- Its creation and its role
At the beginning, there was a group called “Le Grand-Est” which gathered 5 regions. But over time, a separation occurred: Lorraine and Champagne-Ardennes on the one hand, Bourgogne and Franche-Comté on the other hand, are gathered together whereas Alsace is now alone. The goal of this gathering was to reduce the costs. The office is currently financed by collectivities and public money. Moreover Bourgogne and Franche Comté are two regions which are very similar economically and socially speaking. Nowadays, every European region is represented in Brussels.
The role of this type of office is to do the link between the regions and Brussels on what’s happening in political and economic fields.
- The Team
The Office is made up of 4 people. (3 permanent people and one trainee). It was created by the two regions as an association. Altogether there are 15 members in that association, like for example the “Conseil Régional”, the “Grand Dijon” and also towns like Macon, Châlon etc.
- A typical day in this office
There are often delegations that come to exchange about an issue. So the office has to organize meetings with European interlocutors (like a group of regions) to discuss a topic. For example, a meeting can lead to the creation of an association.
The regions can also react about a subject, or register for a project, influence a bill.
The office has to be able to help a region or an association to fill or to improve a founding requests, for instance for a festival, for researches, energy, youth, transports etc. To put it in a nutshell, they have to ensure the quality of a project.
The way they work is called “Lobying”. It’s how things get sorted out in Brussels. It is an activity in which a structure decides to show an interest to a policy-maker. Lobbies can be found everywhere in Brussels. What really matters is the argumentation, the strength of the message and the other’s support.
- An example of plan
Currently, there is a plan about the “Amical Bourgogne des sports”, which is an association that organizes sport meeting especially in Germany. But they would like to act on a European scale. So they would like to have some tips to reformulate and submit their project to the commission in October.
- The recruitment
The recruitment is based on the acquaintances about European institutions but also on the time spent abroad. Indeed it is essential to have good linguistic skills (even if the English which is spoken in Brussels is not a perfect English, but it must sufficient to make oneself understood) and capacities to evolve in an environment that one doesn’t know.