It was 2016, an unusual cloudy winter morning, around 8 am.

I had already spent precious time in the traffic due to one of the recurrent demonstrations in Brussels, this one about the (in)famous CETA, waiting on the European Parliament’s security check queue, along with two colleagues, Jan, a former high school teacher turned into young policy analyst from Czech Republic and Chen Wenda, member of the International Department of the Chinese Communist Party.

While rubbing my eyes after a late night research, I was getting a bit anxious wondering how much more we would have to wait. As the minutes went by, I started feeling worried about being late for a meeting with to Mr. David Martin, Member of the European Parliament (EP) and S&D coordinator on the International Trade Affairs Committee (INTA).

But, out of the blue, a thought came into my mind. I’ve dreamed so many times and use it as source of motivation, and there I was, actually living it the “Brussels’ bubble” experience. The European Parliament was my workplace! I’ve been granted lifetime opportunity, the privilege to see in the first raw how high-level policy-makers conduct the European decision-making process, and having the chance to interact with them.

A feeling of warmth and relax took over my body and I just could not avoid to smile and feel proud of that achievement.

Discovering Europe

Thanks to Erasmus+ Program, I’ve attended trainings in 15+ EU Member States and engaging with a broad network of youth europeans, also exposing me to the wonderful world of foreign languages, inspiring to learn Spanish, French and Germany.


Moving around Europe also expanded my professional horizons.The eager to work on the international environment and intrigued by the ongoing Digital Revolution, I’ve decided to live in another European country, Hungary, and explore a bit more the technical side of the technology’s infrastructure systems and its future impact on jobs and economic growth.

These different experiences makes me feel a truly European citizen, living and sharing EU’s values and pillars, such as solidarity, equality and diversity. For this reason, last June, I’ve went on a European Voluntary Service, in Cyprus, promoting EU at primary schools. During this time off from professional responsibilities, I’ve had another powerful insight: I simply can’t ignore my European heart anymore.

As a consequence, it has started to be clear that I wanted to go back in Brussels and next year’s European Elections are my Call to Action to embark on a mission, to be an interface between the EU and its citizens, building bridges for a more participatory and conscious policymaking process.

Why European Policy-making?

The last decade droved Europe bumped onto a financial crisis leveraged on the unresolved legitimacy crisis and to an identity crossroads, propelled by two colliding forces, blocking the way to tackle fundamental issues, such as Migration or the impact Digital Technologies brought about on jobs & security.


Moderated pro-EU forces, advocating for a deeper integration VS anti-EU forces, with an “Europe of States” agenda and supported by nationalists movements, that are capitalizing upon people’s fears of being “left behind”, generating dangerous phenomena, such as:

  • The “illiberal democracy” Hungarian government, taking protectionist decisions on migration, in opposition to European Council decisions;
  • The Italian government Budget proposal to address populist promises, such as the €10 billion check for a “basic income” that triples the deficit gap agreed previously (from 0,8 to 2,4%), against the need to address the long standing sovereignty debt.

Both cases also present a communication problem, rooted in the so-called European paradox: benefits and political gains generated by EU’s funds are improperly appropriated by domestic politicians but, at the same time, the very same politicians use EU as a “punch-bag” whenever they have to take “unpopular” decisions.

The undeniable identity crossroads  and the european paradox are seriously undermining EU integration. De facto, the public debate is so polluted that both sides are taking opposite directions, virtually impossible to set their rhetoric narratives and different interests aside and sit at the same negotiations table.

So, facing this reality, what can be done?

I believe “business as usual” approach is no longer feasible to change the status quo, largely influenced by the “évènement du jour”.

Room for political innovation must be considered. 

A possible answer may be to open up the policy-making spectrum, with a broader range of stakeholders, including national and local public and private organizations, NGOS and, mainly, the European citizens, as being the ones that ultimately most suffer the consequences of what is being decided in the Barlaymont, Strasbourg or in the Council of the EU.

It is important to involve all stakeholders in all stages of the policy-making process [1. Agenda Setting, 2. Policy Formulation, 3. Implementation Acts] engaging them to contribute and promote a well-informed communication process, as a way to pressure opposite sides to collaborate together on a more pragmatic common agenda.

If one takes a look around Europe it’s exactly what people expect. I’ve seen with my own eyes, whether in Portugal, Belgium, Hungary or France. In the end of the day and apart from political ideologies, the europeans share the same needs and wishes, expecting the EU take’s the driver seat and present concrete and meaningful solutions that bring visible improvements onto their daily lives.