The aim is to assess each candidate's suitability as commissioner, evaluate their knowledge of the proposed portfolio and find out about their future plans. Based on the candidates' responses and performance, the committees will then draw up a recommendation and send it to the president of the European Parliament...
One of the many joys of being a trainee in the European Commission is being able to socialise in the international melting pot of the European bubble, to gluttonously gorge on a feast of cultures and languages, to take the notion of 'nationality' and throw it off like a duvet on a sweaty summer night such as we have rarely experienced in the UK...
In an increasingly integrated, globalised world, such isolationism curtails the freedom a nation needs to exercise the economic and trade decisions and activities needed for long-term economic prosperity and political success.
It's nothing new. Week in, week out, these things happen in Brussels and Strasbourg. The only difference is, most of the time the decisions don't play dice with national security.
The situation is far from being resolved. Despite the agreed cease-fire, fighting continues in Eastern Ukraine and the EU has already announced further sanctions.
This week the European Union imposed further sanctions on Russia. This decision followed months of destabilisation of Ukraine by Russia, and months of political and diplomatic efforts to restore peace and stability.
September is not just a time when trees start shedding their leaves and university students dust off their books, it's also when the European Parliament returns from the summer recess and starts work on legislation that will affect the lives of everyone living in the European Union.
So, next week the Scots will decide if they want to be independent. Let me start by declaring a lack of interest in this issue. A complete lack of interest. I think may be one-eighth Scottish but I really don't care if I have Scottish blood coursing through my veins. It hasn't affected my life either way.
Is there life after (out of) the EU? Well, of course there is. Those among us who are worried about losing the benefits of EU membership, or fear Great Britain becoming an insignificant mid-range power that nobody listens to need not fret, according to the newest report by eurosceptic think-tank Civitas.
Ed Miliband believes Britain should play a lead role in the EU, and in the coming months he will have to articulate Labour's vision for Europe and the wider world. When Ed becomes prime minister next May he will have to make that vision a reality, working with other EU leaders towards a stronger Europe...
We will always remember what happened on 31 August 2014, as we will always cherish memories of 1 May 2004 when Poland became a member of the EU. When Herman Van Rompuy said on Twitter "The European Council has elected prime minister Donald Tusk as the next president of the European Council and Euro Summits,"
How could a man so widely praised for his "principles" play party political games and indulge in distracting political theatre at a time when we face some of the biggest global threats since the Cold War?
We now have only 20 days before we make the biggest ever decision for Scotland. It is not one that will have an impact only this year, or for the next five years, but one that will decide the futures of our children, our grandchildren, our great grandchildren and many generations to come.
I'll tell you what I know about war in Ukraine, and life there. Some of you will scream "you are not there!" and that's right, I'm not in Ukraine but in France, and the war is not where I am but in Ukraine. However, as are all Ukrainians, I'm living this war too, even though I'm far away from it. It's like a long-distance relationship, and I know those very well.
Why a food ban? Quite simply, it will hurt the EU nations, and far more severely than any sanction that has been imposed on Russia by the EU so far... little notice has been paid to Edward Snowden, the whistle-blower and current rector of Glasgow University, who has been granted a 3 year stay in Russia, and will not be extradited back to America.
The facts on the ground have not really changed from Boris' initial assessment of the pros and cons of membership last year. Maybe we are just one year closer to an election in which Boris needs to position himself as the tough-talking Eurosceptic reaching out for an uncompromising deal.