Us, students at the Avans School of International Studies from the European Union Policies minor have been lucky to participate to an excursion through the principals European Institutions. We visited three cities that are of major importance to the European Union.
Our first stop was Brussels. We attended a lecture by Klaus Hullmann, member of the Communication and Visits service in the Committee of Regions.
More power to the regions
We were explained what is the role of the Committee of Region (CoR) in the European Union and what are its major actions. One of the main goal of the CoR is to bring the decision making process to the lowest level in order to apply the subsidiary principle and to give more power to the regions.
At the end of the lecture we discussed several themes about the EU, for example, the enlargement of the Union, the proposal made by the CoR, the role of the CoR and the rules about products. The second part of the day took place in the European Commission. We had a lecture by Jo Vandercappellen, who works for the Directorate General of Education and Culture.
European Central Bank
He gave us a definition of the European Union: it's a supranational organ in which its 27 member states hand out a part of their sovereignty. He explained us how the European Central Bank works and what are going to be the main changes within the Union after the Lisbon Treaty.
He also talked about the decision making process and described the role of the main institutions of the European Union.
After that, Mr. Charles White, who works for the Directorate General of Regional Policy, made us a lecture about the Cohesion and Regional Policy within the European Union. We were told what is the Regional Policy and why do the European Union needs it. One of the reason is to guarantee the health of the single market. Two structural funds are used in order to compel the Regional Policy: the European Regional Development Funds and the European Structural Funds. [Astrid Kergrohen & Roukia Oumouri]