WHY YOU SHOULD USE

A unique insight in the European Parliament

WHY YOU SHOULD USE

A unique insight in the European Parliament

European Know-How Transfer program provides an exclusive opportunity to connect with the leaders at the European Parliament.

By Katre Laan

Since October 2005, a group of enthusiastic JCI members from different corners of Europe have gathered to attend the JCI European Know-How Transfer program in Brussels. It is important to us, as young citizens, to learn and raise matters that need attention on a European level. And to also get to know the elected representatives of the European Union. Each year the program has a new theme addressing current topics that aim to involve active citizens. The theme for the 2020 program was solidarity and response to covid-19. What was previously limited only to on-site participants was this year delivered virtually to all members. “It was both a blessing and a curse to have the pandemic. The core part of the Know-How Transfer is this: in-room person to person shadowing, exchanging opportunities you have with your MEP-s and building personal relationships”, says Dorian Lötzer, the Area Manager for JCI Europe. As a knowledge transfer program, the event provided an opportunity for JCI members to exchange with the elected officials what young people feel strongly about and what kind of an impact a specific policy might have over a local community. For Anni Oja, the National President of JCI Estonia 2019 and a participant of the program in 2017, it was truly an eye-opening experience: “One thing is to read about European politics in the news, but being there in Brussels and seeing how it operates gave a much more complete picture of the long processes and mechanisms designed to take us forward as a union.” An "experience" and "revelation" in one A member of JCI Romania and VP for JCI Europe in 2018, Diana Mardarovici attended the program in 2015 and 2018.

“In 2015 my experience was a revelation: I had the opportunity to discuss directly with members of the European Parliament and representatives of the European Commission issues affecting Romania and Europe as a whole. MEP Siegfried Muresan – whom I shadowed – was extremely forthcoming and willing to share from his experience,” she says. Diana’s assertiveness was appreciated and encouraged and due to her well-documented questions - “I was invited to meet with the Vice President of the European Parliament in a one-on-one meeting about the opportunities and future of the European project”, says Mardarovici.

The European Know-How program, as well as the JCI flagship program is “an opportunity for one as a JCI member to personally develop, understand and learn what elected officials and European institutions do”, says Dorian Lötzer. The five-day program has an intense schedule with three days shadowing a MEP, evening sessions, casual dinners, visits to the European parliament, side events with different institutions and many more networking opportunities. The participants are either critical thinkers and want to “have their voices heard“, or maybe pro-European participants interested in learning how Europe works. The European Know-How Transfer is a unique and valuable program for JCI which opens future opportunities for anyone interested in networking, or just curious about Europe. What is one thing a new member should know about EKHT? “It's really fun!” says Lötzer.

It was both a blessing and a curse to have the pandemic