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A Day as a Local Representative of the European Union #BELC

Recently, I had the unique opportunity to travel to the heart of Europe, the Brussels EU quarter, with a group of 18 members from the BELC, including 14 colleagues from France, three from Belgium, and myself. The goal? To engage in in-depth discussions with the European Commission and some of the most influential European representatives. It was an experience that will stay with me for a long time.

We immediately delved into the themes close to our hearts - climate change, agricultural policy, the impact of the European elections, and of course, culture and youth. One of the highlights was undoubtedly our session on the Creative Europe program. This flagship initiative, designed to boost the cultural and creative sectors with a massive budget of 2.44 billion euros for 2021-2027, is music to the ears of anyone who holds art and culture dear.

The discussions about the European recovery plan and how it brings about concrete changes in countries like France were particularly enlightening. Learning about the thermal renovation of more than 700,000 houses and the support for youth employment with more than 400,000 subsidies gave me hope and inspiration for what we can achieve in Belgium.

But what really impressed me was our discussion about the upcoming European elections in June. Realizing that we, with 400 million voters from 27 countries, can have a direct impact on the future of Europe, and thus on themes that affect us all, is both awe-inspiring and motivating.

During our visit to the EU Emergency Response Coordination Centre and the interactive exhibition "Experience Europe," I was reminded again of the importance of the European Union, not just as a political entity, but as a community of values and goals.

Beyond the official agenda, we also had the chance to get to know each other better. Exchanging experiences with colleagues from different parts of Europe, sharing successes and challenges, and finding common ground in our visions and objectives, was enriching and unifying.

Reflecting on this experience, I feel more connected to Europe and more motivated than ever to contribute to a union that holds sustainability, cultural richness, and democratic values in high esteem. And I am determined to share this message with the community in Schaerbeek, so that we can work together towards a better future for Europe.

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