A Week in my Life
Monday 12 July
I started with a morning meeting with my Cabinet (my staff of seven advisers), and then moved onto to several policy meetings with companies involved in telecoms and the internet and broadcasting.
In the evening I spoke with a group of young innovators at the Parliament. One of my favourite Ministers, Vincent Van Quickenborne (Belgium), or Minister Q as I like to call him, was on the panel. But the most exciting thing in my job is seeing a group of people who are really passionate about their businesses, but also not afraid to share their ideas and experiences. That's what I saw tonight. Europe needs more of this, and I was pleased to be able to say I would be their friend and champion where I could.
Tuesday 13 July
European Internet Foundation engagement tonight. This group really took innovation seriously – even a month before this event to celebrate their 10th anniversary people were voting online about what topics I should cover in my speech.
This was great – more than 9,000 people looked at the survey and a few hundred filled it in. This is much more interesting that me sitting down with my staff and making up a speech. I got my chance to turn the tables by asking the audience questions about what they would do to be partners in the Digital Agenda for Europe. But at the end of the night, I think it is true we all had an interesting time.
In the afternoon I joined my colleague Vice-President Tajani to inaugurate a new High Level Group. Its members are distinguished scientists and industrial leaders and they are charged with making proposals on how to get Europe in the driver's seat on Key Enabling Technologies.
Wednesday 14 July
It is always strange to give speeches early in the morning – I think, who are these very enthusiastic people. Are they here for me or the croissants? Today it was the Small and Medium Enterprises Union of the European People's Party that I was speaking to.
It is also always a pleasure to speak about and to small business people. These businesses are the backbone of our economy – where the jobs come from, where the great innovations are made. If we don't get SMEs digital, then we can't do the digital agenda. I was especially impressed by Peter Jungen, a German who chairs the Centre on Capitalism and Society at Columbia University.
Thursday 15 July
This is me filming some video messages in the morning. It was great to get some new ideas out there. We spend lots of time talking to experts and representatives of certain groups and companies, but I think it's also important to talk directly to citizens, which is what these videos were about. You will be able to see them on my website's home page over the second half of 2010.
In the afternoon I had a three hour meeting – one of the most important of the week – with the senior managers of my Directorate-General (department) at the Commission. We covered everything from upcoming announcements, summits and taskforces, to future plans on issues like how to increase trust and security in our ICT networks.
Friday 16 July
Some meetings cancelled – that is life; people also leaving for summer holidays now.
But a great meeting took place with the stagaires (interns) of my Directorate-General. No surprise that they are passionate about Europe but I heard many interesting perspectives and angles on our work with technology. The thought I liked best was the idea that "being European means treating people the same no matter where they come from." Also one guy identified that the Directorate could have an instant messenger system to allow low-level discussion without annoying emails being needed. Glad to say we are officially looking at those options now. Very productive.
Weekend 17-18 July
I spent the weekend with my son and grand-daughters. This was a special birthday treat for me, and I feel very lucky and proud to have them in my life.