At the end of this week, I’ll have been working in Brussels for four weeks. It’s a bit frightening, after all, it’s gone incredibly fast. Soon, it’s going to be Christmas and I’ll be returning to Edinburgh.
I’d also say there has been a good learning curve. At the start of the internship, I was given a simple fact checking paper to write and some constituency cases to deal with. Reasonably tight deadlines coupled with constant email interruptions and keeping one eye on the newsfeeds resulted in an atmosphere with just the right amount of tension and stress for me to work effectively in.
The second week was mostly taken up by constituency work, which is extremely interesting, due to one of Alyn’s staff taking a holiday. By the end of last week, I was doing press releases (although my first one required a good bit of rewriting to fit the style used in Alyn’s normal releases. Today, I drafted a question for the Commission (equivalent to Westminster’s written questions) regarding a directive which regulates the sale of herbal remedies. While it’s not something I have vast faith it, it’s still an interesting issue to work on.
For the rest of this week, Alyn is in Brussels, so I don’t know what I’ll be working on yet. I do know that I’ll be taking notes at some committees (because MEPs do need to be in two committees at the same time) and accompanying Alyn to some meetings. It’ll be interesting to see the MEPs working first hand, since this is the first time the Committees have been in session in Brussels since I started.
In the past weeks, my impressions of the support staff needed for politicians has changed greatly. Like many others in the wake of the expenses scandal at Westminster, I called for MPs staff to be limited. I would say that it’s easy to underestimate the amount of work which is required to support a politician. I wonder how many could adequately do their job without at least two to three full-time staff? I suspect none in this age of mass media.
Still, several weeks to go. How else will this internship challenge my perspectives?