Ministerial Meeting of EU Gender Equality Ministers
After seven years, the equality ministers of the EU countries met again for the first time in this constellation to exchange ideas about what could be done together to promote equality politically at the EU level. A great responsibility for a presidency, everything has to work like clockwork with media presence and a tight schedule for the politicians.
Three events were planned, a formal breakfast together with the official representatives from the Western Balkans, Norway and Switzerland, an informal ministerial meeting at EU level, which ended with an official signing by 20 member states of a declaration for the next common steps. At the same time, the “Gender & You” youth conference took place, which was designed to be participatory and from which the ministers were inspired.
Ursula Hillbrand was responsible for the process design and the moderation of the informal ministerial meeting in the format of a pro-action café, as well as the moderation of the final declaration on behalf of the Federal Chancellery. The metamorphosis of the hall was remarkable: from the formal setting of the breakfast meeting, the ministers were invited to the high tables for lunch in order to dive into the depths of the matter with their colleagues, to learn from each other and to formulate the next concrete steps. The numerous uncertain and unpredictable factors that occur in the diplomatic environment were mastered brilliantly and spontaneously. Anyone who needed an informal translation into the six intended languages during the dialogue was given it, and those who preferred to remain in the background as a ministerial companion or who liked to participate in the dialogue could spontaneously decide on one or the other.
Many ministers felt that they had never enjoyed such interactive and meaningful conversation among fellow ministers as they did on this occasion. That gives reason to be proud and to be confident that political meetings can take place differently! And everything starts with trust in the process and in the people involved.
The combination of your open personality and determined aim to enable successful conversations and exchange among the participants made all the difference.
We also appreciated your diligence in designing strategic questions and documenting outcomes. In addition, you were available for any detailed questions by the organising team, which made my services very confident throughout the preparation process and the event itself.