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Leaders-for-a-Day: MEP Valean

What else can be more impactful than bringing together the leaders of tomorrow and the ones with the decision-making power today? When Junior Achievement Europe contacted me to be part of the programme, I immediately accepted, thinking it was a great initiative. 18 year old Rares Vasilescu played my shadow for a day in the European Parliament, seeing first-hand what my position entails and how a working day looks like for me. 

As one of the European Parliament's Vice-Presidents, my agenda is often packed. The day started with the usual team meeting to plan the day ahead. I could already see on his face a mix of surprise, interest, curiosity and, to my delight, an uninhibited and genuine attitude to the discussion with my team. 

We then went on to the EPP political group meeting, a framework in which we discuss the group line on various issues and legislative dossiers currently on the table. We quickly returned to the office, where we had to decide on my amendments for the Digital Single Market resolution, a debate in which Rares eagerly took part, quickly grasping the issues surrounding telecommunications, digital services and e-commerce. 

We then held a couple of meetings on the reform of the copyright legislation, with representatives from the artists and performers associations, as well as the music industry. While these meetings can get rather technical and very specific, Rares asked our guests very pertinent questions and the exchange of views was vivid and interactive. Not lastly, on the same day, I was hosting a Romanian delegation representing the aluminium industry, with which we discussed the reform of the European Emissions Trading System.

To me, it may have been just a regular working day, to him, maybe, an encounter that helped him understand what this kind of working environment means. I must say it was a great experience that I would wholeheartedly recommend further. It gave me a fresh perspective on my work and it made me think of how my activity is seen through his young eyes. Before leaving, he told one of my assistants that he wouldn't have thought before that it would be so interesting. Always happy to be able to change perceptions for the better.


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