Following last year’s successful trip where the Young European Federalists, Paris Branch, came to London, The Young European Movement, London Branch, made the return journey to Paris. The trip lasted for three days and it was an excellent opportunity to discuss the future of the EU, see friends and ensure that even after Brexit, young people who join YEM London will still be able to meet and develop friendships with other young Europeans.
The first item on the agenda was a question and answer session with Foreign Office officials at the British Embassy. We had the good fortune of having an open and quite frank discussion on how Franco-British relations will be affected by Brexit and what the embassy is doing to foster inter cultural exchange. Of particular interest was hearing how British embassies employ locals as well as British civil servants, so that British policy can be formulated with input from local people. This ensures that British officials can use local knowledge and expertise to develop more culturally sensitive and thus more effective policies
After this most interesting discussion with the embassy officials, we visited the European Commission’s Office; a grand building right next to the French Assembly. There followed a presentation on Juncker’s recent 5 proposals for how the EU27 could reform beyond Brexit. Whilst it was encouraging to see the EU looking for the ‘opportunities’ of Brexit, I found the optimism in the EU27’s unity not grounded in the reality that there is no consensus of how the EU should reform post Brexit.
YEM London Branch would like to thank the British Embassy, The European Commission Representation and all the members of YEF, Paris Branch, for their hospitality in welcoming us to Paris. I am, as I am sure everyone else is, looking forward to YEF’s return journey to London and continuing this worthy partnership!