Germany's European Policy - EUGOV Visits in Berlin

The Master in Advanced European and International Studies - Applied European Policy and Governance Studies (EUGOV) students gained hands-on insights on Germany’s European Policy by visiting various institutions involved in Germany’s European policy-making in Berlin.

At the Representation of the State of Saarland in Berlin, the students learnt how the German Bundesländer are involved in EU politics because of the German federal system. Eike Hortsch (Head of Division at the Berlin Representation), Franziska Prinz (Adviser at the Brussels Representation) and Desirée Momber (Adviser at the State Chancellery in Saarbrücken) presented the structure of the different European divisions of Saarland and outlined the ways they work on a local, federal and European level. They spoke about the many European connections of the Saarland and also referred to bilateral and trilateral projects with France, Luxembourg and Poland, as well as to European programmes within the framework of the Greater Region. 

In a visit to the Federation of German Industries (BDI), the students met Senior Representative and CIFE Alumnus Sven Schönborn, who spoke about European economic and financial policy as a link between Brussels and the member states. With concrete examples, the students learnt how the BDI represents the interests of its member institutions and which stakeholders are involved in such processes. 

At a briefing with Deputy EU Adviser Edgar Lenski, the students discovered the work of the Federal Chancellery and the role of the Federal Chancellor in German European policy. The topics of EU enlargement, EU external relations and Franco-German relations (due to the upcoming Franco-German Council of Ministers) were also discussed.

Finally, at the Federal Foreign Office, the students had the opportunity to learn from the Head of the EU Coordination Division, Silja Waibel, how complex the formation of a German position on European issues and the coordination of the many actors at the national level actually is. However, in the end, they concluded that Germany is just one of 27 member states, and despite the complexity of policy-making, it is impressive how efficiently and successfully European Union legislation actually performs.

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