By Bobby Lang
Today we had the great privilege to visit the European Union Council of Ministers. The European Union alternates presidency between all member countries every six months, Ireland is currently in office. The European Union consist of 27 countries presently with Croatia and Turkey soon to be added. Having 27 countries, numerous languages and cultures exist and must be accommodated.
The alternating of presidency also can be difficult with so many countries. I found the most interesting part of the EU is the fact the presidency is given to every member country. From Germany, a powerful and experienced country with over 80 million in population, to Malta, the small island country off the coast of Italy with only 400 thousand people in population. Malta is actually soon to take office and currently being consulted and brought into EU council meetings at a higher level to help make the transition into office.
When I spoke with a women named Dominique with the EU, she talked about how different it will be with Malta in office. On certain topics of discussion in council such as tractors, Malta has little knowledge and experience with dealing with something that is so common to other member countries. Little cultural differences such as this can sometimes cause communication problems between counties.
The official language of the EU is English with strong use of French. This helps when alternating countries, even though there are numerous languages spoken within the countries of the EU, there is an official language to make internal communication much easier.
The EU has found social media to communicate their message with their public. I could not find an official EU Facebook page actually managed by the EU, however we were told there was one. The EU twitter page is used much more often and can be followed for current news and EU activity.
This post was originally published here.