Trainer: Laure Wagener


Course overview: 

The course will focus on practical skills in order to decrypt and navigate negotiations in the “EU bubble”. We will use an ongoing negotiation of a legislative file to precisely understand the EU decision-making process (the practicalities of the ordinary legislative procedure) as it happens “live”. Emphasis will be placed on the daily functioning “on the ground” of the EU institutions engaged in negotiations. 

As a method, we will first learn how to set up factsheets, a tool frequently used in EU institutions, corporate and non-governmental organisations, and consultancy offices. Students will be guided to master the technical substance of a proposal, to understand the political stakes and to extract the main procedural steps. The factsheet will train students how to find and structure the most important pieces of information about a given negotiation. A constant effort will be made to link up the granularity of a legislative text with the wider political context and agenda.  

In a second stage, we will apply the acquired knowledge in a simplified negotiation simulation. Focusing on the Council of the EU, and representing individual Member States, we will work through the process of consensus-building, compromise, and decision-making using our “live file”. Concrete tips will be shared on how to navigate and influence multilateral negotiations most effectively. Following the motto “do it to know it”, students will gain a deeper and more operational understanding of the decision-making process. 

Students will be asked to participate actively in class to encourage interactive sessions. Emphasis will be on autonomous research, structured drafting and political analysis.  


There will be no exam. Students will receive a mark at the end of the course based on  

  • 50% homework (assigned during class). Deadlines: 23/10, 8/12, 19/01. Reading after end of year break.  
  • 50% participation in class 

Students will also receive individual feedback.  

Learning outcome:  

“Do it to know it”. This course will equip you with the necessary practical skills in order to be operational as a “EU bubble” professional. You will practice to dissect obscure EU language, to pinpoint where negotiations take place when and how, why they matter, and to apply this knowledge yourself. The course will provide you with the tool-kit to adopt the way of analysing, speaking and writing in EU negotiations.