Blog - GMIT Business Students on EU Tour
Date: Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Day 5: European Commission, Brussels
Friday, 20th of January was the final day of our EU trip. We left Leuven on a clear winter's morning to visit the capital of Belgium, Brussels.
After arriving in Brussels, we visited the European Commission where we met Mr Mark Comer. He is a member of the speakers' team, DG for Communications. We attended a presentation by Mark in the "Char Duri" room.
The presentation comprised of two parts:
- The European Commission: the political executive of the European Union
- The European Single Market
In the first part, Mark spoke about the basic structure of the EU, and the financial budget of different sectors of the EU. In the second part, he explained the importance of all 27 Member States complying with EU law, and the election process. After his presentation, we had an opportunity to ask him our questions.
After our visit of the European Commission, we went by Metro to Brussels City Centre where we had two hours to explore the city.
Author: Business student Janka Krempaska
Day 4: WW2 Cemetery, Luxembourg
From our visit to the Luxembourg WW2 American Cemetery today, we found great insight and meaning as to why the European Union was formed.
This realisation links greatly to our visits to the EU Institutions over our trip, as it emphasise the real significance of the EU - to assure peace and never allow such tragedy to occur again. Despite our cultural differences, we should unite as one, with one common ground, and protect our citizens.
As young prosperous students with our whole lives ahead of us, visiting this cemetery full of people the same age as us was both saddening and insightful, as it gave great perspective as to how fortunate we really are. This sense of relief and comfort is somewhat taken for granted today as the only thing that differentiates us and the people buried there is the protection from our membership of the EU.
The opportunities granted to us by the EU today are endless. The privilege of attending college and obtaining a degree, and the freedom to then travel and experience the world and everything it has to offer is something we have realised we should never take for granted.
After our tour, everyone on the trip gave a small contribution to Scott andthe friendly staff at the Visitor Centre as a mark of honour and respect. They will purchase flowers in our name, and in the name of GMIT.
This evening we are en route to Leuven and tomorrow we will visit the EU Commission in Brussels.
Authors: First Year Bachelor of Business (Hons) students Sarah Ryan, Shannon Brady, Lorraine Hardiman & Tara Reilly
Day 3: European Court of Auditors, Luxembourg
We left the hotel in Strasbourg at 8am this morning. After a three hour trip, we arrived into Luxembourg shortly after 11am.
Our Institution of the day was the European Court of Auditors. We arrived to tea and coffee which was set up in the lobby.
We were then called into the main Conference Room where we were treated to a presentation by Mr Kevin Cardiff who is the Irish Representative in the Court of Auditors. He gave the group an insight into what the European Court of Auditors does on a daily basis.
Kevin Cardiff also went through all the tasks and responsibilities of the European Court of Auditors (ECA) and how they carry out these tasks. He described how the ECA are an Institution that "don't operate the EU, but watch how the EU operates".
After the presentation, Kevin took questions from the group. The group was then brought out to the lobby where we were given food and beverages to conclude the day.
A big thanks to Kevin Cardiff and his team for a great day. #gmitEUtrip
Author: Student Daire Thomas
Day 2: European Parliament, Strasbourg
We began our morning in Strasbourg before we boarded the bus to the European Parliament. There, we lunched in Le Bar General, the visitors restaurant, with our sponsor Luke Ming Flanagan.
Olav, the press correspondant, brought us to The Gallery where he briefed us on the inner workings of the Parliament.
We then went to a meeting room where we met MEP Mairead McGuinness and Phil Hogan, the EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development. They touched on various topics such as Brexit, water charges, local politics and agriculture.
We were then greeted by MEPs Luke Ming Flanagan and Marian Harkin. Three of the second year Bachelor of Business students, Aisling, Kevin and Michael, gave a presentation on the impact of the EU on the Irish legal system.
In between Marian and Luke voting for the new President of the EU, we had a Question & Answers session with them.
For the rest of the evening, we will be socialising with Luke and his team over dinner and drinks.
Author: Student Shannon Mortimer
Day 1: European Central Bank, Frankfurt
Had wonderful evening exploring Frankfurt yesterday followed by a few quiet ones at Eiserner Dahn.
Up bright and early all bushy eyed and ready for the European Central Bank (ECB) we arrived to light refreshments before being seated for a presentation by Ronan Sheridan, Principal Press Officer, Directorate General.
We gained an insight to the evolution of the ECB from ECSC, a review of the Monetary Policy to reach their objective of price stability and informing us about new regulatory requirements and assessment groups set up to supervise the banks.
Great day was had touring ECB now onto the next destination Strasburg.
Everyone is eager and ready to explore the Parliament kindly sponsored by Luke Ming Flanagan.
City 1 complete city 2 here we come #GmitEUTour 😁
Author: Aine McCormack, 4th Year Finance and Economics student
GMIT School of Business has 60 Business students and four lecturers visiting four EU institutions (ECB, EU Court of Auditors, EU Parliament and EU Commission) in four countries (Germany, France, Luxembourg and Belgium) in January 2017.
The group will be having receptions with EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan, Ireland's representative on the Court of Auditors, Kevin Cardiff and three EU MEPs, Luke Flanagan, Mairead McGuinness and Marian Harkin.