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“Engaging strategically at national level” – Impressions of the EU Academy

“Engaging strategically at national level” – Impressions of the EU Academy

EU Academy
I have worked with Estonian environmental organisations on a range of issues, including oil shale, woody biomass and fossil gas, to promote sustainable energy policies. Even though most emphasis has been on the national level, collaborating with the various EU institutions has not been uncommon. However, despite some experience, insufficient understanding of the broader context and EU processes has inhibited the effectiveness of the EU-level engagement. Participating in the April-May 2021 online edition of the EUAcademy, themed “Bursting the Brussels bubble - Advocating for the public good: a Member State perspective”, made me much more aware of how I can strategically engage at the national level to contribute to more just policies across the EU. The training addressed the shortcomings I experienced in my prior work and provided excellent insight…
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“Not just another online webinar” – Impressions of the EU Academy

“Not just another online webinar” – Impressions of the EU Academy

EU Academy
I attended the ‘Bursting the Brussels bubble’ online edition of the EUAcademy in April & May 2021. As a young graduate interning at an environmental NGO that focuses primarily on bringing awareness and mobilising the public, the EUAcademy immediately sparked my interest. In my work at NOAH, the Danish member of Friends of the Earth, it had already become clear that some of us could use some help in polishing our EU influencing skills. An interactive training on EU decision-making and influencing for the public interest was music to my ears. As a newbie to advocacy, I was hoping the training would provide me with a clear understanding of how things work in practice: which buttons to push, where and when, to have the most impact possible. I now understand…
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A Bruxelles, l’émergence de lobbyistes « éthiques » – Le Monde 28/08/2020

A Bruxelles, l’émergence de lobbyistes « éthiques » – Le Monde 28/08/2020

In the media
Les lobbyistes grouillent à Bruxelles, et ce n’est pas nouveau. L’ONG Transparency International estime qu’ils sont environ 38 000 à arpenter les rues de la capitale européenne pour influencer les processus législatifs. Parmi eux, on trouve de nouveaux personnages qui veulent accoler les qualificatifs « éthique » ou « durable » à ces pratiques si souvent décriées. ... L’objectif de tout bon lobbyiste, c’est d’avoir un impact. Pour ce faire, il faut connaître les rouages de la mécanique décisionnelle européenne, parfois sibylline. Joost Mulder est de ceux-là. The full article is available here.
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“Ready to make a difference” – Impressions of the EU Academy

“Ready to make a difference” – Impressions of the EU Academy

EU Academy
"In the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity." read the slide of Sanjeev Kumar, quoting Einstein during his guest lecture at a recent EU Academy two-day course. Seizing opportunity, it would become clear, was the theme of this season's workshop, scheduled amidst a global pandemic. Masks were on. Hands were slick with sanitizer. Participants were sat in neat, socially-distanced rows. Still, we showed up, ready to learn under extraordinary circumstances. Introductions revealed that some of us had arrived without clear expectations. I was neither sure of what I was hoping to learn, nor confident that I had sufficient background in EU institutions to make sense of the presentations. Thankfully, our trainers Marc-Olivier Herman and Joost Mulder, were flexible and dynamic, able to zoom in and out of specificity and…
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“The right know-hows for our strategic review” – Impressions of the EU Academy

“The right know-hows for our strategic review” – Impressions of the EU Academy

EU Academy
The September 2020 EU Academy ‘Advocating for the public good in the wake of the coronavirus crisis’ gathered sixteen participants from diverse fields such as climate, sustainable development, and human rights. This was one of my first social experiences since the Coronavirus pandemic hit in March! Despite having learned about EU affairs at university, I lacked concrete knowledge about the EU institutions and on how NGOs can strategize to effectively engage with EU processes. Though I am still processing a lot of the information, I am confident that those two days of training have helped me acquire a great deal of practical and applicable knowledge thanks to the two well-experienced trainers – Marc and Joost, as well as insiders from the EU institutions. Learning about the functioning of the Council…
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“Step behind the scenes of EU advocacy” – Impressions of the EU Academy

“Step behind the scenes of EU advocacy” – Impressions of the EU Academy

Uncategorized
The March EU Academy ‘Advocating for the public good: gearing up for the 2020 German Council Presidency’ gathered eighteen participants working on a variety of policy areas, such as climate, sustainable development, human rights and agriculture with varying levels of experience. Led by Marc-Olivier Herman and Joost Mulder, the training combined the essentials of EU decision-making, insights from Council representatives and key steps of an advocacy strategy in a uniquely interactive format. Exploring the role of the Council was undoubtedly a breath of fresh air as its importance in EU advocacy often gets overlooked. However, what made the training really stand out for me was that it went beyond facts and theory. Not only did it offer unique insights into the essentials on ‘when’, ‘how’ and ‘who’ in advocacy but…
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“A hands-on learning experience on EU advocacy” – Impressions of the EU Academy

“A hands-on learning experience on EU advocacy” – Impressions of the EU Academy

EU Academy, Uncategorized
On 10th March, I entered Holland House as a newcomer to Brussels in order to get a better understanding of the EU institutions. 1.5 days later, I left with an incredible amount of practical insights into EU advocacy, including new ideas as to how, when and who to engage with in the Brussels bubble, as well as a broadened network of key NGO people with great experiences in advocacy for the public good. In less than two days, I was given many more practical insights than in my Political Science and European Union studies at University thanks to the great practical knowledge of two EU-experienced trainers, insiders from different EU institutions, and from diverse participants working in fields such as human rights, the environment, corporate accountability and migration. They not…
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“Preparing for the incoming German presidency” – Impressions of the EU Academy

“Preparing for the incoming German presidency” – Impressions of the EU Academy

Uncategorized
On the 10th of March, together with other participants from like-minded organisations, I was warmly welcomed by Marc, Lucy and Joost at Holland House to gear up for the 2020 German Council Presidency for what would be an interactive and intensive two-day training. Although I have some experience in EU advocacy, I never studied the EU institutions during my education. I lacked concrete insight into the different institutions and had little knowledge on the interactions between the Commission, Parliament and Council. Hence, I was happy to learn that the first half day of the course introduced us to this ‘golden triangle’ and the EU policy cycle. Marc and Joost took us on a journey to explore the EU ‘tube map’ and provided us with all the essentials of EU policy-making…
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Highlights from the first three EU Academy trainings 2019-2020

Highlights from the first three EU Academy trainings 2019-2020

Uncategorized
A diverse and eager group attended EUChanger’s first training in Brussels on 21 June 2019. Focussing on influencing for the public good in the post-election context, the first EU Academy attracted 20 participants active in a wide range of policy areas including: climate, energy, international development, corporate governance, sustainable finance, tax, and human rights. It was a packed day with expert input from Vote Watch Europe on the outcome of the May European elections, a dynamic training on EU influencing essentials drawing on the experience of EUChanger’s Marc-Olivier Herman and Better Europe’s Joost Mulder, a lunch debate with advisors of various EP political groups and a group simulation on a current legislative file. The feedback we received from many participants shows just how important this type of training is for…
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“A new level of knowledge” – Impressions of the EU Academy

“A new level of knowledge” – Impressions of the EU Academy

Uncategorized
Next level of knowledge - I learned more from this programme than I have from years of studying political science. That might be slightly provocative – not least towards my dear university – but of course, in reality there is no conflict. Academic knowledge provides a general structure, which serves its purpose. From this training, I instead got a new level of knowledge of the institutions and how to work towards them: more detailed, more actionable, and more powerful. High-level speakers - The level of the guest speakers, the quality of their contributions and the generosity of their attention were very high. In the constructive and open conversations we were able to have, we discussed details on how to interact with the EU institutions. The perspectives of the guests gave…
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