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Study Tour Bruxelles 2018

February 27, 2018 March 4, 2018

Students in the Master’s in International and European Law (MIEL) and Master’s in International and Economic Law (MINTEC) programmes visited the European institutions during their time in Brussels between 28 February and 3 March 2018. They were accompanied by Anne Culioli, who is responsible for communications at the European School of Law, and Pierre-Jean Thil, who is undertaking doctoral studies in private law at Toulouse Capitole University.

 

The journey began on a Wednesday with a visit to the European Commission, where students listened to a talk by Policy Coordinator Diane Angermueller about the European migration policy, followed by another talk by Policy Officer Willem Noë on the topic of European enlargement and integration

 
The students then visited the European Parliament to hear Jan Rebrina, director-general of communications, speak about the procedures and roles of the three European institutions. Next, Ralph Bendrath, parliamentary assistant to MEP Jan Albrecht, spoke about the 18 months of work that went into formulating the General Data Protection Regulation. Finally, the students attended a parliamentary session from the public gallery.
 
 
On Thursday, the students were warmly welcomed by Yannick Proto, director of Occitanie Europe, the representative of the Occitanie region in the European institutions. Three of his employees presented to the students their work and professional careers.
They kindly offered their meeting room for the afternoon so the students could meet Jean-Baptiste Kastel, West Balkans analyst for the European Commission, and Brittni Geny, coordinator for business development at Millieu consultancy firm, who spoke about the work of a lobbyist at the institutions. Finally, a former student of Toulouse Capitole University and current employee in EU foreign multilateral relations, Harmony Boyer, talked about her career and different duties within the institutions.

 

 
On Friday, 2 March, the students visited the European Union Council where Xavier Thoreau, political administrator, presented his role in the council and the activities he performs. He delved into great detail on the examinations for entering the European institutions and the expected profiles of candidates.
 


 
The afternoon and following day were punctuated by exhibitions at the Parlamentarium on the construction of the European Union, and then by attending roleplays organised by the museum. The roleplays provided a learning experience on the different steps in creating a European directive, from the various actors involved to the need to negotiate a compromise..
 
 
 
This study tour proved to be educationally rich and filled with interesting meetings for the students. Their knowledge of European and international law enabled them to participate more fully and to consider how theory stacks up against the reality of institutional practices. As for the cold temperature during the visit, it was more than compensated for by the warm Belgian reception.
 


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