Course methodology and highlights
Sessions will be conducted by two experts providing a short presentation followed by facilitated panel discussions, allowing for the exchange of ideas and addressing issues of concern based on case studies, where participants will be especially encouraged to share their experiences.
The programme is divided into five modules:
Module 1: European democracy
- the thematic discussion of the Conference on the Future of Europe
- the democratic principle with a view to designing new rules for electing the Members of the European Parliament.
In this module you will be introduced to the intrinsic nature of the EU, the motivations behind treaty modifications, the structure of the debate and the methodology of the conference, and eventually have an in-depth discussion on the context of changing MEP electoral laws.
The module also focuses on how to make EU decision-making more democratic and what are the major items that the Conference on the Future of Europe could discuss to further enhance the transparency and representative nature of the EU legislative processes. In this context, attention will be paid to the right of initiative – being, so far, the almost exclusive prerogative of the European Commission.
The course will map out the repercussions of equipping the European Parliament with the same right of initiative, a specific demand made by the Parliament in preparation for the conference.
Module 2: Values and rights, rule of law
The second module will provide an in-depth discussion of what is at stake when the principle of the rule of law is under stress. It includes what enormous risks rule of law backsliding really entails, what are the tools currently available for the EU to monitor its Member States and how it can intervene where there is a serious risk or persistent breach of rule of law in the latter. The session will also map out possible ways of strengthening the EU‘s repository of tools in stepping up for the defence of the rule of law and for the fundamental values of the EU.
The module will also elaborate on the current state of fundamental rights protection in the EU and how to improve the protection system. In that regard, the impact of the EU Charter and its direct enforceability on the protection of fundamental rights will be assessed and the topic of the EU’s accession to the European Convention on Human Rights will be specifically tackled.
Module 3: Climate change and the environment, and health
Climate crises and making the EU greener is a top priority. The session will identify what are the key regulatory matters behind the Green Deal, the circular economy (waste management), plastic reduction and biodiversity. The session will also discuss the EU’s climate targets and establish the link between environmental protection, combating climate change and energy.
The lessons learnt from the Covid-19 pandemic will be juxtaposed with how to build stronger health systems and protect European’s physical and mental health, and to what extent European Union health policies can support and strengthen this.
Module 4: Digital transformation
In the context of digital transformation, issues concerning EU data policy and AI will be revisited. In this context, personal data protection, big data and data sharing will be specifically discussed. Corresponding EU policies will be identified with a view of what social-economic developments digital transformation and especially AI could entail.
Module 5: Migration and the EU in the world, and security
This module discusses the security issues which are currently present and shape home affairs cooperation among EU Member States. In this vein, EU’s New Pact on Migration will be specifically discussed as containing key areas in which future consensus needs to be found to preserve the current intensity of the internal security cooperation among EU Member States.
The last module also discusses the EU’s external actions. Discussions begin with EU’s strategic autonomy and the EU’s responsiveness to world events, and from this we will map out to what extent the Russian–Ukrainian war creates a moment for the EU for a strengthened Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), including qualified majority voting, expanding the remit of Military Mobility and increasing commitment to European Defence Union initiatives including funding for lethal equipment.
The programme is divided into five modules to offer you flexibility in adapting the course to your needs. If you prefer to attend only one of the modules, you can click on Module 1, Module 2, Module 3, Module 4 or Module 5.