EU Decision making and Citizens Influence

Project description: Decision-making in Europe
The Team

The Events:
The EU: (how) does it work
The Negotiation Days - Lobbying Training
Model European Union

Check also the special Model European Union website

Decision-making in Europe

The decision-making process of the European Union seems to be very complicated and undemocratic. How can citizens influence this process? How can AEGEE raise its voice in this process? A series of events on the abovementioned issues will be organized to reach a wide range of young Europeans.

Special attention in those events will be turned to visas - As many AEGEE members still need visas to access the European Union, we all know that the process of applying visas can be complicated, humiliating and not always successful. Yet, student mobility can be considered as a good mean of promoting democratic values in the neighboring areas of EU. AEGEE strives to find proposals to solve the situation where on the one hand states form Eastern Europe and Balkans are working for visa facilitation to their citizens but it is objected by the growing xenophobia and strict visa limitations of EU.

A series of interactive local-level workshops and regional events will be held to explain how the European Union functions and what is and could be the role of citizens in it. These events will be followed by two international seminars – one teaching young people the principals and possibilities of political lobbying, the other looking specifically into the issue of visas for young people from the Western Balkan countries. Results derived will be used for the main conference “Model Europe” - taking place at the European Parliament - that aims at creating awareness for the decision-making process within the European Union among young people by simulating it. The event series will be closed with an international seminar on EU communication channels, where the possibilities of communication between EU and its citizens will be evaluated and improvements proposed.

The Team

Ines Verspohl AEGEE - Osnabrück
Arleta Bojke AEGEE - Poznan
Dusica Brankov AEGEE - Beograd
Nanda Vrieling AEGEE - Utrecht
Annika Stienen AEGEE - Osnabrück
Aart Reurink AEGEE - Utrecht
Wouter Koopman AEGEE - Aachen
Judith van den Bosch AEGEE - Tilburg

The EU: (how) does it work

Date: 19 - 23 April 2006

Participants: 25 international students from both public and private universities and Higher Education Institutions.
Students from the KULeuven

Place: The KULeuven, European Parliament, European Commission and other institutions.

The aims of the project:

- Arousing interest in following aspects of EU:
1. Political-Institutional: technical aspects of how the EU functions
2. Social-Political: struggles that the countries have to make a decision when all coming from different cultures, languages, histories, different problems, etc.
3. Cultural-Philosophical: the unity of the EU, the European identity, the European idea

- Increasing students’ practical knowlegde of EU
- Propagating the active participation in creating a united Europe

The addresses of the project:
As a result of a growing interest among young people in the topic of the European Union we decided to invite students from all over Europe to provide a multicultural discussion background.The target group are international students from all over Europe taking part in various extracurricular activities. These are the students who pay close attention to matters concernig Europe, who are determined to express and share their opinion about it and wish to have personal input in promoting active participation in building the future of Europe.

The form of the project:

During the event participants will have the opportunity to take part in an excursion to the two most important institutions of EU: the European Parliament and the European Commission and join interactive lectures and workshops in Leuven. After all the lectures, there will be time for open questions and dabate. The workshops will not only be based on passing theoretical knowledge, but they will be mainly interactively orientated.


The Negotiation Days - Lobbying Training

This year The Negotiation Days conference will be for the first time international. Apart from regular lectures and workshops in English, we also prepared the separate 4-day training programme in English focused on lobbying as we find lobbying a very important factor of the political life all around the world. As the students’ association, we also consider lobbying as a valuable tool to stand for our principles and be noticed.

Date: 23th – 28th of April 2006 (please note that the 23rd is the arrival and the 28th the departure day of participants)

Location: Pozna?

Fee: 50€


  • Sunday 23.04.2006
  • Arrival

  • Monday 24.04.2006
  • 10:00-11:30 Theoretical introduction - Anya Shirokova, Lobbying Assistant of the Comite Directeur

    12:00-13:30 Process of lobbying - Adam Kucza, former External Relations Director of AEGEE-Europe

    13:30-14:30 Lunch

    14:30-18:00 Negotiation skills in lobbying – Wojciech Mas?owski & Micha? Kierzkowski, founders of AEGEE Negotiation Programme

  • Tuesday 25.04.2006
  • 12:00-13:30 Opening lecture Sales Negotiation - Jan Potgieter (official opening of the conference)

    14:00-15:30 New Generation Negotiation......Out With The Old, In With The New......Everyone's A Winner (lecture) Richard Reed, P&G

    15:30-16:30 Lunch

    16:30-18:00 Effects of lobbying on examples of particular political events - Ryszard ?awniczak, University of Economics in Poznan, ex-advisor of the Polish President

  • Wednesday 26.04.2006
  • 10:00 – 18:00 Exerting influence - Excellerate Business Performance (London)

    14:00-15:00 Lunch

  • Thursday 27.04.2006
  • 10:00-12:30 AEGEE’s lobbying aims and experience - Theijs van Welij, Projects Director of AEGEE-Europe

    13:00-14:00 Lunch

    14:00-15:30 Mediations and negotiations on political stage (lecture) - Mary Curtin (American Embassy in Poland)

    16:30-18:00 Research in lobbying – how to prepare - Anya Shirokova, Lobbying Assistant of the Comite Directeur

  • Sunday 28.04.2006
  • Departure

    * There will be still changes in the programme. It still does not include breakfasts, dinners and the social programme yet.

The form of the project:

The training for 25 active young people from all around Europe will consist of open lectures, workshops and interactive lectures. The workshops will not only be based on passing theoretical knowledge but they will be practically oriented. Tries of stating the opinions, lobbying situations and negotiation talks simulations, games and cases during will be organized. In this way participants will have the possibility to master their newly acquired skills. Lectures will be conducted by academic lecturers and professional lobbyists. Workshops and simulations will be also held by specialists from schooling centers and experienced AEGEE members.


Successful participants of the lobbying training should be encouraged to form teams to attend the Model European Council as lobbying groups fighting for removing visa obstacles in Europe.

Contact: lobbying_training*at*

Anya Shirokova (AEGEE-Moskva/ Comite Directeur Assistant)
Theijs van Welij (Comite Directeur)
Filp Mo?ko
Kosma Osiecki
Eduard Surdeanu (AEGEE-Bucure?ti)
Anna Zuber (AEGEE-Fribourg)
Iryna Rud (AEGEE-Kyiv)
Maria Morozova (AEGEE-Kyiv)
Zoryana Patynok (AEGEE-L'viv)
Ola Gryciuk (AEGEE-Lublin)
Cristiana Schintee (AEGEE-Timi?oara)
Grzegorz Hellich (AEGEE-Toru?)
Dmytro Kashchuk (AEGEE-L'viv)
Olaf Koens (AEGEE-Leuven)


Model European Union

Date: 20th - 24th of September 2006 (arrivel 20th, depatrure 24th)

Location: Strasbourg- European Parliament

Fee: not decided, yet

Draft of the programme:

  • Introduction on the co-decision process European Parliament & Europen Council
  • Simulation of decision making process
  • Topics to deal with: Visa, Education, Actual foreign policy
  • One day per topic
  • Discussion on problems of EU decision making

The form of the project:

The Model European Union is the flagship event within the "EU Decision making and Citizens Influence" -Part of Take Control. It contains a simulation of the EU decision making process including the European Council and the European Parliament. The core simulation will take three days followed by a discussion on the problems of EU decision making. The topics of the simulation will be Visa, Education and Actual foreign policy.

The Aim of the simulation is giving the participants the opportunity to experience the EU decision-making at first hand. Furthermore it will give the participants of preceding "EU decision making"-events the possibility to put their knowledge to practice.


Interested participants of the Model European Union should be encouraged to attend the Seminar on EU-communications.