Wednesday, 2 March 2011

European Intern: "Jasmin leaves EU between a rock and a hard place"

Madame High Representative Ashton

Half way through the internship with the European Parliament, Chris shares the latest news from Brussels.

The past few months have proven extremely interesting, as far as the diplomatic outreach of the European Union (EU) is concerned (or the lack thereof!). Seeing as my MEP presides an EU Delegation to Northern African countries, the recent developments in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, to mention but a few countries involved, have meant that my work has largely focussed on research and analysis of this 'Jasmin revolution'. In addition to this responsibility, I have also been made in charge of providing briefing notes for the higher than usual concentration of media interviews, and even playing a role in preparing parliamentary speeches on the issue.

The amount of heavy criticism for the relatively slow and staggered reaction of EU officials (are you reading Madame High Representative Ashton?) resulted in numerous member states finding themselves 'on the wrong side of history': Sarkozy offering to send riot police to Tunisia to control the uprising for example. The upcoming weeks and months will be crucial in the fruitful democratisation of the region, and in the unfolding of whatever this revolutionary incertitude still has in store politically and economically, namely in reference to the repercussions on Israel and the cost of oil.

All in all, it just goes to show how the life of a political assistant in the European Parliament is one of great variety!

No comments: