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Open day at the EU – come on in - 04/06/2008

Activities for children at the European Commission

EU institutions open their doors on Saturday, 7 June, inviting people to discover what lies behind the Union’s façade.

You may just want to walk down the long corridors and see inside the enormous meeting rooms in EU buildings. Or try out the president's chair in the commission's meeting room. Maybe you'd like to know what the staff really do there? Well, now's your chance. Come and visit the EU institutions – you may find out it's not all complicated laws and bureaucracy.

The open day, with plenty of activities for young and old, is a popular tradition, already 13 years old. The focal point will be the commission headquarters, the Berlaymont building, at the heart of the European district in Brussels. It's the base for thousands of European civil servants, and 27 commissioners – from all EU countries.

People who work for the commission will be there to guide you and explain what they do. They will have concrete examples of what is done with EU money and the kind of results achieved.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the customs union, so customs officers from several countries will be on site with an interactive event to explain what their work at European border-crossings is all about.

Outside the Berlaymont, you can find activities for children. There will be music and face-painting, a mini-farm with animals and rides in a horse-drawn carriage, as well as presentations of new technology in agriculture.

The annual open day aims to promote more open politics by showing citizens what the EU does, where and how. Alongside the commission, other institutions in Brussels will be open, too. The events will run from 10am to 6pm.

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