It has now been three weeks since I began my internship at the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom. Over the last week my tasks at the Friedrich Naumann Foundation have included conducting research on the current state of democracy in Tunisia, as well as researching recent developments on the Safe Harbor Agreement.
On Monday I attended the event, “Digital Values: Advancing Technology, Preserving Fundamental Rights.” The event was hosted by Carnegie Europe and featured a panel of experts, including Brad Smith, President and Chief Legal Officer of Microsoft, and Vera Jourová, European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers, and Gender Equality. The panel discussed challenges faced by the growing European technology sector, in particular the Safe Harbor Agreement, which if implemented, will provide uniform regulation on the exchange of data between the United States of America and the European Union. After the event, I attended a cocktail evening at the Microsoft Innovation Center in Brussels.
The Friedrich Naumann Foundation’s role in promoting democracy is particularly important in light of recent instability in Tunisia. Growing dissatisfaction with high unemployment rates and a poor economy has resulted in protests against the current government’s inability to address the problem. At least two people have lost their lives. Over the third week of my internship, I have researched the recent developments in Tunisia, with the aim of hosting an educational event at the Friedrich Naumann Foundation in mid-February. The Friedrich Naumann Foundation’s work in Tunisia consists of providing education and support for Tunisian advocates of liberal values. Our work is invaluable in ensuring the fledgling democracy continues as an example of peaceful democratic change in a region plagued by the chaotic aftermath of the Arab Spring.
On Saturday, I traveled to Paris. I spent my weekend sampling the delicious French cuisine, viewing the art in the Louvre museum, and visiting landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe.
After an eventful third week in, I look forward to more exciting opportunities in the fourth week of my internship in Brussels.