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Those were the opening lines by H.E. M. Etienne de Gonneville, the French Ambassador to Sweden, when Jessica Nilsson Williams, CEO of Mundus, and I went to the Europahuset to listen to the French Ambassador present the French priorities for their presidency of the Council of Ministers. Cool, calm and collected, Jessica led me through the building and gave me a brief update on the agenda for the evening. We were met with a buffé of coffee, tea, juices and of course – croissants. The presentation was just about to take place and we quickly found two seats and sat down. In front of us stood French Ambassador Etienne de Gonneville, the Head of the Commission in Sweden, Christian Danielsson, as well as the EU-expert Annika Ström Melin who moderated the discussion. The event was broadcasted live on numerous social media platforms, and as the event was about to begin the camera crew gave us a short countdown to let the host of the evening know when to start. With every countdown, the French Ambassador joked about how each countdown was followed with a sense of nervousness, and the relatability made us all laugh a little.
In the hour that followed, French Ambassador Etienne de Gonneville gave a presentation on the French priorities; Relance, Puissance, Appartenance, and what these meant for their presidency of the Council of Ministers. The presentation was followed by a discussion and Q&A session between Etienne de Gonneville and Christian Danielsson, moderated by Annika Ström Melin. I found myself soaking up all of the information and without realizing how much time had passed, the event was over. Jessica and I got up and I swiftly followed along as she spoke and introduced me to Etienne de Gonneville, Christian Danielsson and other ambassadors in the audience. I found myself smiling all the way home, grateful for the opportunity to take part in the event and excited for the time ahead.
Speaking of the time ahead, we have just entered an exciting year for Mundus. Not only have the Swedish Government removed all of the restrictions which finally allows us to meet with our readers in person, but it is also the Swedish election year. Lucky for me, I would say. In the days that followed the event at the Europe House, I was given the task of writing a scene-setter for the 2022 elections in which I look at the past and the future of Swedish politics and analyze the possible outcome of the forthcoming election. Although I just finished writing my Master’s thesis and up until now have felt as if I could not possibly write another word, writing the scene-setter was a piece of cake and something that I would gladly do again. I guess that’s what happens when you work with content and people that inspire you, for example my clever co-authors who contributed to the report with their own interesting topics. If you, as I, wish to make a jump start into the 2022 elections, you can find the published report here.
Although my time as an intern at Mundus only started a few weeks ago, I’ve quickly realised that the work we do at Mundus adheres to one of the French priorities; it gives you a sense of belonging. It’s like an exclusive club, one that you’ve until now only witnessed from the outside looking in, but all of a sudden you are right there on the inside looking out. In the spider web of networks you somehow find yourself right in the centre where the web is being weaved. I’m excited to see what the upcoming spring has in store for Mundus and myself.