(Photos courtesy of Andrew Seal and Patrice Senécal)

We caught up with CAJ-EU Young Journalist Fellows Andrew Seal, Patrice Senécal and Kyle Greenham while they were on the one-week study tour in Brussels. Catch a glimps of their experience in the vignettes below. The next edition of the EU-Canada Young Journalist Fellowship will be launched in the spring of 2019.

CAJ-EU Young Journalism Fellow Andrew Seal: 

I’m sitting in a large room at the European Council, one of more than 2,000 accredited journalists for the EU summit on Brexit and Migration. Patrice Senecal and I got accreditation last minute after the press officer’s recommendation during our tour of this building two days ago. Being here with reporters from all over the world and the leaders of Europe has truly been a tremendous journalistic and personal experience. We entered the building last night just as Theresa May arrived, immediately finding ourselves in a chaotic horde of journalists jockeying for the best spot in the scrum; cameras were dropped, people fell over wires. Some got the shot they wanted – which appeared in BBC, The Guardian, and NYT headlines within half an hour – others walked away shaking their heads. We’re off now to a session on migration policy, but plan to be back again tonight as soon as our program is finished.

CAJ-EU Young Journalism Fellow Patrice Senécal:

(anglais à suivre / English to follow)

Le hasard fait parfois bien les choses. Le voyage-étude pour jeunes journaliste organisé par la délégation de l’Union européenne au Canada, auquel je participe, tombe à pic: cette semaine sera cruciale pour le futur des relations entre l’Union européenne et le Royaume-Uni. Je suis d’ores et déjà aux premières loges pour assister à un important moment de l’histoire de l’UE.

Depuis quelques jours, les yeux sont rivés vers un sommet qui se tiendra au Conseil européen, mercredi et jeudi, où le Brexit sera au coeur des discussions. Les 27 leaders de chaque État membre et la première ministre britannique, Theresa May, se rencontreront à Bruxelles. L’enjeu pour les deux parties est de  s’entendre sur un accord de sortie, alors que le divorce officiel est prévu pour le 29 mars. Après une fin de semaine d’intenses négociations, aucun accord ne semble toutefois être conclu en vue du sommet. La question irlandaise est la principale pierre d’achoppement. 

On redoute principalement le « no deal », qui mènerait vers le scénario d’un Brexit « dur » — et vers des conséquences économiques non négligeables pour le Royaume-Uni, pour qui l’UE reste son principal partenaire commercial.

C’est donc dire que nous arrivons à Bruxelles au moment où l’avenir des relations entre l’UE et le R-U sont sur le point de se jouer. Et j’aurai la chance d’assister à ce sommet historique.

Le mercredi 17 octobre, j’aurai également la chance d’assister à un débat sur l’avenir de la coopération internationale de l’Union européenne entre Bill Gates et la Haute représentante de l’UE, Frederica Mogherini. Bref, la semaine ne fait que commencer et elle s’annonce riche en expériences journalistiques. Les sujets d’article ne manqueront certainement pas.


Fate is sometime a great provider. The study tour for young journalists organized by the European Union delegation in Canada, which started on Monday, is during a crucial week for the future relations between the European Union and the United Kingdom. And I am now at the front line of historical Council.

In recent days, a lot of media attention is given to a summit to be held at the European Council on Wednesday and Thursday, where the question of Brexit will be at the center of discussions. The 27 leaders of the EU and British Prime Minister Theresa May will meet in Brussels for talks about this important issue. But while the UK’s official exit from the EU is scheduled for March 29th, nobody knows what will happen in the next months and if London and Brussels could reach an exit agreement before this date.

After an intense weekend of negotiations between the two sides, the no deal agreement is still a possible scenario — which would lead to a "hard" Brexit - and significant economic consequences for Britain and also for EU. The question of the Irish border is one of the main contentious issue.

That means I arrive in Brussels at a time when relations between the EU and the R-U are about to be played out. Plus, I will have the chance to attend to this historic summit.

And on Wednesday, 17 October at the European Parliament, I will also have the chance to attend a debate on the future of the European Union's international cooperation between Bill Gates and the High Representative of the EU, Frederica Mogherini. The next days promises to be rich in unforgettable journalistic experience. One thing is sure: we should not be short of stories at the end of the week.

CAJ-EU Young Journalism Fellow Kyle Greenham:

Entering the field of journalism at this period in time has brought its share of challenges and uncertainties, with major changes in media, communication and the world’s political landscape. But opportunities like the EU-Canada study tour in Brussels reveal the unique experiences, insights and rewards that only this industry can provide.

Thus far, I’ve had the opportunity to explore the ins and outs of the European Union. Visiting the institutions many buildings, departments and personnel, I've been offered an informative and in-depth view into this geopolitical world at the most upclose level.

I’ve gained knowledge and contacts from the key players in international trade, immigration and politics. Coming from my background in rural reporting, I hope my work here will reflect the dynamic relationship between globalization and its effects at the local level. 

I’m grateful for the experience and all who were involved in making it a reality.

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