20: 35. “ I never leave the office before 8 or 9 pm and on weekends I spend time with my children in Charleroi. This means I have two lives : my life as a father of four and my life in Brussels which is pretty much working non stop. But hey – this was my choice.”
Julien is head of cabinet of the president at the European Committee of the Regions.*
“ You know, I was never the brightest student at school – but I was always aware of it, which was the crucial part. Gradually, I started being more dedicated. I guess this was the time when I started considering myself as an adult.
By the end of college, I enrolled in criminology and I undertook an internship with the police of Charleroi. I liked it a lot, but I have to admit I did not feel ‘solid’ enough emotionally and psychologically to do this kind of job. It saddens me to see the police being attacked or underrated by some, because they are doing a really difficult job. Can you imagine the amount of social distress these people are confronted to on a daily basis?
I learned the importance of fostering positive human relations in the working environment. As head of cabinet I do have a certain authority but I chose not to use it – I consider that we are part of a team and that each individual has an important part to play. I want my colleagues to be happy.
I think this style of management works well. Or maybe it doesn’t. I guess you’ll have to ask my my collaborators or better: my children.
*The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) is an EU advisory body composed of locally and regionally elected representatives from all 28 Member States, who are then able to share their opinion on EU legislation impacting these regions and cities.