The one who was connecting people


08:00 . We are working behind closed doors, yet we are the first contact between European citizens and the European Parliament. We have 500 million clients so to speak – because anyone can call the institution. Sometimes people are rather aggressive. Within the thirty four years that I have been doing this job, I have noticed how people have gotten more and more aggressive over the phone. More stressed, perhaps.

The new generation is so disconnected as well – they are all using Whatsapp, Snapchat and their smartphones to communicate with each other, yet surprisingly this makes them even more disconnected. I prefer calling people or seeing them. I guess I’m from the older generation.


What I love is hearing the voices of other people, I am always switching between different languages and always interacting with other human beings.

I love connecting people.


(Lieven works at the switchboard of the European Parliament, which handles an average of 152 000 calls per year.)

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