MobiliseSME Exchange Series: Learning About the EU between Belgium and Hungary.
Friday, June 23rd, 2017
The MobiliseSME exchange program for employees of companies and, at times, organisations can provide participants with the chance to reach many different objectives. After hearing about the project from the Hungarian MobiliseSME project partner, PATOSZ, the Hungarian trade association representing the employers in the hospitality and catering sector, VIMOSZ, saw it as a chance to get to learn more about the way in which the European Union works, particularly in relation to policies relevant to the activities of its members.
To reach this goal, VIMOSZ set up an exchange with a partner in Brussels: Landmark Europe, a small company that provides consulting services to organisations that want to understand and work with the European policy-making world. The two associations were already well acquainted with each other, as the latter manages an umbrella organisation grouping together all the national associations of employers in the catering sector in Europe, of which VIMOSZ is a member.
Mrs Dóra Szarvas, an employee of the Hungarian organisation, has now worked for two weeks at the offices of Landmark Europe in Brussels. She worked closely with Mr Rocco Renaldi, the consultancy’s director and an expert of the EU world in Brussels. Mr Renaldi introduced her to the ways in which a trade organisation at European level works and to the most common practices and procedures in interacting with the European institutions to make sure the perspectives of trade sectors is taken into account.
Mrs Szarvas was very enthusiastic about her time in Brussels: “I am getting what I expect form this exchange. My colleagues here involve me in all their activities and meetings. I am not just getting acquainted with the functioning of Landmark Europe, but I am learning a lot about international relations, the European Union and the way lobbying functions here”.
Also Mr Renaldi thought the exchange was very beneficial for both, as he believes that, if his partners in other countries know more about his work, their collaboration can tighten up, becoming even more productive and efficient. “I think MobiliseSME is a great project. SMEs are the backbone of the economy but they often don’t have the resources to interconnect between one EU’s Member State and another. It is great to have an initiative that allows for this kind of exchange”.