Text by Marta Santoboni. Photo by Nadim Baker.
Lucile Collin is from Paris and studied in four different European countries. She is completing a Master’s degree in European Affairs at Sciences Po Paris and currently works as trainee in Margrethe Vestager’s DG COMP*.
“In my unit, we work on antitrust in the Internet and high-tech sector, including the Google Shopping and Android cases. Competition law is a way to make sure that big companies do not abuse their position of near monopoly and that the market remains fair and accessible to new entrants.
“I am a fan of Commissioner Vestager! She had a meeting with the trainees once, where she answered all of our questions. She came to another all-staff meeting wearing sneakers and was approachable and relaxed. She is amazing at communication, because what we do at DG COMP is very technical and yet she manages to make it understandable for the wider public. I am a feminist and she is a role model for me.”
Since the age of 14, Lucile has been actively volunteering in CISV International, an organisation promoting inter-cultural friendship founded by an American psychologist right after World War II.
“The basic idea was ‘if all children from the world could meet when they are 11, they would never wage war against each other when they grow up’, which is similar to the idea of the EU and the Erasmus Programme. It organises summer villages for kids from different countries, to meet each other and learn about each other’s cultures. For me, it was the first opening to international cooperation and peace. It is what triggered me to study politics. That is where I learnt to speak English and Spanish – more than at school – and it’s where I learnt about others and built my ideals about international peace. It really changed my life. Thanks to the programme, there will still be a generation that looks beyond national borders and understands global challenges in these times of rising nationalism and populism.”
Besides her personal and professional interests, she loves climbing (and yet, she is afraid of pigeons).
“I think it’s an activity that really taught me to push my boundaries because it’s very physically challenging. When you think that you can’t go on anymore and you are there with your arms trembling, you think ‘I am gonna fall. I just can’t make it.’ But you have to make it and the only way is to keep going up. And you discover that you have possibilities inside yourself that you had never dared to think about and you can make it even when you think you are not able to anymore.”
*Directorate-General for Competition, which is based in ‘Planet Madou,’ the tall, grey tower standing above us during our meeting.
[note: parts of the original text have been reviewed and revised by DG Comp, European Commission]