Thirty international students participate in online inter-university Summer School on EU Policy-Making

At the beginning of our rather exceptional COVID-19 summer, thirty international students participated in the Inter-University Summer School on EU Policy-Making. This was the 17th edition of our long-standing summer programme, but different from previous years, the intensive two-week course was held online from 6-17 July 2020. 

The summer school 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 summer school can be taken as a stand-alone course (5 ECTS) or as part of the Post-Graduate Programme on EU Policy-Making

Thematically, human security in today’s EU was in the spotlight. While touching upon a wide variety of EU policy fields, we offered participants insights into several aspects of human security through a digital and civil rights-based lens (e.g. freedom of expression, data protection, migration, anti-discrimination).

The summer school was held in synchronous online format, via the Canvas learning platform, with a high-level of interaction between students and lecturers. COVID-19 forced us to think out-of-the-box! We ran our role play exercise in which students simulated an ongoing policy-making procedure fully online, making extensive use of break-out sessions and discussion forums. On a social level, we organised daily challenges and informal exchanges.

A much-appreciated feature of the summer school were the exclusive insights with EU practitioners, which replaced on-site study visits. In this context, we held a public event, open to summer school alumni and other externals, in which Jurek Kuczkiewicz, Strategic Advisor Communication & Media to the President of the European Council Charles Michel, shared his insights on how the President of the European Council has tackled these past months of crisis.

The online summer school was an exciting challenge. We are very grateful to our colleagues for their support, both on screen and behind the scenes.

The Summer School 2021 edition will be held from 5-16 July in Brussels and Vienna. We will continue to work on the theme of ‘Analysing Human Security in today’s EU’. For more information, please visit our summer school webpage.

The Inter-University Summer School on EU Policy-Making is a cooperation between the Institute for European Studies, the Diplomatische Akademie Wien – Vienna School of International Studies Vienna and the University of Vienna, is a Jean Monnet Module, is made possible with the support of the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.



"I participated in the IES summer school the first month of my PhD studies on cybersecurity and policy making and it was a great kick-off. The summer school provided broad knowledge about decision making in the EU at a level I could understand despite not having extensive background in political science or law."

Øyvind Anders Arntzen Toftegaard

"The Summer School was a unique experience, essential to improve my knowledge of European institutions. The multiplicity of backgrounds was essential to understand the different realities of each Member-State, but also to understand what unites us as Europeans. I strongly recommend this experience to everyone interested in knowing how the European Union works."

Lourenço Teixeira

"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 organizators 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

"The 2020 summer school organized by the Institute of European Studies 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 
(PGC student)




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