Winter School on EU Policy Making

Programme and curriculum

From Monday 5 to Friday 16 February 2024, the Brussels School of Governance (BSoG) will organise the fourth edition of its online Winter School on EU Policy-Making, in collaboration with its partners the Diplomatische Akademie Wien — Vienna School of International Studies and the University of Vienna. This Jean Monnet Winter School, which provides participants a ‘crash course’ in European Union Policy Making, will build on the long-standing expertise of the similar (offline) Summer School that the BSoG and its partners have organised for more than 20 years. Other than being taught fully online, the second main difference with its ‘Summer sibling’, is the focus area of the Winter edition, which will be digital rights and diplomacy, touching on policy discussions related to freedom of expression, data protection, disinformation resilience, and platform responsibility.

This winter programme is a challenging and truly interactive online study experience (workshops, simulation game, etc.) with special attention to the social side. It 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 reviews the main EU institutions and decision-making procedures. During the second week students learn more about EU foreign relations.

The Winter 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 Winter 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 Winter School’s main theme in 2024 will be Analysing digital rights and diplomacy in today’s EU.

The first week (5 to 11 February) provides an introduction to the various decision-making actors and key policy areas. Lectures, discussions and exercises will be facilitated by academics and practitioners. 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 digital rights: freedom of expression, data protection, disinformation resilience, platform responsibility, cyber security.

The second week (12 to 16 February) 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 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 digital rights: freedom of expression, data protection, disinformation resilience, platform responsibility, cyber security.

Throughout the two weeks, we organise exclusive insight sessions with high-level practitioners from the EU institutions, the UN and the OSCE, providing students with firsthand opportunities to learn and interact with policy-makers. The Winter School participants will work in small groups to negotiate a policy solution to a digital rights-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 Winter School.


Download the Winter School 2023 Programme here >>



Success stories

  • The Winter School was the perfect complement to my International Business Relations BA and to broaden my knowledge of policy making. I had very high expectations when I applied, and actually, it turned out to be even much better than I had imagined. I learned a lot due to the combination of interesting lectures by university lecturers and experts from the field and the simulation game, where we could put our theoretical knowledge into practice. There was a lot of active interaction and discussion among the students and with the great lecturers, too. I was impressed how our group of students – beyond national and digital borders - grew together. Do not miss out on that great opportunity!

    Ines Atteneder
    Winter School alumna (2022)
  • "The Winter School in EU Policy making is an excellent opportunity to learn more on the current issues in regard to the EU Digital Act, SMEs, and EU Single market by employing very up-to-date learning methods that create a very competitive and stimulative learning environment providing the students basically with a crash course on EU policy analysis, policy-making, and amending, which is beneficial to one aspiring to deal with such topics on a daily basis, but also to the ones already dealing with such issues. 100% attendance is highly recommended."

    Kristofer Jovkovski
    Winter School alumnus (2023)
  • As a PhD student of European studies, participating in the Jean Monnet Winter School on EU Policy Making 2021 was an outstanding experience for me. During the Winter School theory and practice were fantastically merged. Despite being held online, the programme was very intensive, fruitful and beneficial. It was a tremendous opportunity for me and my fellow students to have such direct interaction with leading experts from the EU.

    Tamar Todria (Georgia)
    Winter School alumna (2021)
  • The Jean Monnet Winter School on EU Policy-Making is a prestigious and one-of-a-kind programme as it is both academically excellent and intellectually stimulating. It gives the participants a firm understanding of EU law and the procedural aspects of EU policy-making. High-profile speakers from academia, Permanent Representatives to the EU, members of the European Commission, members of the European Parliament, Policy Advisors of EU member states, and members of the EU agencies shared exclusive insights into the legal and procedural aspects of the institution's EU policy-making process. The programme is highly recommendable for academics, professionals both in the private and public sectors, and students alike. Participation in this programme enriched me academically and career-wise since the programme provided up-to-date information on legislation, procedural aspects of EU policy-making and geopolitics.

    Vivien Tomio-Onghay
    Winter School alumna (2023)
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 September – you may of course already apply before that date.
  • Assessments are on a rolling base, namely every 2 weeks in the period September – 10 January
  • Early bird deadline: 15 November
    Applicants who submit their application by 15 November 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 November (see information below).
  • Application deadline: 10 January
Tuition fee information

The tuition fee for the Winter School is 1600 EUR.

The Brussels School of Governance will grant one full tuition fee waiver to one student of the Winter School programme. This waiver will be attributed on the basis of merit and motivation, and 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 the waiver, 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.

The deadline for applying for the tuition fee waiver is 15 November (same as the early bird deadline).


What are the minimum technology / hardware requirements for this online Winter School?

Does this programme provide me any ECTS credits?

What is the cancellation policy?

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What are the minimum technology / hardware requirements for this online Winter School?

The Winter School on EU policy-making will take place on the online learning platform Canvas, where you will have access to all learning material and participate in video conferences. As minimum technology requirements, you need to have a stable Internet connection and a computer/tablet with speakers, microphone and camera.

Click here for more information on the minimum requirements for using Canvas LMS.


Does this programme provide me any ECTS credits?

The Winter School on EU Policy Making has received official accreditation from the VUB. Thus, it corresponds to 5 credits (equivalent to 5 ECTS).


What is the cancellation policy?

  • More than 45 days before arrival: no cancellation charges
  • Between 45 and 30 days before arrival: 50% cancellation charges
  • Between 30 and 15 days before arrival: 75% cancellation charges
  • Less than 15 days before arrival: 100% cancellation charges
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Have a question about this programme? Ask our alumni…

If you want to know more about this Winter 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: 2023
Year of graduation: 2023
Year of graduation: 2023
Year of graduation: 2023
Year of graduation: 2023

…or get in touch with us directly!

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


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one of the other contact options below.

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