Unlock the EU

Unlock the EU

Unlock the EU, a customised training on the EU system of governance, is a concept developed by Maastricht University and PACT European Affairs. This particular training allows participants to choose the content of the training based on selected topics by proposed Maastricht University Academics and EU practitioners.

Three categories are explored: actors (who)process (how) and tools (what). Partipants can choose 1 topic from each of the three catagories into which they would like to delve. This personalized training allows each participant to enhance their knowledge of a field relevant to their day-to-day job. Real case studies are used throughout the training, and participants are invited to put forward their questions for discussion with the coaches as well as fellow participants. 


Actors, Processes and Tools

Gain insights in who you need to influence (Actors), how to strategise (Processes) and what you need for a successful PA strategy (Tools). Choose 1 session from each section to create your personalised training. Below you can find more details on each individual session. Should you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us at campusbrussels[at]maastrichtuniversity[dot]nl.

Actors Processes Tools
Institutions in the EU Decision making Monitoring EU Information
Stakeholders in the EU Delegated and implementing acts Lobbying
    Institutional communication



Institutions in the EU 
This session covers the structure, powers and functioning of the 3 key Institutions involved in shaping EU policy, notably the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers. A short reference to the role of the European Council is also foreseen. The session will focus on the practical way these institutions functions, what drives them, who they are… Rather than purely academic, the session focus on what matters from a Public Affairs from a real-world lobbying perspective.

Stakeholders in the EU 
In Brussels there are approximately 35000 lobbyists. This session will provide an overview of the main categories of interest representation including trade associations, NGOs, and consumer organisations. How these organisations organise themselves and how they operate in an environment as competitive as Brussels will be discussed. The session will also provide insights into how an operational mapping can be succesfully used to achieve your organisation's goals. 


This session will explain in-depth how the EU develops and shapes policies with a specific focus on the ordinary legislative procedure and the importance of trilogues. Who is involved in trilogues, when do they meet, how do they work, how can you intervene as an external stakeholder…

Delegated and implementing acts 
98% of EU binding rules are not adopted via legislative acts but are adopted via secondary legislation, i.e. delegated and implementing acts. These acts therefore constitute a major and crucial part of the EU decision-making process and have a major impact on stakeholder interests. Understanding the way they are adopted, what the balance of power is and how one can influence them is essential in EU Public Affairs.


Monitoring EU information
A lot of information is available at EU level to track legislative, regulatory developments etc. However, you need to know where to look. This session will provide you with concrete links to website that can help you set up a monitoring system. Furthermore, it will provide food for thought on how to set up and manage and adequate monitoring system including for secondary legislation.

This session will focus on lobbying – and more extensively Public Affairs strategies and techniques. What is needed to successfully lobby? What network is the most adequate? What about coalition-building, and how does one communicate adequately? Curves of influence will show where it is most efficient lo lobby.

Institutional communication 
Institutional communication is an essential component of EU Public Affairs and lobbying. Your arguments may be top-notch but if the message is not received by the recipient, they are lost. This session will focus on what good institutional communication (both written and oral) means and how to put it in practice. Story-telling, view paper, relations with press, elevator pitch, all these items will be addressed.

Course instructors


The course is taught by Prof. dr. C.Neuhold (Maastricht University) and Vicky Marissen from (PACT European Affairs). Together they provide a unique blend of theory and practice that you can take back to the workplace. Both instructors provide a true hands-on approach using recent case studies and stimulating a dynamic atmosphere for participants to gain insight and knowledge on the EU system of governance.  

Prof. Dr. C. Neuhold

Christine’s past and current research interests can be subsumed under the umbrella topic of EU Democratic Governance. Her focus reaches from the role of parliaments in the EU to questions of legitimacy of inter-institutional cooperation. She has been involved in more than ten international research projects and has coordinated two Research and Training Networks, financed by the European Union. 

Vicky Marissen

Vicky is Managing Director of PACT European Affairs. She has a legal background and has been active in EU Public Affairs for 15 years. Over this period she has built up expertise and experience with regard to comitology and delegated acts and EU decision-making procedures in general. Besides her expertise on the subject, Vicky is recognized as a good pedagogue and trainer, able to communicate clearly and transfer know-how on complex topics. She is also Visiting Professor at the College of Europe, Bruges on Secondary legislation. She co-authored two books: the ‘New practical guide to the EU labyrinth’ and ‘the Handbook on EU secondary legislation’.

Registration & Information

Date: 7 December 2017 

Registration deadline: tbc

Location: UM Campus Brussels, Legerlaan 10, 1040 Brussels

Contact: 0032 (0)2 732 50 76 Email:  campusbrussels[at]maastrichtuniversity[dot]nl