From Brussels with love [Archives:2006/999/Viewpoint]

November 16 2006

I was selected as the Yemen's participate in the European Union's visitors program 2007. This program invites people from all around the world to visit the heart of Europe where all the political fun takes place. Not only is Brussels a beautiful and historic city, it is also an important European capital where the European parliament, commission and council of ministers, among many other European institutions exist. The visitors program includes various meetings to give participants a general overview of the EU workings and some in depth information regarding specific interests of the participant.

This one-week visit introduced me to this exciting powerful and intricate institution, and I can now say that I am beginning to understand how the European Commission and Parliament and other institutions operate in Europe and in other parts of the world. I paid close interest to the EU's relations with Yemen and I will be following coming events very closely. The EU is one of the most important donors for Yemen, and has held long interest in Yemen's development and progress. A recent example of this interest was the large groups of observers who stayed in Yemen for weeks in order to observe the presidential and local council elections and evaluate the process. The observer's final report should be published soon. Another example is the coming troika meeting this month in Sana'a.

During my visit to Brussels I was also very impressed with the NGO that created the EU. It is called the European Movement and it is a very clear and great example of how civil society and NGOs can play a vital role in the future of nations.

I also visited the Belgium House of Representatives and walked from the blue carpet to the red one admiring the portraits of important people in the history of Belgium. Being media, I was very interested in visiting the Belga News Agency and there will be a lot to say about this at a later stage. During my visit I also met with international organizations such as Amnesty International and Oxfam.

Well, there is so much more to say about the EU and Brussels, but I am yet to digest all the information. There will be more reports to follow.