Personal insight: Wilhelm Emmrich
MA European Affairs, SciencesPo Paris.
When I applied for an internship at Dr Ehler’s Brussels office in April 2020, I could not have imagined that the pandemic would still last for a while. And so, about a year later, I started my internship with Dr Ehler working remotely from my SciencesPo “co-working space” in Paris. Despite all the challenges of an online internship, however, I can say without any hesitation that I learned a lot during my six-week study visit and obtained very valuable insights into the workings of the parliamentary office.
My internship began with a video conference via WebEx, in which Dr Ehler warmly welcomed us to the team, so that I immediately felt at ease and was able to quickly connect with my colleagues in the office as well as with my fellow interns. Especially with teleworking, I found it very helpful that I could reach my colleagues at any time. Since they always had an open ear for my questions and were always happy to talk to me, I was able to quickly become part of the team – despite the geographical distance.
In fact, I also learned to appreciate the advantages of working online, as there was no separation between the Brussels and Potsdam offices. And so, I quickly realised that there was only one team here: Team Ehler. As a Brandenburger, it was therefore a great pleasure for me to prepare a video interview with Dr Ehler on the topic of the New European Bauhaus together with our Potsdam interns. The New European Bauhaus is an ecological, economic, and cultural project that aims to combine design, sustainability, and investment to contribute to the European Green Deal. Our interview will soon be available as a video on the website and on Dr. Ehlers YouTube channel. Of course, we appreciate any likes! I also had the chance to learn more about how the European Parliament works. For this purpose, I interviewed a Swedish interpreter, Stina Sandgren, and asked her about her daily work as well as her experiences from 25 years in the European Parliament. If you would like to know more about my very intriguing conversation with Ms Sandgren, you can find my article on it here.
The internship was also extremely interesting for me in terms of the topics I worked on. Among many other things, I prepared briefings for Dr Ehler on the EU’s industrial strategy, the German Supply Chain Law and a corresponding legislative proposal of the European Commission. Since I specialise in EU external relations in my master’s, it was all the more exciting for me to have Dr Ehler as my mentor, an eminent member of the EP’s delegation for relations with the United States. This gave me the opportunity to work on the recently initiated US Competition and Innovation Act and to attend exclusive events on transatlantic relations online. I also regularly produced press reviews on European research policy with its new flagship programme Horizon Europe, which aims to strengthen Europe’s innovation capacity and sustainability.
In short, I found my internship in Dr Ehler’s office very rewarding and enjoyable. And so, I would like to thank Dr Ehler and his entire team in Brussels and Potsdam for the six weeks I spent with them. I hope that we will be able to meet in person in the not too distant future.