Sep 30

Virtual Visits Journey

The coronavirus pandemic and ensuing lockdowns have had devastating consequences for millions of people around the world. The pandemic has also forced companies and organisations to rethink the way they work and to adapt to the new normal of post covid-19.
The EUVP has been no exception. In fact, the EUVP’s core business of welcoming young promising leaders from outside the EU to learn more about the European Institutions has been brought to a halt by strict travel restrictions worldwide designed to curb the spread of the virus.  
 
However, the EUVP has been determined to rise to this unexpected challenge and continue to offer young leaders the opportunity to meet and discuss policy issues with Members of the EU Institutions and EU officials. As a result, the team has embraced increased demand for digital and online communication. The EUVP now offers its selected participants for 2020 the opportunity to participate in virtual visits via video-conferencing tools.  
 
We have been able to organise visits over one or two weeks and comprising:  

  • A welcoming meeting with the EUVP Head of Unit, Mr Piotr Bartoszewicz-Malicki and a designated EUVP Programme Organiser;  
  • A pack of EU documents relevant to each participant’s thematic interests;
  • A series of four (minimum) one-to-one meetings with EU officials with expertise in the participants’ policy interests;
  • An evaluation meeting with the EUVP team to discuss the outcomes of the virtual visit and avenues of future cooperation.  

 
It is important to note that the participation in a virtual visit does not disqualify the visitors from taking part in an in-person visit to Brussels as initially planned before the crisis emerged. Importantly, each participant also has the opportunity to take part in a range of communication and networking activities upon completing his/her virtual visit.  
 
The EUVP is delighted to report that it has already organised over 25 virtual visits in June and July 2020. As the situation remains uncertain, virtual visits will remain our primary vehicle to keep the EU’s door open to our audience. It is a necessary step to keep our participants, interlocutors and the wider public safe. However, we cannot wait for the day we will, once again, be able to receive in-person our participants while retaining a virtual approach to sustain long-lasting relationships.