
– Sometimes the texts are not correct, there can be facts that are wrong (example: the text says that Jean-Claude Juncker resigned in 2015). You need to let this go and work with the facts that the text gives you!!!
– Look for KEY WORDS in the text! It’s usually something that specifies security or insecurity about a fact, or specifies an exact or a vague number (some, 120, most…). It can also be years, names, etc.



Special advice for the numerical part

– This part is about analysis, problem solving and interpretation of numbers. You have 2 minutes per question (yaaaay…). It will be in your main language.
– It consists of a series of graphics (charts) followed by a passage and five possible answers.
– In these questions, there is usually A LOT of unnecessary information. You need to practice on how to sort it.
– Another tip is to quickly figure out what mathematical formula/tool you need to use.

– Read the question carefully – what exactly are you looking for?
– Analyze the QUESTION. Not the graphic!
– Write out the mathematical formula that you need to use.
– Try to find short cuts (maybe there is a quicker way to calculate the percentage of xx…)
– Many times, the math that you need is: the 4 mathematical operations (/ *, -, +), fractions, percentages.
– Revise your high school maths! There are a lot of websites for this (or maybe you still have your old books and notes…)



Special advice for the abstract part

– This part is about logical thinking. You have 1 minute per question. The questions are sequences of five images (D for diagrams) that have a pattern running through the series. You have to identify this pattern and use it to deduce the next image in the pattern.

– The most frequent patterns for ONE ELEMENT in the picture: Conversion / Development (Evolution) The movement (or displacement) Rotation Symmetry (Reflection). When it’s about rotation, it is usually 90 or 45 degrees. Sometimes it’s clockwise and sometimes it’s counterclockwise.
– The most frequent patterns for ALL ELEMENTS in the picture: * doubling, counting elements, * linear (D1, D2, D3…), alternating links (D1/D3, D2/D4) * links between D1/D2/D3 that changes in the D4/D5/D6.
– Try to eliminate the wrong answers, and when you have done that: compare the remaining ones and see what separates them.
– Do not get stuck on one pattern – if it doesn’t work, try another one quickly. Always look for several patterns! Try to see the bigger picture (= several patterns at once).

All you need to do (erhm…) is to identify the pattern/combination. To do this, you can practice your skills of quickly being able to see these.


Tip: there are also APPLICATIONS FOR THIS ON YOUR PHONE! Practical, huh?


Special advice for the professional skills test

– This part is about judgment in different work related situations. You have 1 min 45 seconds per question. It is in your second language. You can get 2 points per question because you answer 2 questions (best/worst thing to do).

– Always base your answer on the EU Staff regulations! NOT your own values!
– Think EU environment (multicultural etc).
– There is never an answer that is always completely wrong/right because it depends on the situation.
– You can recognize the “wrong” answers (0,5 p) because they are usually passive (to wait, to stay, do nothing, etc.)
– This is one of the parts where you should actually have some key words in the back of your head. This part assesses you against the key competencies mentioned before in this post.
– Good news, you can study for this part! Read the EU STAFF REGULATIONS !!




So. This was it, for now. Since this somehow (hehe) became another really long post, you’ll have to wait for the training part II – Assession Day a couple of weeks. HAVE FUN EVERYONE ❤




We Got Quizzical!


On Tuesday, the Charity Subcommittee organised a charity pub quiz at Scott’s Pub in the Grund in aid of a local Caritas project (Classes « Passerelles » pour les jeunes réfugiés).

We were completely fully booked and led 16 packed tables through four rounds: General Knowledge, Geography, the European Union, and Entertainment.

Some members of the Charity Subcommittee with Caroline Theves from Caritas

We started the evening off with a brief introduction from our spokesperson, Tereza. We then heard from Caroline Theves from Caritas, who told us more about the wonderful work that the people at Caritas are doing. Then, the quiz kicked off in the hands of Quiz Masters Aïcha and Claire (yours truly!). Although we experienced a couple of glitches (especially towards the end), it was a very fun and successful evening. Our total sum from the evening was EUR 282.30!

Packed tables at the pub quiz

The winning team was called Bocconi Mafia and they were given medals and the grand prize of a giant brownie meringue (specially baked by our lovely Margarita). The two tables which tied for last place were given a special prize: a tray of shots each!

Thanks to everyone who helped out, participated, and donated.

The Charity Subcommittee (sans Kamila who was away)

A stroll through Strasbourg

Aah la douce France…

I had heard only good things about Strasbourg, capital of the Alsace region. Some had even called it the most beautiful city in the whole of France. Needless to say, expectations were high when we got on the bus at 7.30 on Saturday (ouch!).

After a 2.5 hour bus ride (with snacks 😉 ), we arrived at the parking lot. A short walk took us into the city centre and the first thing we came across was this beauty.


Strasbourg’s Cathédrale Notre-Dame is a really impressive structure. For over 200 years, it was the tallest building in the world, before being surpassed by a church in Hamburg. The inside is also grand and the astronomic clock is what I liked most. For those of you who, like me, were wondering what the different parts represent, you can find a detailed description here (in French):  To see all the moving parts in action, watch this video:

The Grand Île, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has lots more to offer than just the cathedral. On the western side of the island you can find Petite France, a cute little neighbourhood with half-timbered houses. The weather allowed us to take a nice, sunny stroll through this area.

For lunch, some of us tasted the region’s most famous dish: Flammkuchen. I heard it tastes as yummy as it looks!


In the afternoon many of us went on a free walking tour through the city, with a funny, enthusiastic and patriotic tour guide. The constant rain in the afternoon was a bit of a bummer, especially when all of us had to find shelter under a big tree, but we learned a lot about the history of Strasbourg and its many occupations by Germany (apparently some people had to change their nationality from French to German four times in one lifetime!)


I finished the day in the Musée des Beaux Arts in the Palais du Rohan. There were some nice paintings, a Rubens and a Botticelli, but the last one was a little bit of a disappointment. Turns out the baby Messiah, or any baby for that matter,  is hella hard to paint! After a little less than an hour inside, it was time to head back to the bus. On the way back home, we saw a stork flying over, which is the symbol of the Alsace region. Check!


Strasbourg was everything I expected and more. It’s a really beautiful city, and I would love to go back to discover more of it. A massive thank you to the Trips Subcommittee, who did such a great job organizing this trip!


*Photos by Karel, Eva and Mathilda

What new things did you find out #today?

Was it about a new book, film, course, website? Was it about a new idea or THE idea that will probably change your life? Or was it simply a funny GIF you watched when you landed in your office this morning?

Yes, learning is taking on a new dimension these days! Sharing knowledge and information has been taken to another level thanks to social networks, thanks to those IT geeks who do all the hard work backstage, thanks to people’s curiosity, and thanks to people like you who are willing to pitch in to this global data-sharing effort.

& We want to keep up with the fast-and-furious pace of the age of information, don’t we?

Yes, the new media age offers us the great chance to have access to free resources (see more about the  MOOCs revolution) and share our feelings online.

Today, information is like a form of energy, a system of networks and flows, that does things and most of all makes things happen’.

We have the best energy exchange offer you can ever get!

Share your latest inspiring discovery with us at the following link:

Thank you for sharing and caring!



Traineetripping around Belgium

In case you missed it, the Trips Subcommittee rocks! Here’s why:

To make the outlook of our visit to the institutions in Brussels a little more exciting, they organised an extended stay in Belgium (I love Belgium!). On the agenda: Ghent, Bruges, and Antwerp.

We started the weekend in Ghent, a place where I lived for about a year and which is, in my humble opinion, the best and most beautiful place in all of Belgium (I know this country is really small but still…). I mean, it has a castle in the middle of the city centre – need I say more?

Since we arrived in the evening, the first thing we did was check out the local pub/bar scene and enjoy a few beers (and this is Belgium so you know they have this covered) before calling it a day.

The weather was not very nice the next day (cold!) but we didn’t let that stop us. We did some walking around the city, some of us went on a boat ride, split up for some coffee (some of us went into a café that somehow only attracted old people), I told my companions the story about the Mammelokker (google Belfry of Ghent, the Wikipedia page has the story – it’s a good one), and then we all joined the free walking tour around the city; so yes, you can say that we’ve seen it all.

Sunday was mostly about Bruges, a tiny little town that is so cute and picturesque, you might stop on every corner for a picture. It has cobblestone streets, horse carriages (that might run you over if you’re not careful), a beguinage (Begijnhof) where still only women are allowed to live and which is forbidden territory for men after the gates close in the evening (that’s interesting, right?), and a main square that is wonderfully colourful. It’s just gorgeous, so if you haven’t been yet, go check it out (or enjoy the pictures)!

Antwerp is a very different city with a very different vibe. This is not a bad thing; change is good. The city hall was covered in flags from all over the world, there was a food festival going on by the river, an artist was building a miniature model of the city out of cookies and chocolate (you had to go up the Museum aan de Stroom to enjoy this spectacle but the smell alone was worth the €5 this cost (normally it’s free to go up to see the panorama) and the view was pretty amazing as well), and on the main square there was a live concert that we could enjoy as well from inside the café where we had our end of the awesome weekend drinks. Yup, we chose a good weekend!

Thanks to the Trips Subcommittee for organising this trip, we had a blast!

Thanks to Drago, Karel, and Gintare for the pictures.


Dear all,

let me take you on a journey to our not so distant past. Sit back and relax. I just need to adjust the time machine. There, here we go…


*** August 1943

Europe is in the midst of World War II. Nazi soldiers are marching through the streets, people are fleeing their homes, many are killed. Fire, there is fire everywhere. The ground is shaking heavily. Bombs are falling from the sky and they have blackened the sun. Death is taking its toll. But even now, at this very moment, there is hope. Hope is shining like a beacon in the hearts and minds of some brave men. Among them are Jean Monnet and Robert Schuman.

Jean Monnet has just talked to the General de Gaulle and he told him: ‘We will win this war but we have to think about rebuilding Europe now. Let’s not add the humiliation to defeat. Let’s not get back to the Treaty of Versailles.’

Only a year before, Robert Schuman escaped the Nazi imprisonment and joined the French resistance.

*** May 7, 1950

The war is over but Europe is struggling. People are starving on the streets. They have nowhere to go. The cities must be rebuilt. Another war must be prevented. But how?

Robert Schuman and Jean Monnet have the answer. For some time now, they have been working on a curious piece of paper. Schuman knows that he has to get the German Prime Minister Konrad Adenauer’s consent before he can share the idea that is about to change Europe for good.

*** May 8, 1950

One of Schuman’s interpreters is on the phone with Konrad Adenauer, who finally says: ‘Tell your Foreign Minister, Mr Schuman, that we Germans, are in.’ Schuman smiles when he receives the news and says to Monnet: ‘I’ll do my press conference tomorrow, at 6 o’clock in the Salon de l’Horage at the Quai d’Orsay. Get me as many journalists as you can.’

*** May 9, 1950;

5.58 p.m.

Schuman and Monnet are standing behind the doors that lead to the Salon de l’Horage. Schuman looks at Monnet a bit nervously and asks: ‘How are we doing?’ Monnet opens the side doors a few inches and whispers: ‘The room is completely full.’


5.59 p.m.

Schuman gives Monnet another look and then says: ‘This is the moment we have been waiting for so long. Let’s do this.’

6 p.m.

The church bell strikes six. Schuman and Monnet enter the room. They are met with a large number of impatient and puzzled eyes. Schuman can hear them thinking worriedly about getting the papers printed today on time. He takes his place in front of the fireplace and begins to read what became known as the Schuman Declaration:

Schuman and Monnet

‘World peace cannot be safeguarded without the making of creative efforts proportionate to the dangers which threaten it.

The contribution which an organised and living Europe can bring to civilisation is indispensable to the maintenance of peaceful relations. In taking upon herself for more than 20 years the role of champion of a united Europe, France has always had as her essential aim the service of peace. A united Europe was not achieved and we had war…’

*** May 10, 1950

A French gentleman walks across the street to get his morning paper. He almost falls flat on his back when he sees the headline: FRENCH AND GERMANY TO BE UNITED. He can’t believe his eyes! He buys the newspaper and starts reading:

“Yesterday, the French Foreign Minister, Robert Schuman, read out loud a document, the so called Schuman Declaration, which proposes to bring the German and French coal and steel industry under the common authority. He points out that this will stop Germany from rearming itself and it will help Europe from entering into another war. He also encourages other European countries to join the union…”

The French gentleman looks around himself and finds everybody as perplexed as he is. What are they playing at?! He goes on to read:

“I asked the Foreign Minister Schuman yesterday about the declaration: ‘So, this declaration, is it a leap into the unknown?’ Schuman replied: ‘Oh yes, very much so.’ ”


*** May 20, 2016

Welcome back!

We are now living in the Europe that was born in 1950. Robert Schuman is today perceived as the ‘Father of Europe’. His and Jean Monnet’s ideas helped to shape the post-war Europe into the European Union of the 21st century. Since the Schuman Declaration was signed on May 9, this day is celebrated everyday as Europa Day.

Before coming to Brussels, I had no knowledge of Schuman, Monnet, Europa Day and many other things concerning the EU. But one thing has become clear to me: All of us are citizens of the European Union. The European Union is not just a vague idea on paper. It is our reality. But it is up to us to choose what we want to do with this reality. We may deny it, we may accept it, but we may also want to shape it.

Give it some thought!





I would like to invite you to come to the Luxembourg City centre this weekend and celebrate the Europa day! There will be information stands from EU institutions and Member States, many cultural and entertainment events, from street musicians to games. See you at Place d’Armes between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Click HERE if you want to know more.