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Florence School of Transnational Governance

Unboxing the Commission: How to Understand and Engage with the EU Executive - 2022

Programme Start Date



Three days

Delivery mode



Palazzo Buontalenti


1.000 €

Early bird

850 €

Application Deadline

12/05/2022 - 23:59 CEST

Past training, registrations closed.
Discover the 2024 edition.

Programme Description

This executive training aims to shed light on the black box of policymaking within the European Commission. The training is practice-oriented and brings together three important vantage points: the academic analysis of Commission governance and operations; the "insiders' view"; and that of an outsider whose job is to have an impact on the Commission. It will be delivered by former members of the Commission services, including former President Jose Manuel Barroso, experienced academics, and campaigners who have engaged with it across a host of areas. In addition to the latest data, case studies, and policy developments, participants will also learn skills for engaging with the Commission: how to effectively contribute to the public consultation process; how to write policy memos and position papers aimed at the Commission; how to follow the Commission’s cycle and do proper audience mapping within the Commission.

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Key outcomes

This executive training will provide the participants with the state-of-the-art knowledge about the Commission and equip them with skills needed to engage with it. In the training, the participants can expect to:

  • Obtain a full understanding of how the Commission works in practice.
  • Comprehend the latest academic “broad picture” views of the Commission and data from recent studies.
  • Learn how to design a campaign strategy that builds alliances inside and outside the Commission.
  • Learn how to effectively contribute to the Commission’s public consultations, write position papers, and memos aimed at the Commission.
  • Learn how to follow the Commission’s cycle and do proper audience mapping within the Commission.
  • Discuss the latest trends with high-level policymakers and campaigners who have a proven track-record of impact.


Schedule and requirements

  • The training will take place in Florence on 26, 27 & 28 May 2022.
  • A general understanding of EU institutions is needed for this training that will take it to a more advanced level.
  • Course instructors will share a set of pre-readings with the participants a few weeks before the start of the training.


Who should attend

  • Public affairs specialists who seek to understand the way the Commission works in order to better argue their policy positions at the EU level.
  • Policy advocates who seek to build their skills and networks.
  • Government representatives that interact with the Commission.
  • Analysts and researchers who wish to update their knowledge on theories and test them against the latest policy developments.
  • Employees of EU institutions who work with or in the Commission who wish to challenge their assumptions and discuss how the institutions could work better to respond to the demands of the public and the key stakeholders.


Learning method

  • Interactive lectures from policymakers, campaigners, and academics.
  • Case studies that will provide an in-depth understanding of the Commission’s internal processes and ways in which advocates can have an impact on it.
  • Structured discussions around key questions regarding the Commission.
  • Mini in-class assignments that will encourage group work and networking among the participants.


Speakers & Trainers

  • Michael Bauer, Professor at the EUI School of Transnational Governance.
  • José Manuel Durão Barroso, Part-time Professor at the EUI School of Transnational Governance and former President of the European Commission.
  • Claus Haugaard Sørensen, Former Head of Cabinet and Director-General, European Commission.
  • Hussein Kassim, Professor of Politics in the School of Political, Social and International Studies and Co-Investigator at the ESRC Centre for Competition Policy at the University of East Anglia.
  • Michelle Cini, Professor of European Politics at the University of Bristol.
  • Aaron McLoughlin, Senior Adviser at FleishmanHillard, Former Executive Director of Public Affairs at CEFIC.

Training organisers


Fee 1.000 €

Early bird and groups 850 €

Registration fee: the course registration fee is EUR 1000,00 per participant. It includes full tuition, lunches and coffee breaks during the programme, and social activities. It does not cover travel and accommodation. Our events team can assist you in finding the best options for stay in the city.

Early bird: participants who register before February 28, 23:59 (Italian time) are eligible for a reduced fee of EUR 850,00.

The participants will receive a Certificate of Attendance from the EUI School of Transnational Governance. We encourage early registration for this training as places are given on a rolling basis. You can view our cancellation policy here.


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