EWDA Student Workshop participant and French vet student Sofia Mlala attended the European Commission Veterinary Students Seminar and wildlife conference in Brussels in May. Once a year, the EU invites one vet student per vet school from all EU countries to attend the seminar.
Read more about the event in Sofia’s report:
On May 4th/5th 2015, the European Commission invited one student representative of each veterinary school of the European Union and Accession countries to attend a Veterinary Students Seminar in Brussels. During this seminar, the functioning of the European Institutions was explained, with a special focus on the European Commission and its executive role. In the headquarters of the European Commission, we were told about the activities of the Directorate General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE). The presentations all illustrated the diversity of roles that veterinarians can play in these organisations. We discussed the main issues the European Commission deals with regarding animal health, animal welfare, food safety and trade. The speakers were of various backgrounds, mostly, but not exclusively from the European Commission itself. There were also speakers from the OIE, EFSA, FVE and other European organisations.
Time flew by and the seminar was pretty intense, but we rapidly realised that we were getting to understand the organisation of the European Union which seemed so obscure before attending the seminar. It was also a good occasion for us to discover the city of Brussels and to meet veterinary students from almost all EU countries and accession countries.
This year, the participants of the seminar were fortunate that the Seminar coincided with the Wildlife Conference, organised by the European Commission (Directorate General for Health and Food Safety in cooperation with the Directorate General for the Environment) on May 5th to which we were all invited to as part of the Seminar programme. This conference was aimed at the authorities of EU member states, international organisations, scientists, industry stakeholders and NGOs. Its goal was to address the main stakes connected to wildlife in Europe: the role it plays in the transmission of zoonoses, how it is being considered in the European Commission’s decisions and in the Animal Health Law which will come into effect soon, etc. It was a great opportunity to make interesting contacts and to learn about the way the Commission triggers discussions among the stakeholders of the member states to help them orientate their policies.
To all veterinary students, who wish to see more of the scope of their future profession, and of the potential subjects of work and reflection, I recommend to contact the deans of your veterinary schools and ask to participate in this great event, as every EU vet schools is invited to send one student representative to the event.
Contact information for further questions : sofiamlala<at>gmail.com