EU decision-making

Understanding EU Decision-Making: Principles, Procedures, Practice (incl. online Introductory Course)

This course will get you up to speed on the essential elements of how the EU system works: the different powers that the EU has, who does what, and how you can have a role in shaping EU decisions. It is concise but thorough, and focusses in detail on EU law-making. It includes an online introductory course that introduces the foundations of decision-making in the EU.

About this course

‘I’m participating in that meeting in Brussels next week. Is it an expert group or a comitology committee?’

‘I need to brief my boss about what to expect. Will the Commission ask her to vote?’

‘How can I know where our issue is in the EU decision process, and what comes next?’

Simple questions, the answers to which may be complex, and yet can make your job easier. This course will get you up to speed on the essential elements of how the EU system works: the different powers that the EU has, who does what, and how you can have a role in shaping EU decisions. It is concise but thorough, and focuses in detail on EU law-making.

What will you learn

  • The legal bases for what the EU can and cannot do, and the different powers that Member States have given to the EU
  • The main ways in which decisions are taken, i.e. the toolbox of EU policy-making
  • The hierarchy of EU law and the differences between legislative acts, implementing acts (the world of ‘comitology’!) and delegated acts using topical case studies
  • The ordinary legislative procedure and how ‘trilogues’ work
  • The decision-making procedures within the Commission, the Council and the European Parliament, and the ways in which national officials and other stakeholders fit into the policy-making process

Course methodology

This course is based on ‘blended learning’ methodology with both online and in-person interaction prior, during and after the course. Throughout the course, there is plenty of time for questions and opportunity for discussions.

The course methodology was updated to include

  • Additional interactive online elements to facilitate participants’ independent learning
  • Extended time in sessions to allow for targeted feedback on independent learning activities
  • New examples and updated case studies to embed practical knowledge into current developments of EU decision-making

We believe the best way to learn is by applying practical knowledge. That is why this course includes:

  • Extensive insights with multiple examples and real-life cases
  • Quizzes
  • Group exercises
  • Role plays and simulation exercises
  • Input from experienced EU practitioners as the basis for discussion among participants about the practical demands of participation in the policy process

To get maximum benefits out of this course, irrespective of your level of knowledge on EU decision-making, we advise you to book the full training programme, consisting of two modules: Introductory Course (online) and Main course (in-person).

For this course we offer the following options:

  • Option 1

Book the full programme including the online Introductory Course (17 and 19 April) plus the in-person Main Course (24-26 April) if you need a comprehensive course on EU decision-making.

  • Option 2:

Book only the in-person Main Course if you are familiar with the foundations of EU decision-making, i.e. institutional framework, competences, and principles and instruments of policy-making

  • Option 3:

Book only the online Introductory Course if you want to have a brief introduction or refresh your knowledge about the foundations of EU decision-making.

  • Understand the essential principles and procedures that you need to know in order to be credible when operating in an EU context
  • Be able to decode messages and reports from Brussels
  • Be more effective in your own interactions with other officials
  • Be better equipped to explain how things work to your colleagues and associates
  • Have a feel for how things work in practice, and be able to prepare appropriately
  • Have a solid basis for continuous learning on the job afterwards.

Through the online learning platform Moodle, we provide course material and facilitate independent learning for participants.

You will also have access to the course materials for a duration of six months after the course.

  • Officials who have taken on a new role in Brussels
  • Officials who have to take part in meetings in the Commission or Council
  • Anyone who needs to know how EU decision-making works in practice

Introductory Course
The Introductory Course on 17 and 19 April will take place online via Zoom.

Course venue main course
European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA)
O.L. Vrouweplein 22
6211 HE, Maastricht
the Netherlands

Programme Organiser
Ms Belinda Vetter
Tel: +31 43 3296382
b.vetter@eipa.eu

Fee
The fee of the full course includes documentation and refreshments, lunches, a reception and dinner, and a walking tour of Maastricht. Accommodation and travel costs are at the expense of the participants or their administration.

Discounts
EIPA member fee
EIPA offers a discount to all civil servants working for one of EIPA’s supporting countries, and civil servants working for an EU institution, body or agency.

Who are the supporting countries?
Civil servants coming from the following EIPA supporting countries are entitled to get the reduced fee: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.

For all other participants, the regular fee applies.

Early bird discount
The early bird discount is not cumulative with other discounts or promo codes, except for the EIPA member fee.

Loyalty coupon
As a token of appreciation we offer all our participants a loyalty coupon for one of our future courses. The offer can be shared with colleagues and relevant networks. The coupon will expire one year after its release. This discount is not cumulative with other discounts, except for the EIPA member fee.

Meals
Dietary preferences can be indicated on the registration form.

Hotel reservations
EIPA has special price arrangements with a number of hotels. The hotels are within walking distance from EIPA. If you wish to take advantage of this option, please click on the hotel name to book directly using the link. Payment is to be made directly and personally to the hotel upon checking out.

Confirmation
Confirmation of registration will be forwarded to participants on receipt of the completed online registration form.

Payment
Prior payment is a condition for participation.

Cancellation policy
For administrative reasons you will be charged €150 for cancellations received within 15 days before the activity begins. There is no charge for qualified substitute participants.

EIPA reserves the right to cancel the activity up to 2 weeks before the starting date. In that case, registration fees received will be fully reimbursed. EIPA accepts no responsibility for any costs incurred (travel, accommodation, etc.).

A few days before the start of the course you will receive the log-in details for accessing the course materials. You can log in here.

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Our experts

Programme

09.00Welcome and self-presentation of the participants
Christoph Klika
09.15Introduction and overview of EU decision-making
The day begins with a succinct summary of the foundations.
Christoph Klika
Who does what in the EU policy cycle?
Group exercise
We present a simple model of the policy cycle, indicating the main roles and functions that are involved. You will divide into breakout groups to match schematic outlines with institutional actors and instruments. The exercise is followed by a debriefing.
10.15Debriefing (I): policy priorities and programming
The first part of the debriefing explains how policies enter the agenda and are programmed with a view do decision making.
Christoph Klika
11.00Coffee break
11.30Debriefing (II): the Commission and legislative proposals
The second part focusses on the internal procedures of the Commission. We explain how legislative proposals are elaborated and outline the role of expert groups, public consultations and impact assessments.
Christoph Klika
13.00Lunch
14.00Debriefing (III): the Ordinary Legislative Procedure
The third part focusses on the internal procedures of the European Parliament and the Council as well as institutional interactions in the course of the Ordinary Legislative Procedure.
Christoph Klika
15.30Coffee break
16.00Debriefing (IV): EU-level implementation
The fourth part focusses on the adoption of delegated and implementing acts.
Christoph Klika
16.30Presentation of simulation exercise
In preparation for the simulation exercise, we present the Firearms Directive, which serves as the case for simulating intergovernmental negotiations in the Council. Individual roles will be assigned and participants are invited to study their mandates for the simulation.
Christoph Klika
17.00End of the day
18.00Reception and dinner
09.00Simulation exercise: the Firearms Directive
The Firearms Directive is used as case to simulate a meeting in the Council framework at which you need to reach a compromise text as a basis for negotiation with the European Parliament.
Radovan Schida, Political Administrator, General Secretariat of the Council
Christoph Klika
11.30Group photo and coffee break
12.00Debriefing
Following a debriefing of the exercise, we summarise how the act was finalised in the real interinstitutional negotiations and open a general discussion on legislative procedures.
13.00Lunch
14.00Case study on Alternative Fuels Infrastructure
A case is now presented. You will discuss each step round the whole legislative cycle. The first part looks at the original process from problem definition to adoption and initial implementation of the directive.
Christoph Klika
15.30Coffee break
16.00Case study on Alternative Fuels Infrastructure (cont.)
The second part of the case study looks at how the directive was evaluated, how the Commission prepared a proposal for a regulation that was adopted in 2023.
Christoph Klika
17.00End of the day
17.15Guided walking tour of Maastricht
18.45End of the walking tour
09.00The international dimension of EU decision-making
In this session, we extend our view to include the international dimension of decision-making by presenting the most important procedures in selected areas, e.g. trade, and by reflecting on EU external relations in salient policy areas, e.g. climate, agriculture.
Wolfgang Koeth, Senior Lecturer, EIPA Maastricht (NL)
10.30Coffee break
11.00Practical perspectives: preparing for EU decision-making
The final session provides an inside view of EU procedures. You will then discuss how national officials and other stakeholders can prepare to contribute effectively to EU policy-making.
Mieke De Regt, Counsellor for Digital Policy, Permanent Representation of Belgium to the EU
12.30Conclusion and evaluation
13.00End of the course

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Understanding EU Decision-Making: Principles, Procedures, Practice (incl. online Introductory Course)

Confirmed
17 Apr 2024 - 26 Apr 2024
Maastricht (NL) & Online
Register before: 23 Apr 2024

Simultaneous interpretation can be offered. Contact the programme organizer for more information and conditions.

 1.800 per attendee
 1.600 for EIPA members
Registration closed

Discount policy

EIPA offers a discount to all civil servants working for one of EIPA’s supporting countries, and civil servants working for an EU institution, body or agency.

Who are the supporting countries?

Civil servants coming from the following EIPA supporting countries are entitled to get the reduced fee: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden.

For all other participants, the regular fee applies.

Early bird discount

For a limited number of training courses, EIPA offers an early bird discount.

For more information please contact us.

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SKU: 2412201
Register before: 23 Apr 2024
 1.800 per attendee
 1.600 for EIPA members

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