If being stagiaire in the European Institutions is considered to be an extraordinary experience, this distinction is particularly significant when it is conferred to a Mexican, just as it was awarded to me in 2004, when I was posted at the EuropeAid Cooperation Office.
The experiences resulting from that wonderful Traineeship have been -and continue to be- very significant in my past and present life, considering the following main reasons: After returning from Belgium to Mexico, being a former EU´s stagiaire was highly valued by the Mexican Government. The latter allowed me to be designated Deputy Director of International Cooperation in the Ministry of Education.
During that period, I managed different development projects between Mexico and many EU foreign aid mechanisms (actually, working with my former chiefs and colleagues in Brussels!), in order to improve social conditions in poor Mexican regions. Currently, as professor at the University of Puebla, and considered specialist in EU issues due to a PhD on those topics as well as the Traineeship, I’m responsible of the EU academic themes in this University.
It is important to remark that in addition to teaching and writing down about EU aspects, and with the basis of my experiences acquired in Brussels, I usually convey to my students the achievements and the most significant challenges, not just of the EU politics, but of the European population as well. In short, the stage has provided to my personal and professional profile plenty opportunities and knowledge that now serve as a liaison between the EU, its institutions and European people with their respective counterparts in Mexico.
Definitely, my current professional responsibilities, such as different aspects of my personal life, could not be explained, not even understood, without considering my Traineeship in the European Commission; an unforgettable experience that is now being used to enhance understanding, rapprochement and cooperation between the EU and Mexico.