The Belgian Federal Public Service (FPS) Social Security is currently experiencing an historic event. For the first time, three countries – Spain, Belgium and Hungary – officially have to prepare the Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) together. Therefore, the Belgian FPS Social Security is not only at the heart of the Belgian Presidency, but given the recent institutional reforms, the team is also working in a truly European context.

With the signing of the Lisbon Treaty, which came into force on 1 December 2009, the practice of a Trio Presidency was formalised. To provide continuity to the work of the EU, the countries participating in the rotating Presidency have a legal obligation to set up a common work programme together to ensure intergovernmental collaboration.

Consequently, during an 18 month period, Spain, Belgium and Hungary will actively co-operate to ensure continuity in their policies. For the second half of 2010, Belgium will hold the Presidency of the Council of the EU and last week I travelled to Madrid to discuss with our Spanish colleagues how our conferences and events can best be set up in order to maximise results. At a later stage, I will also be increasing our contact with Hungary to ensure the smooth transition of the Council.

It soon became clear that, given the intergovernmental collaboration required across three countries over an 18 month period, Huddle was a valuable tool.  Closer intergovernmental collaboration implies more travelling. As the team cannot meet our colleagues in Spain and Hungary very often, it is incredibly important for our meetings to be as efficient and productive as possible.

With Huddle, I have access to all of my documents, at anytime, from any location. I don’t have to carry bags full of paper with me. In just a few clicks, I can show the latest version of my work to everyone in a meeting. If a document is modified, my colleagues can easily notify me. This is not only convenient, but also reassuring during busy periods. As the most modern administration in Belgium, the Federal Public Service Social Security has an excellent track record when it comes to using innovative technology and our use of Huddle is a good example of this.

My favourite management quote is: ‘Getting things done, and well done’. This corresponds to the general philosophy at my workplace. At the FPS Social Security, we use the best tools to achieve our goals and we are constantly looking for ways to improve the efficiency of our services. Huddle has proved to be the ideal tool for organising the Belgian Presidency. With the launch just a few days away, the team’s workload will intensify and travel will become more frequent. We are all happy to see that Huddle will support our work and play an important role during the next six months.


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