Summer School on EU Policy Making

Programme and curriculum

2023 Summer School theme: Analysing civil rights in today's EU

The intensive two-week Jean Monnet Summer School on EU Policy Making, taught on campus, is held one week in Brussels and one week in Vienna from Monday 3 to Friday 14 July 2023. This Summer School allows students to explore both the old and the new centre of diplomacy in Europe. The Brussels School of Governance joins forces with the Diplomatische Akademie Wien — Vienna School of International Studies and the University of Vienna to bring you this 'crash course' in European Union Policy Making. The focus area of the Summer School, which will be civil rights, touching on policy discussions related to human security, migration, anti-discrimination, diversity.

Packed with interactive seminars and study visits, this summer programme attracts students and young professionals who wish to broaden their knowledge of the European institutions, European law and the European decision-making process in general. The first week of the summer school takes place in Brussels and reviews the main EU institutions and decision-making procedures. During the second week students learn more about EU foreign relations, while enjoying the beautiful city of Vienna.

The Summer School corresponds to 5 ECTS. It is also part of the Postgraduate Certificate in EU Policy Making. This certificate is equivalent to 25 ECTS credits and provides an even better insight in the different EU policy areas.

The Brussels School of Governance is an alliance between the Institute for European Studies (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) and Vesalius College. This Summer School is a programme that is organised by the Institute for European Studies (VUB), a Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence. 


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Programme information

The Summer School’s main theme in 2023 will be Analysing civil rights in today’s EU.

The first week in BRUSSELS (3 to 7 July) provides an introduction to the various decision-making actors and key policy areas. Lectures, discussions and exercises facilitated by academics and practitioners are complemented with study visits to EU institutions. The lectures include the following topics:

  • Introduction to the European Union
  • Functioning of the European institutions
  • EU decision-making procedures
  • Governance, participation and legitimacy
  • Overview of select EU policy areas with a focus on civil rights: human security, migration, anti-discrimination, diversity.

The second week in VIENNA (10 to 14 July) builds on the first week and offers in-depth knowledge on EU policy making, with a focus on external affairs. Lectures and interactive exchanges with experts are complemented with visits to the UN, the OSCE and the EU Delegation in Vienna. The lectures address the following topics:

  • EU constitutional and legal issues
  • European foreign and security policy
  • Human rights protection
  • The EU and international organisations
  • Overview of select EU policy areas with a focus on civil rights: human security, migration, anti-discrimination, diversity.

Throughout the two weeks, the summer school participants will work in small groups to negotiate a policy solution to a human security-related problem in the EU. They are assigned a role and asked to broker political and legislative agreements among EU member states. Upon attendance and active participation in the two-week programme, the participants receive a 5 ECTS certificate for participation in the Summer School.


Click here to see the summer school programme of the 2023 edition.




Success stories

  • "The 2020 summer school was an outstanding learning experience. It helped me to better understand the decision making process within the EU and the future challenges the EU has to tackle. Despite being an online experience this year, due to the staff’s dedication, professionalism and the way the lectures were organized, the summer school felt like an on site event. I am more than grateful for this opportunity to learn about the EU in a multicultural environment."

    Bogdan Popescu (Romania)
    Summer School alumnus (2020)
  • "I have participated to the Summer School on EU Policy making 2020. Despite the fact the course had to be held online for the first time, due to the COVID context, the organisers managed to keep it interesting, challenging and interactive! We did workshops, brainstorming, case studies and a simulation game which enabled us to put the theory in practice with direct feedback from experts in the field. I would highly recommend the short but intensive programme for anyone with a political, societal or general European interest (so anyone actually)!"

    Charlotte Vanstallen (Belgium)
    Summer School alumna (2020)
  • "I found it a very well designed course with committed people behind it and an impressive participation of quality speakers from different institutions, organisations, and political or academic bodies. Great presentations from accomplished academics and professionals in their field. It is definitely worth it and gives the opportunity to the participants to have access to different knowledge sources and the opportunity to pose questions to representatives of different policy areas".

    Efthymia Papadimitriou (Greece)
    Summer School alumna (2020)
  • "It has been amazing! As a Mexican, I believe that understanding the functioning of the EU is extremely important because of the strong relations between Mexico and the European Union. Definitely the best experience for me was the visit to the European institutions plus the exceptional participation of each spokesperson in every lecture. I find this combination quite accurate since personally it has been very helpful in understanding the workings of the EU policymaking process. Simply put, a creative, interactive and productive summer school”.

    Vanessa Espinoza (Mexico)
    Summer School alumna (2022)
Admission requirements

It is recommended to be (at least) in the final year of a Bachelor degree. Candidates from partner countries neighbouring the EU are especially encouraged to apply. All candidates must demonstrate a high level of motivation and interest in their letter of intent. A good level of English is necessary.

Deadlines and application process

To apply, please click the ‘Apply here’ button at the top of this page, which will take you to a page on a website dedicated to this programme, on which you will find the application form that you can use to submit your information and accompanying documents that we require from you to assess your application.


  • Please note that applications will be reviewed as of February – you may of course already apply before that date.
  • Assessments are on a rolling base, namely every 2 weeks in the period February – 15 April
  • Early bird deadline: 15 March
    Applicants who submit their application by 15 March at the latest and are subsequently admitted to the programme, are eligible for a 10% discount on the tuition fee.
  • Tuition fee waiver deadline: 15 March (see information below).
  • Application deadline: 15 April
Tuition fee information

The tuition fee for the Summer School is 1900 EUR. This fee includes: course material, access to online platform, daily lunch in Brussels and Vienna, flight from Brussels to Vienna on the Sunday at the end of the first week of the summer school, and study visits. The tuition fee does not include: accommodation, daily breakfast in Vienna, evening meals, flights to Brussels and from Vienna.

How can I apply for a tuition fee waiver?

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How can I apply for a tuition fee waiver?

In 2023, the Brussels School of Governance is able to grant two full tuition fee waivers to students in its summer school programme. The first of these waivers is funded by our own School. The second of these waivers is funded thanks to the generous support of the Flemish Ministry of Education and Training and the Flemish Higher Education Council (VLUHR). The deadline to apply for both waivers is 15 March.

Both tuition fee waivers will be attributed on the basis of merit and motivation. The waivers will in general, but not exclusively, be granted to a student from a partner country neighbouring the EU

If you think you may be eligible for one of these waivers, you will need to provide the following supporting documents as part of your application to the programme:

  • A motivation letter
  • A transcript of your academic records.
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Are any alumni available for feedback about the summer school?

Could I have more information about the accommodation for the Summer School?

Does this programme provide me any ECTS credits?

What is the cancellation policy?

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Are any alumni available for feedback about the summer school?

Yes – you will find their contact details at the bottom of this web page. Feel free to reach out to them to get their honest, first-hand feedback to your questions!

Could I have more information about the accommodation for the Summer School?

Optional accommodation is available through the programme organisers.

In Brussels, accommodation consists of a shared studio (2 persons per studio) at Hotel Adagio Delta (Boulevard du Triomphe 207, 1160 Brussels), a 10-minute walk from the BSoG. A week in a shared studio costs approximately €350* per person (suggested check-in on Sunday 2 July).

In Vienna, accommodation consists of a single room per participant at the Diplomatische Akademie Wien (Favoritenstraße 15a, 1040 Vienna) or at a nearby hotel if out of capacity. This accommodation, depending on the location, is in the price range of €330 - €430* for the week, arriving Sunday 9 July, departing Saturday 15 July.

Click here for more information about accommodation in Vienna.

Please note that you are responsible for booking your flight back home from Vienna.

*the price is subject to modifications beyond our control

Does this programme provide me any ECTS credits?

As of 2012, the Summer School on EU Policy Making has received official accreditation from the VUB. Thus, the Summer School corresponds to 5 credits (equivalent to 5 ECTS).

What is the cancellation policy?

In case of cancellation before the start of the programme: 

  • If more than 45 days: any tuition fees will be reimbursed, except pre-registration fee 
  • Between 45 & 30 days: 50% of tuition fee will be reimbursed, except pre-registration fee 
  • Between 30 and 15 days: 25% of tuition fee will be reimbursed, except pre-registration fee 
  • Less than 15 days: nothing will be reimbursed

The pre-registration fee is non-refundable, unless cancellation in a programme is due to events beyond the control of the applicant, otherwise known as force majeure (for example for medical reasons). In those cases, the full pre-registration fee will be refunded.

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Have a question about this programme? Ask our alumni…

If you want to know more about our Summer School, who better to ask than the people who have recently finished it? The alumni below are available to provide you with their honest, first-hand feedback!

Year of graduation: 2019
Year of graduation: 2020
Year of graduation: 2020

…or get in touch with us directly!

I have already applied and have a question about my application.


If you have not submitted an application yet, use the Contact Form on this page, or
one of the other contact options below.

I have not applied yet and want to book a virtual appointment.

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