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Hey dude, where’s my k?

You might have heard a thing or two about the Finnish language already. Fear not, there is more to follow. This time, I am going shed a bit of light to us doing letters double. The more the merrier, we think when it comes to consonants and vowels. The foreigners who are trying to master the […]

Letters from home

                                                                                                                                             Brussels, 26 April 2013 Dear reader,      How are you? I hope you have been well. I am writing to you as I have a thing on my mind I have been waiting to put on paper… I have been here for a while now and my Mom no longer feels an urgent need […]

Do you have an MEP?

When I was a student, I went to the European Parliament on a study trip. On site, I met a British student who asked me if I already had visited my MEP. MY MEP? I did not have an MEP, as far as I knew, and was immediately jealous of this British student who apparently […]

Back to school with Hugh Grant

"Back to school" is a recent initiative launched by the EU to reach out to youngsters. The idea is that people working for the EU institutions go back to their high schools for a day and talk about their experience working in a multicultural and multilingual environment. A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to […]

And the winner is: #Hermandeschermman

There were quite some surprises during the Dutch election night on September 12 – either positively or negatively – and yes, five parties can claim to have won some or a lot of seats. However, the social media winner, soon renamed the swiping king, was the journalist Herman van der Zandt who announced the results for each community using a huge touch […]

European History of (Cheap) Political Jokes

I am kind of an expert in bad jokes. That’s what happens when you are German Eurocrat – you hear quite a lot of them.

Practical guide to Latvian Easter traditions

Easter is one of those holidays that a lot of people assocciate with Christianity. For me, however, Easter has always been about pagan traditions that are so very much alive and practised in Latvia. This is going to be a practical guide to coulouring eggs for Easter Latvian way and what to do with them […]

Is having Maltese as an EU language a waste of money?

1. Although Maltese and English are official languages in Malta, Maltese is designated as the sole national language in Malta's constitution, with all the legal ramifications that would suggest. There might be just a handful of us, and most of us might be hairy and short, but that's no reason to belittle us. 2. Maltese […]

Togo or not Togo…

This is a blog post I was supposed to write some time ago… But somehow I couldn't find the time to do it last week. Now I sit comfortably in my chair in lovely Strasbourg (yes, it's plenary once again), watching the Christmas market under the snow outside (or almost) and I can remember those […]

Who said that good web campaigns have to be “coordinated”?

Sometimes it is exactly the opposite. This week I met in Milan the campaign wizard and the web content manager of the new Mayor Giuliano Pisapia. His campaign has been one of the most remarkable examples of participative web in Italy, a fascinating example of how the internet is affecting modern politics. Two lessons learnt: the internet and the neighbourhood can be very good friends. And “coordination” is NOT the key to success.

How far is Europe from Brussels?

Andreea was in the first 2011 contingent of WebCom trainees. All good things come to an end, so they say, and she has now returned to her native Romania. But that doesn’t mean that our all-time keenest trainee-blogger could not come back for one more post-stage post. Over to you, Andreea.

It’s not (only) a Mafia Game

Last week we wrote several articles on volunteering on the occasion of the II Youth Convention on Volunteering. A recurrent assumption on voulunteering is that you “help the others”. Allow me to disagree: for me volunteering is, first of all, helping yourself. And – at best – some trees.

Try the Forgettometer

This is not a discussion on the merits of working for WebCom but an attempt to develop a scientific method of gauging the success of one’s holidays.

Why the revolution will be tweeted (#yeswecamp)

Next Sunday’s regional and municipal elections in Spain have been the spark for the #spanishrevolution, a protest movement that was born in Twitter less than a week ago and that is now mobilizing tens of thousands of people all around the country, with Madrid’s Puerta del Sol as its epicentre, Twitter permitting, of course.

About the importance of being “outside”

Yes, I’m an insider, explaining the European Parliament from the inside. And yes, I do believe in the power people outside the institution can have. They may need us but, for sure, we need them as well.

The day I called 112

11 February is the European day of the 112, the emergency number that is working all over Europe. Because yes, accidents do not always happen to others and they also do not always happen in your home country… Let me tell you the experience I did with the 112, two or three years ago. Believe me, you should spread the word about this number!

Born in the USSR #1: Happy Soviet Childhood

Endless fascination lies in the very, very different worlds of our childhood. Here Mindaugas talks about a childhood in the Soviet Union. So far and yet so near…

The Dutch: not tolerant, only pragmatic

A bunch of stoned people (perhaps that is what’s blurring their minds and making them so liberal?), going everywhere on a bike (because it is cheaper?), eating cheese, raw fish (and an occasional potato) in case eating is really necessary (and boy, the food is bad over there).  All this accompanied by beautiful flowers (read: […]

“For example, in Sweden you can’t buy sex”

As a temporary ex-pat living in the EU-bubble just for a short while, I have come to see some differences in understandings of the 27 countries. I guess there are prejudices about every single country in the EU, but as a Swede I of course pick up the ones of Sweden. I have for example […]

About the difficulty of being French in a multicultural unit

I have Danish, Bulgarian and Maltese colleagues in the office next to me. An Italian one in front of me. Some German, Spanish, Polish, Slovenian, Finnish colleagues in the same corridor. And they all speak perfect English. What about me? I’m French. And I sometimes feel stupid in that multicultural, multilingual and open-minded environment. Speaking […]

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