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Understanding EU Decision-Making: Principles, Procedures, Practice

This course includes extensive insights with multiple examples and real life cases, group exercises, role plays and simulation games and inputs from experienced EU practitioners as the basis for discussion among participants about the practical demands of participation in the various stages of EU decision-making.

About this course

This course covers in-depth analysis of various stages in the policy cycle. It examines the ordinary legislative procedure and the internal procedures within the Commission, the Council and the European Parliament. The course also demonstrates how ‘trilogues’ work, and delves into other, non-legislative forms of policy making, such as ‘comitology’ and policy coordination.

What will you learn:

  • The differences between legislative acts, implementing acts (the world of ‘comitology’!) and the new delegated acts, relating them to their place in the EU policy cycle, as well as in the hierarchy of laws.
  • 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 process.
  • The ordinary legislative procedure and how a ‘trilogue’ works.
  • Delegated and implementing acts using topical cases.

Course methodology/highlights:

In this course, there is plenty of time and opportunity for exercises and discussions. Sufficient breaks and pauses have been included to ensure an effective course.

We believe learning happens best with practical knowledge. So this course includes:

  • Extensive insights with multiple examples and real life cases
  • Group exercises
  • Role plays and simulation games
  • Inputs from experienced EU practitioners as the basis for discussion among participants about the practical demands of participation in the various stages of EU decision-making

Don’t have much exposure to EU decision-making, or want to refresh your knowledge?

You can also participate in the online preliminary module that introduces the foundations of decision-making in the EU. The two courses can be booked as one package: Understanding EU Decision-Making: Principles, Procedures, Practice (+ preliminary module).

  • 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.

Course material and learning support

To provide course materials and to facilitate learning, we make use of the online platform Moodle.

In order to help retain and deepen the knowledge acquired afterwards, you will receive a copy of Edward Best’s book Understanding EU Decision-Making, published with the support of the EU Publications Office.

You will also have access to the course materials for a duration of three 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

Course venue
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 includes documentation and refreshments. Lunches, a reception or dinner are included if mentioned in the programme. 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, 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.

Meals
Dietary preferences can be indicated on the registration form.

Hotel reservations
EIPA has special price arrangements with a number of hotels. All hotels are within 10 minutes walking distance from EIPA. Should you wish to make use of this possibility, please book directly via the links below. 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.).

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Programme

09.00Welcome and self-presentation of the participants
Edward Best
09.15Introduction and overview of EU decision-making
The day begins with a quick quiz and a succinct summary of the main points covered in the preliminary reading / preliminary module concerning the structures and competences of the EU.
Who does what in the EU institutional system?
Group exercise
In order to engage you actively, we present a simple model of the core EU policy cycle, indicating the main roles and functions that are involved. You will divide into breakout groups and, using an interactive whiteboard tool, you will match schematic outlines with sets of institutional actors and instruments.
10.15Coffee break
10.25Debriefing
The exercise is followed by a debriefing that establishes the framework for the following sessions.
11.15Coffee break
11.30The Commission and legislative proposals
You then look in more detail at the start of the policy cycle. We explain how the Commission elaborates legislative proposals and outlines the role of expert groups, public consultations and impact assessments.
12.10Pause
12.20Group exercise: The Commission and legislative proposals
You will discuss one example of a recent legislative initiative to identify opportunities for stakeholders to provide input to the elaboration of a Commission proposal.
13.00Lunch
14.00The Ordinary Legislative Procedure
We continue with an overview of the Ordinary Legislative Procedure, by which the European Parliament and the Council have to agree on most legislative proposals.
14.30Pause
14.40Worked case study on Alternative Fuels Infrastructure
A case is now presented. This will take you round the whole legislative cycle. The first part looks at the original process from problem definition to adoption and initial implementation of the directive.
15.20Pause
15.25Case study on Alternative Fuels Infrastructure (cont.)
The second part of the AFID case study looks at how the directive was evaluated, and how the Commission prepared a proposal for revision that was presented in July 2021.
16.00Assignment of individual roles for the simulation exercise and distribution of mandates. You are invited to devote some time in the afternoon to individual background preparation for the exercise.
16.30Assignment of individual roles for the simulation exercise and distribution of mandates
17.30End of the first day
18.30Reception and dinner
09.00Simulation exercise
A different case is now used 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
First round of discussions
10.00Second round of discussions
10.45Coffee break
11.00Third round of discussions
11.30Coffee break
11.45Debriefing and general discussion
We now summarize how the act was finalized in the real inter-institutional negotiations and open a general discussion on legislative procedures.
13.00Lunch
14.00Delegated and implementing acts
Group exercise – who does what?

You will work in groups to identify the actors and procedures involved in the adoption of ‘delegated acts’ and ’implementing acts’ and how they are put into practice.
15.00Pause
15.15Debriefing with specific examples, illustrating how the EU institutions, Member States and stakeholders contribute to the process.
16.00Recapitulation of main points covered during the day
Introduction of exercise for day 3 and distribution of preliminary reading.
16.30End of second day
16.45Walking tour of Maastricht
09.00Law and non-law in EU problem-solving
We introduce a policy challenge in the EU. You start by discussing in groups the different levels and instruments of possible action. What can be done at EU, national or sub-state level? How far are legislative approaches applicable? What other methods can be used?
10.00Pause
10.10You share the conclusions of your work in plenary
11.00Coffee break
11.15Practical perspectives: national officials and EU decision-making
The final sessions discuss how national officials and other stakeholders can prepare to participate effectively in EU meetings.
Mieke De Regt, Member of the Contact Network, Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC); former Counsellor, Permanent Representation of Belgium to the EU
12.00Pause
12.05Practical perspectives: preparing for EU decision-making
Q&A session and discussion led by Mieke De Regt
12.45Wrap-up and evaluation
13.00End of the course

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Understanding EU Decision-Making: Principles, Procedures, Practice

Confirmed
19 Oct 2022 - 21 Oct 2022
Maastricht (NL)
English

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

SKU: 22122021
Register before: 9 Mar 2023
 1.300 per attendee
 1.170 for EIPA members

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: 22122021
Register before: 9 Mar 2023

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