From the 8th to the 10th of April 2019, the students of the Euregio Masters in Public Administration (EMEPA) visited the Tirol-South Tyrol-Trentino Joint Representation in Brussels as part of a study trip.

The visit was the culmination of the extensive programme of the two-year course, which is aimed at civil servants from the administrations of the three regions and organized by Euregio and the Universities of Innsbruck, Bolzano and Trento to promote the development of a public administration of European level in the three areas, with a focus on intercultural, community and multilingual issues. The first edition of the course was attended by 36 civil servants who are required to acquire 60 credits within the two years.

The purpose of the study visit was to explore the European dimension, focusing on the future of cohesion policy, European research and innovation policy and the European elections in May 2019 through an intensive three-day programme. The aim was to deepen the students' knowledge of the EU Institutions and to promote their knowledge of matters related to cross-border cooperation. The programme included informative visits to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Commission and the European Committee of the Regions. On site, EU policy makers introduced the students to the work of the respective Institutions, followed by exciting exchanges of ideas with the lecturers.

In the EU Commission, they discussed EU neighbourhood policy with David Müller, a Member of Commissioner Johannes Hahn's Cabinet. The students then visited the Committee of the Regions, where Slaven Klobučar, Policy Officer of the European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation (EGTC), gave them an introduction to the EGTC. In the European Council, the participants of the study trip met Berthold Berger, Director of the Department for Environment, Education, Youth, Culture, Audiovisual and Sport, from the Council of the European Union, with whom they discussed the role of each institution in the European decision-making process.

Furthermore, the students gained an insight into the work of a civil servant, encountering Kathrin Maria Rudolf, Administrator at the Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development (DG AGRI). At the Common Representation of Tirol- South Tyrol -Trentino, Markus Warasin, member of the cabinet of Antonio Tajani, spoke about the 2019 EU elections, the top candidates’ mechanism, Brexit as well as the current polarization of the EU. Afterwards, the importance of research in relation to the decision-making process and policy making was discussed in a lecture by Klemen Žumer, Head of Unit at the DG for Parliamentary Research Services and, the same day, the students also had the opportunity to better understand the role of the regional representations in Brussels thanks to Lieke van Alphen´s speech. As a Senior advisor for EU Public Affairs at the Province of Noord Brabant, she gave an insight into her work by describing the cooperation of the regional offices with the EU institutions and the institutional lobbying in general, the same kind of work that the Common Representation does here in Brussels. Eventually, the students had the chance to visit the European Parliament.

The experience in the capital of the European Union was also an important moment of sharing and debate for the members of the three regions.




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