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SIP Forum: My experience as an intern at the European Parliament

My name is Anna Paesano, I have a degree in Environmental and Forestry Agricultural Science with a specialisation in Agricultural and Environmental Biotechnology.

In September 2020, as the world experienced the second wave of the pandemic, I embarked on a fantastic adventure, which started when I got on a plane to Brussels! The SIP Forum had offered me the opportunity to do a four-month internship at the office of the MEP Eleonora Evi (Greens / European Free Alliance).The attraction for me was not just the opportunity to put into practice what I had learned during my studies, but to do this in the service of the European institutions.

I played a dynamic role in the activities of the offices. I observed the work of the European Parliament on the environment, farming, soil, climate change and biodiversity; a highlight was observing the work of the ENVI and PETI committees of which MEP Evi is a member.

Between October 2020 and January 2021 I followed the updates to the CAP, the Green Deal and the related strategies put forward by the European Commission.

I was also able to take part in a stimulating series of conferences on the recognition of the rights of nature organised by MEP Marie Touissant, as well as a number of webinars on carbon farming, the importance of the soil as a carbon sink and the consequences on GHG emissions, the key role of biodiversity, on climate change and its effects on human health.

An exciting moment came at the end of January, when Eleonora Evi’s team and I helped Luca Colapaoli to present – and get accepted – the Petition on soil consumption in the San Donato Milanese area (n. 0148/2020 presented on behalf of GreenSando). It was very interesting to see the EP’s commitment to defending the soil in opposition to the local authorities.

These were the main themes of my internship.

Unfortunately, thanks to the pandemic, the offices of the EP were closed to everyone two weeks after I arrived in Brussels. This meant I was unable to carry out interviews on the theme of the soil with MEPs, which was the main activity on which my internship should have been based. Nonetheless, thanks to remote working I was able to leave with a positive experience from all points of view: training, working and living.

My current plan is to dedicate myself to science, especially soil and earth science, which is closely connected with environmental policy, which is the most important tool for defending the soil and the environment.

I consider myself fortunate to have been able to experience working in a team that is very alert to environmental matters (despite political differences!), and to have been able to count on the support of Mario Catizzone and the Gruppo Suolo Europa.

Thank you to everyone who put their trust in me!

Anna Paesano: anna-paesano@libero.it