Brussels Excursion 2023

13.04.2023 -  

As part of the Applied Policy Analysis module of the Master Programme of EUs, students take part in a study trip to the heart of the EU: Brussels. This year’s excursion took place in the beginning of March and offered students the possibility of meeting practitioners and experts from the Union’s central policymaking institutions, amongst other influential actors.

The aim of the excursion is to provide students direct contact with practitioners and experts, who can provide valuable and exceptional insights on the EU’s multilevel policymaking processes, by tapping into their experiences and acquired expertise, which brilliantly complements the theoretical knowledge that the students assemble throughout their studies. By conversing with practitioners in Brussels, as in other instances throughout their studies, students are encouraged to seek the bridging of theoretical and applied knowledge.

1994x1063 @ 0,176The study trip counted with the participation of students from two master programmes at OvGU: European Studies; and Peace and Conflict Studies. On the first day students were greeted in the European Parliament, where the students had the chance to attend a plenary session of the European Parliament. 

To finish off a very exciting first day, the students met with representatives of the Committee of the Regions (CoR) and the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), two advisory bodies, representative of the European citizenry. While the CoR voices European regions and cities, the EESC represents civil society and workers’ and employers’ organisations and both organisations delivered very compelling presentations. Firstly, "Mr. Hullman (Committee of the Regions) was a fantastic presenter and developed a presentation that did a tremendous job at explaining the ins and outs of the CoR." (Statement of Conner Murillo) and a ""enthusiastic and passionate presentation of the European Economic and Social Committee" was a memorable moment for some of our participants (Statement of Lys Ziebell).

The second day of the excursion commenced with a visit to the House of European History, appropriate to the objective of the study trip to Brussels, yet offering the students a more relaxing morning, as they could sharpen their knowledge and reflect on Europe’s past, present and future, while walking through the hallways and rooms of a museum dedicated to European history. Afterwards, students were welcomed in the Representation of Saxony-Anhalt to the EU, a visit to be highlighted, given that our students reside in Saxony-Anhalt. Furthermore, the visit allowed the students to reflect on an important feature of European multi-level governance for federal states such as Germany, namely the role and voice of the Bundesländer.

3446x1909 @ 322,448On the third and last day, attention was concentrated on one chief EU policy-making institution: the European Commission. In the Commission’s building, the students had the possibility of conversing with five practitioners of the Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, each offering interesting insights into policy issues they engage with. The schedule started with a session on social rights and inclusion. To enlighten students further on the European Social Fund (ESF) and ESF funding in Germany, they attended a compelling presentation on the topic, followed by a round of Q&A. Last, and most definitely not least, the students met with Joost Korte, Director-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, a meeting which inspired the participants to pursue a career in policymaking: “Joost Korte made time to talk to us as students. He encouraged us to get into the positions they are now. I really feel like I want to work now in the creation process of policies and in Brussels.” (Statement of Yolanda Arhin, a participant in the Brussels excursion).

The students' feedback has been very positive and the Brussels' trip has managed this year, once more, to bring studentry and practionioners closer, as a participant pointed out, "Overall, an awesome trip that enriched our theoretical expertise with practical experiences!" (Statement from Sophie Schrötter).

Last Modification: 13.04.2023 - Contact Person: