A Week Out – A Tour to Brussels

Reports can be found by clicking on the days/dates.

The main aim of the short trip is to get some (further) impression(s) of various aspects of European social policy (making). The objectives are


to get known of some links (and missing links) between various, seemingly isolated activities


to get some impressions in particular of poverty and initiatives to combat poverty in different settings


simply to have a little bit fun, to experience the joy and fun of the European capital – and as well that the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence.






The programme

Saturday, April 5th 2003

Departure from Shannon airport

Sunday, April 4th 2003

Living in Brussels - general sightseeing, museum and hopefully a lovely day in Spring



(Tintin and Snowy - probably the most famous Brussels's figures; however, politically this is not necessarily a good sign)

Monday, April 5th 2003

11.00 a.m. - rue Joseph II - meeting with Denis Crowley, Social Inclusion Unit of the European Commission

2.00 p.m. - meeting at the Palais de Justice and leaving from there to the Marolles, a quartier en Brussels which is largely disadvantaged, in which we can find as well several community work/community development projects. The tour which will include a visit and description of one of the key NGOs in the area and a walk around the area.

Tuesday, April 8th 2003

10.00 a.m. - visiting a project of the Mouvement International ATD Quart Monde

The work is concerned with people living in extreme poverty. One major concern is to open new spaces for the people concerned, spaces which are usually entirely inaccessible. The work starts from the premise that living in poverty dos not mean and should not mean that these people loose their character as human subjects, as authors of their own life's.

Afternoon: Perhaps we can sit at the Grand Place for a good cup of coffee? 

But there are so many other nice places to go.



Wednesday, April 9th 2003

10.00 a.m. 17 Rue du Londre, Office of the European Social Action Network (ESAN)        

- meeting with representatives of various EU-NGOs working in the social field and together organised in the Social Platform. Namely:

Sorcha from CECHODAS - le Comité européen de Coordination de l'Habitat Social       

Vera from ENAR - European Network against Racism


Eva from EWL - the European Women's Lobby                            


We will have the opportunity to talk about questions of how particular interests of these groups and problems of poverty (the focus of the course) are and can be linked in European work. As well, it will be interesting to hear about the work in such European NGOs.

2.00 to 4.00 p.m. in the Building of the European Parliament - meeting with representatives of the Committee of the Regions.


We will have the opportunity to talk about the role and function of this institutions which is the youngest of the European Institutions.

5.00 p.m. 17 rue du Londre, Office of the European Social Action Network (ESAN) - meeting with Regis Verley, a journalist who joins us from Lille and will talk about the work of "social reporting" - the provision of information on issues around social policy in the EU, by the EU and as well on social issues in the EU.


Thursday, April 10th 2003

9.30 a.m. rue de Pascale - meeting with Bernd-Otto Kuper, a representative of the European Round Table of Charitable Social Welfare Associations               

and Ute Mueller who joins us from the European Parliament

This meeting will be on different perspectives of lobbying.

3.00 p.m. - meeting with Fintan, director of the European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN)

Friday, April 11th 2003 return to Cork in the afternoon