Many students are really keen to get internships at European institutions and one of our recent graduates, Antonis Kyriakou has been fortunate to secure just such an opportunity. He has shared his experience of the application process and the work he is now doing. Over to Anton:
“Undertaking my Masters in International Economic Law sparked my desire to gain a deeper knowledge of how decisions are taken at a multilateral level. The Council of Europe, (as the leading organisation promoting human rights, the rule of law and democracy nationally and internationally) attracted my interest. I was really keen to get a better understanding of the operation of this intergovernmental institution and applied for a role.
I am a Cypriot and during my internship Cyprus will be taking over the Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. This makes the experience even more interesting. It is particularly important for me because Cyprus will be prioritising the promotion of the rights and freedoms for all people without any discrimination. It will support democratic citizenship and the supremacy of the rule of Law.
Securing the internship
I applied for the internship five months in advance, via an online system, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus. I had to send my application form with all the relevant supporting documents to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus. I particularly wanted to be placed in the Cyprus Diplomatic Mission at the Council of Europe.
I had the right skills and experience to be selected. I was able to demonstrate my motivation through my engagement in activities of an international nature. I had been the European Law Student Association’s International Delegate on the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. I had also participated in the 7th Model UN Asia- European Meeting.
What I doing?
Currently I am at the early stages of my internship at the Permanent Representation of Cyprus to the Council of Europe. I get to attend meetings of the Committee of the Permanent Representatives. Recently I attended the Minister’s Deputies weekly meeting. I have also been present at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (which consists of the 318 members of Parliament of the 47 Member Countries). This Assembly is extremely interesting become important people often address the parliamentarians. Among them is the President of the French Republic, Mr. Francois Hollande, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Turkey Mr. Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and The Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany Mr. Frank Walter Steinmeier.
I produce formal reports of the Council of Europe meetings for the Republic of Cyprus. I discuss my drafts with my mentor and we decide together which information should be sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus in Nicosia to keep them informed about the conclusions and results of those meetings. I am also conducting background research on policy areas and I keep members of the Representation informed about current legal and political issues of national, regional or international significance.”