The EEA Brussels office in Corona times

The EEA Brussels office in Corona times

Our social-political work in Brussels is a lot about building and maintaining relationships. Covid-19 is seriously limiting the ability to do so. So, how is the Brussels office dealing with the current situation?


Building and maintaining relationships with parliamentarians and their staff, with policy makers, and with the many non-governmental organisations working in Brussels, is crucial for the work of the EEA office in the European Union’s capital. Although we occasionally do organise public events in the European Parliament, most of the work is done through informal contacts in the hallways, one-on-one meetings, and contacts with likeminded NGOs. Most of that came to an end with the first lockdown in March. Most debates in Brussels were suspended, except for those directly related to the pandemic and the protection of our economies. These were not issues with which we were directly engaging.


What did continue was the project on Artificial Intelligence. With a group of experts, we wrote our response to the plans of the European Commission. Furthermore, we used our time for several writing assignments. What do we see happening? How is Covid-19 impacting our churches, our societies? How do we respond as Christians? Do we want to return to ‘business as usual’ or is this a God given moment for a change for the better? Some reflections on these musings and debates will come your way in the next few months. We hope and pray these will strengthen your voice and impact in our country.


Since the summer, Parliament has picked up most of its normal activities. Meetings are now taking place online which is still creating some technical issues. Many interventions start with: “Can you unmute your microphone, please?” or “We cannot see you. We’ll reset your connection.” Not really a situation conducive for any in-depth debate. But there are quite a few important debates going on. I already mentioned the Covid-19 response and Artificial Intelligence. In addition, there is the debate on the rule of law and on the proposed Migration and Asylum Pact. Topics that are close to the heart of the European Union. What are European Values? What about justice, security, compassion and hospitality?


As EEA, we feel called to speak into the debates in Brussels. However, to compensate for the lack of informal and spontaneous meetings in the halls of power, we are finding new ways to connect and represent you. That is not always easy. Therefore, we appreciate your prayers. With Gods help, nothing is impossible.

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