Support Us – A Day of Lobby Work in Brussels

Support Us – A Day of Lobby Work in Brussels

A day of lobby work in Brussels with Arie de Pater, EEA Brussels Representative


On Wednesdays, I take a 6.30 h train for Brussels. As the train is still fairly quiet at that hour, it provides me an opportunity to prepare for the day. That can be listening to a podcast, read and write some emails, and read some relevant documents for meetings later in the day.


I arrive at Brussels Central around 9.00 h and take the metro to Schuman metro station. From there, it is about a five minutes’ walk to our Brussels office. The office is usually still quiet when I arrive and I enjoy a coffee in silence. Then, it is time to change into more formal attire.


I walk to a nearby café for my first meeting of the day. With a representative of the Conference of European Churches and a representative of the European Jewish Congress, I discuss a project on the safety and protection of houses of worship. How can we protect our churches without making them fortresses, scaring off anyone to join us for worship?



Back in the office, I quickly grab a sandwich before I head off to the European Parliament. Hopefully, there is no long queue around this hour as I don’t want to be late for my 13.00 h meeting in the Mickey Mouse bar.With a representative of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group in the European Parliament, I want to discuss opportunities to promote and defend Freedom of Religion or Belief and briefly on the work of the Israel delegation. Usually, during these meetings, other opportunities will come up as well.



As time for my next meeting will be too short to go back to the office, I’ll have a seat in one of the bright, baloony chairs in the Mickey Mouse Bar after the meeting and wait until my next meeting. I might drop in at a relevant meeting in Parliament but if not, I’ll have a look at my inbox and other topics like a document on refugees who claim asylum in Europe because they’ve converted from one religion or belief to another or to none. For most of our members, this will be refugees who converted to Christianity of course.


At 15.00 h, I welcome the assistant of an MEP (Member of European Parliament) who is co-leading the Parliamentary Intergroup on Freedom of Religion or Belief and Religious Tolerance. Due to corona, we haven’t met for a while, and I am eager to learn what’s on their agenda. How can we as EEA or how can we as member of the European Platform against Religious Intolerance and Discrimination (EPRID) help them to make the best of their mandate?


After the meeting, I walk back to the office, most likely with a quick detour to a local supermarket to buy some basic groceries and ingredients for dinner.

Back in the office, it is time to catch up with others in the office. In addition to the surprise meetings in Parliament, these informal chats with representatives of other NGOs are usually good opportunities to share some of your policy priorities and to find new opportunities to influence relevant debates.


Before dinner, I hope to find time for a run in the park just across the street. That’s a great way to digest today’s input and wind down for the evening.



To make a day of lobbying in Brussels for Arie possible, we rely on the financial support of donors.


One day in Brussels comes with the following costs:


600,00€ staff costs for the preparation, lobby work, and follow-up (3 days of work)

150,00€ proportionate office costs for one day in Brussels

150,00€ travel expenses, allowances, material costs

900,00€ in total


We are looking for supporters across Europe with a passion for giving Christians a voice in European politics – Would you contribute €100 to make our EEA lobby work in Brussels possible?






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