European Union External Action

Ireneusz's field experience in ''most fascinating and yet to not fully discovered part of Europe - the Balkans''

30/09/2015 - 00:00
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I work as JPD at the EU Delegation in Belgrade in European Integration and Economic Section assigned to the European Commission staff. From the very beginning of my placement I have contributed in analysis, monitoring and reporting of developments in Serbia in particular related to the ACQUIS Communautaire negotiations chapters: right of establishment and freedom to provide services, free movement of capital, company law, financial services, fisheries, trans-European networks, consumer protection and persons with disabilities. Dealing with such a broad scope of negotiations chapters allowed me to experience the complexity of the process.

Ireneusz in his office in Belgrade working on negotiations chapters.

Possibility of combining my academic interests with professional experience was the main impulse for me when deciding to apply for aforementioned position. It enabled me to face the idea of European integration in every day practice. My daily work is focused on providing support to the Delegations work and Serbia accession process to the EU including research, reporting and assessment. Moreover, I participate in different categories of public events like conferences or discussion panels, as well as relevant meetings and working groups connected mainly with economic reforms in perspective of Serbia future accession to the EU.

Beyond the development of analytical skills, one of the major personal challenges on this position is establishing and maintaining good relations with particular counterparts: local authorities, business communities, NGOs and other representatives of international organisations. Furthermore, I am able to experience various attempts to recover Serbian economy, which main aim is to establish both functional market economy and the rule of law. Without any doubt - having been born in Central Europe, being able to experience (to a certain extent) similar changes in my region, gives me a unique opportunity to compare the way those processes are being handled. What we need to keep in mind is that for the whole Western Balkan region it is even longer and more challenging due to necessary reconciliation between different nations. Therefore the main advantage of working for the EU Delegation in Belgrade is field work, which gives me also many opportunities to interact with various cultures. In addition I would like to underline the meaning of given opportunity to work in entirely helpful group of competent colleagues.

Summing up, working on the position of Junior Professional was an excellent and challenging training as well as improvement of my own skills and abilities which will be definitely helpful in future professional career. Being a witness and participant of the EU enlargement process helped me to gain a unique experience in the most fascinating and yet not fully discovered part of Europe – the Balkans. 

Ireneusz Krause from Poland – European Commission JPD in Serbia 

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