The German Cultural Semester 2020

It is a tradition at the Joint Research Centre (JRC) in Ispra, Italy, that each EU council presidency activates a group of enthusiastic volunteers of JRC colleagues, family and friends to organise a diverse cultural programme.

In case you did not know, the JRC is a Directorate General of the European Commission and provides EU policy makers with robust data, independent evidence and sound research output. Sounds boring? Well, with more than 2000 staff members, the JRC Ispra site is the biggest of the five sites and home to numerous groups working on big variety of interesting topics mainly in the fields of economy, health, environment, security and nuclear research.  So not boring at all!

However, working day in-day out between the different worlds of science, policy and administration, culture becomes an essential element for our understanding of each other. Working alongside more than 2000 colleagues of different nationalities and switching languages constantly depending to whom you talk to, the JRC in Ispra is a true melting pot where customs, opinions, cultures collide. As a guard once put it “Inside the JRC is Europe, outside is Italy”.

The German semester was planned as a rich programme with music events, exhibitions, festivals, discussion, lectures, theatre visits and excursion to meet with colleagues and friends and share some of what it means to us to be German, our food, our tastes and what Germany means to us. Corona has forced us to change the programme but not to abandon it. Virtual, online, from July to December, our German Semester team is sharing “bites” of our food recipes, wines, Gluehwein, beer, movies, music, songs, language, customs, books, theatres, known and unknown heroes and heroines, flora, fauna, curiosities, …

STAY WITH US, ENJOY – and join into the virtual applause for the team!

Jutta Thielen-del Pozo

Vice President of the German Semester 2020 | JRC Ispra


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