The European Parliament has two official places of work: Strasbourg and Brussels. Hence I am commuting between the State of Brandenburg, Strasbourg and Brussels.
Since the European Election in 2019, I am a full member and coordinator of the Committee for Industry, Research and Defence (ITRE) and a substitute member of the Committee of Culture and Education (CULT). In addition, I am member of the Delegation of the European Union to the United States and substitute member of the Delegation for relations with Israel as well as substitute member of the Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean. Beyond that, I am the Co-Chair of the Intergroup “Creative Industries in Europe”.
One week in Parliament
There is no typical week in the European Parliament, it is more about three different types of work.
For 12 weeks a year, the Members of Parliament meet for plenary sessions in Strasbourg, the seat of the Parliament.
In addition, there are two weeks every month booked for committee meetings and group meetings in Brussels. Therefore, I commute weekly between three places of work. In addition, there are unfortunately just four to six weeks a year that I can spend exclusively in and working for my constituency in Brandenburg.
What’s identical in all these different places of work is that I arrive in Brussels or Strasbourg on Monday at midday. My staff then inform me about the most important work tasks and order of events of the week. Tuesdays to Thursdays are the most important days for my work at the Parliament. On these days (and depending also on the session week) committee meetings, parliamentary group or plenary meetings take place.
During group weeks, the political groups of the European Parliament meet. I am a Member of the European People’s Party, EPP, (Christian Democrats), the biggest party in the European Parliament. In total, the EPP is represented by more than 40 political parties from all 28 EU member states. Within the group, there are task forces for technical coordination as well as national delegations. The German CDU/CSU group is the biggest national group.
Due to the large number of group members, it is necessary to meet several times each week to discuss all topics that are of interest, and to reach a common position in the end. The CDU/CSU group also meets additionally to the political group meetings in order to discuss current political subjects and to align the next steps of action.
During committee weeks, the permanent committees of the European Parliament meet. They play a central role in the work of Parliament as here, the Members of the European Parliament draft legislations and initiative reports. They also submit requests for amendments and vote on these. They check suggestions made by the Commission and the Council and, if necessary, draft a report for the plenum. Each Member of Parliament looks after one or more areas of expertise. Without this work division, it would simply be impossible to get the job done. The committees often meet several times a week for a few hours.
In Strasbourg, the proper plenary sessions of the Parliament take place. They start on Monday afternoons and end late on Thursday evenings. During that time, Members of Parliament align and vote on the legislation of the European Union and express their opinions regarding current political topics. Parallel to the plenary sessions, there are also other meetings of parliamentary groups.
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