Bruxelles


At the European Court of Justice.

At the end of February, I had a wonderful opportunity to travel to Brussels with a group of Fulbrighters to learn about the European Union from within its capital and visit the headquarters of NATO. It was a nine-day conference incorporating visits to the U.S. Embassy in Luxembourg, European Court of Justice, the court of auditors, European Commission, the College of Europe and Bruges, the Council of Ministers, the U.S. Mission to the European Union, a briefing on the European Parliament, NATO Headquarters, and SHAPE (the Supreme Headquarters of the Allied Powers of Europe).

Over the course of those briefings, we were educated on European fiscal policy, the economic crisis, goings-on in Afghanistan, the justice system, the structure of the combined EU government, neighborhood policy, international relations from an EU perspective, and military operations.

One of the most fabulous aspects of the conference, apart from all the places we got to visit and people we met, were the participants. We all came from such different backgrounds; many political scientists (and a few other economists), a few more prospective lawyers, an environmental scientist, a handful of English teachers, a couple educators, an art historian, a few historians, five journalists, two medicinal researchers, and all of them extremely friendly and interested in learning more. Each session had a Q&A, and it felt a lot like being at Carnegie Mellon with insightful questions and good responses. Despite all the career paths I mentioned, there were only thirty-two of us total, so the group was small enough that we got to know each other and get a good feel for our dynamic.

And in addition to learning about and experiencing much of the EU, I had plenty of chances to visit Brussels and eat some terrific Belgian food. It was a lot of fun.

I captured this shot out the plane window on the trip over the mountains.

This was at the airport in Belgium. I was so excited.

This was our briefing at ECJ, after we got to sit in on a hearing.

Giddy for our first big roundtable.

Posing with all the flags in the ECJ lobby.

My visitor badge.

The European twin towers.

The beer menu on our first night in Brussels.

That's a good Belgian Trippel, folks.

The lobby of the European Commission.

We men and women of europe.

Standing in our conference/briefing room, living out my dreams.

Walking around Brussels.

One of the many museums in Brussels. I got to see the Magritte museum (fabulous) and the Museum of Musical Instruments, where you wear headphones and walk up to each individual display to hear the instrument inside.

WAFFLES! I got waffles from this place twice. Each time, they were hot and caramel-y and delicious.

Belgian mussels. They were so yummy.

This was my first Belgian waffle. It came with butterscotch caramel sauce, whipped cream and pecans, and two kinds of ice cream. Major yum.

A fantastic dinner we had in Brussels: pork shank in mustard sauce.

Yummy breakfast waffle before the Museum of Musical Instruments.

I LOVED seeing all the pianos.

This violin was GORGEOUS.

The bagpipes triggered by fake Scottish pride.

Our conference room at the European Council of Ministers...

...where Joanna was Italy...

...and I was Denmark.

An orangutan made of chocolate!

Douglas, me, Martin, and Brendan at the final dinner.

Me with my lovely conference roommate, Lucy.

Me with Lauren, my partner in crime for the evening.

The famous peeing boy of Brussels, replicated in chocolate and stickers across the city.

Le chat noir, where I got my final meal in Brussels.


 

—–

Alla fine di febbraio, avevo una meravigliosa opportunità di viaggiare a Bruxelles con un gruppo di Fulbright per imparare l’Unione europea all’interno del suo capitale e visitare il quartier generale della NATO. Hanno passato nove giorni di conferenza che incorpora visite l’ambasciata americana in Lussemburgo, Corte di giustizia europea, la Corte dei conti, Commissione europea, il Collegio d’Europa a Bruges, il Consiglio dei ministri, la Missione degli Stati Uniti presso l’Unione europea, un’informativa al Parlamento europeo, sede della NATO, e SHAPE (il Quartier Generale Supremo delle Potenze alleate in Europa).

Nel corso di questi briefing, siamo stati istruiti sulla politica fiscale europea, la crisi economica, avvenimenti in Afghanistan, il sistema giustizia, la struttura del governo complessiva dell’UE, la politica di vicinato, le relazioni internazionali da una prospettiva europea, e le operazioni militari .

Uno degli aspetti più belli della conferenza, oltre a tutti i luoghi abbiamo avuto modo di visitare e persone che abbiamo incontrato, sono stati i partecipanti. Noi tutti siamo venuti da tali ambienti diversi; molti scienziati politici (e alcuni economisti altri), alcuni avvocati in corso di formazione, uno scienziato ambientale, una manciata di insegnanti di inglese, un paio di educatori, una storica dell’arte, alcuni storici, cinque giornalisti, due ricercatori medicinali, e tutte di loro estremamente cordiale e interessato a saperne di più. Ogni sessione ha avuto un Q & A, e si sentiva un po ‘come essere al Carnegie Mellon con domande penetranti e risposte buone. Nonostante tutti i percorsi di carriera che ho citato, vi erano solo 32 di noi totale, in modo che il gruppo era abbastanza piccola che abbiamo avuto modo di conoscersi e avere una buona sensazione per la nostra dinamica.

E in aggiunta a conoscere ea sperimentare la maggior parte dell’UE, ho avuto molte possibilità di visitare Bruxelles e mangiare cibo fantastico belga. E ‘stato molto divertente.


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