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New years blog: looking back at 2022

Today is Blue Monday, seemingly the most depressing day of the year, but a great time to look back at a fantastic 2022 for Volt Maastricht. To brighten your otherwise gloomy day, I would like to take you along with me in this retrospective, because we have experienced quite a lot. 

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Romy Frijters

First of all, the intense campaign period, during which we tried to convince Maastrichtians to vote for Volt in the municipal elections. And we succeeded; on March 16 we entered the city council with no less than two seats! After that we, of course, did not sit still, because while we did not fully realize it ourselves yet, we were introduced to the inner workings of the municipality, we joined coalition negotiations and political assistants were appointed. We are now 9 months, a lot of meetings, motions, written questions and working visits further on our journey, but honestly; it is still unreal at times that we are now making real progress to make our city a little better for everyone.  

Here is a brief summary of the things we are most proud of. Care to join me?    

  • Becoming part of the coalition, with a widely supported city agreement. An agreement that focuses on connection; connection within Maastricht, but also beyond. The city agreement even includes a chapter on Maastricht and the (EU) region!    
  • Our own executive councilor; Anita Bastiaans. A fantastic and experienced woman with tremendous ambitions for the city. With a focus on the social domain as well as on Europe and the Euregion, we are extremely proud that she may carry out our ideals.  
  • A pilot for the citizens' council. This year we aim to start a pilot for the citizens council, focused on the spatial planning of the city. This way we better involve our citizens in council decisions, restore trust in local politics and learn from the opinions, expertise and backgrounds of all Maastricht people.  
  • There will be a student campus! To improve the student experience of our (international) students and relieve the student-pressure on the center.  
  • The energy surcharge for students. With a petition signed over 2,500 times by concerned students and non-students, we managed to draw attention to the untenable situation in which many students currently find themselves. What the scheme will look exactly like is still unclear at the time I write this blog, but rest assured that we will do everything we can to accommodate both national and international students.  
  • Our own podcast; Mestreech made in Europe. Besides it being great fun to record the podcast, we bring local politics a little closer to the people of Maastricht by giving two weekly updates on the ins and outs of the city council. What motions have been filed? Any written questions asked? What have Mart and Jules been up to at Mosae Forum?  
  • The constructive cooperation with other parties. We work constructively and pragmatically with other parties, inside and outside the coalition, from left to right. We work a lot with opposition parties such as the Greens and M:OED and look at each issue to see who we can best work with. After all, as a new party, why reinvent the wheel when we can learn a lot from the experiences of established parties such as the Social Liberals and the Social Democrats?  
  • Our team and everyone who has supported us over the past year. I am personally most proud of our team. Of Jules, who as party leader leads the way, communicates our vision like no other and keeps us all on our toes. Of Mart, who is not only involved with council work, but who has also taken charge of the working structure of our team and always comes up with new ideas. Of Ryan, who as a political assistant has now become an expert on the social domain, gives free rein to his creativity on our social media accounts and lets his editing skills be heard time and again in the podcast. Of Mashid, the “file eater” of general affairs and the physical domain, who has now found her place in the lovely city of Amsterdam. Of Danny, who in no time found his place within the group as a political assistant of the physical domain and is always ready to help when you need him. Of Guy, who makes sure everyone sticks to the deadlines and keeps the overview at times when we tend to lose it for a moment. Of Anita, who works day in and day out for a more social Maastricht. To Mak, our new intern who promotes our activities to the outside world. And to all those fantastic Volters around us who have helped us tremendously in the past year with all their efforts and give us an extra energy boost every time.  

We look back on the past year with a satisfied feeling, but above all we look forward to this year, full of energy, in which we are going to fully dedicate ourselves again to “eus Mestreech”.