The Brussels Business – Lobbying in the EU: between responsibility and self-interest

Event on lobbyism

A man with a briefcase in front of the European Commission in Brussels – a lobbyist? (Photo: “European Commission in Bruxelles” by bernard_in_va; CC BY-NC 2.0 / modified)

Tuesday, 15th of September – Friday, 18th of September


Facebook page for the event

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For information for participants from Germany please click here.

We are pleased to invite you to a particularly exciting event in Brussels: From the 15th to the 18th of September 2015 we are offering you a chance to explore “‘The Brussels Business’ – Lobbying in the EU: between social responsibility and self-interest” together with other young Europeans from Germany and Belgium! Through this international event jointly organized by JEF Brussels, JEF Hessen and JEF Mainz-Wiesbaden we would like to provide you with the opportunity to gain a personal insight into the work of lobbyists and special interest groups in the capital of Europe.

Arguing about decisions and exchanging views among the EU institutions, companies, governmental and non-governmental organisations from 28 member states: how does it work? Who best brings across their demands and who lags behind? What are the conditions for success: money, networks, information? What are the lobbyists’ strategies? And is there any place left for the interests of EU citizens? Together with participants from Germany and Belgium we want to get to the bottom of these highly fascinating questions.

Das Europäische Parlament in Brüssel

The European Parliament in Brussels (Photo: European Parliament, Brussels by diamond geezer; CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

To explore the topic we will spend four days meeting up with representatives of companies as well as governmental and non-governmental organisations. In doing so we aim to approach the subject from all angles: On the agenda are among other things meetings with Imperial Tobacco, Volkswagen, the European Consumer Organisation, a reception at the Representation of the State of Hesse to the EU and a guided tour with Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO), an organization that keeps a critical eye on lobbyists. We will also meet representatives from the European Parliament and the European Commission, who will provide us with another crucial perspective in this power game – that of the recipients of lobbyists’ activities.

At the heart of our event are group sessions that help us to prepare for and reflect on our various meetings. They provide us with an opportunity to exchange thoughts and opinions among the participants from Belgium and Germany and discuss critical questions and ideas on the controversial topic of lobbyism. Be part of this exciting event and do not risk missing a chance to broaden your horizon in an entertaining and international atmosphere!

Programme (Last updated on 2nd of September 2015)

Tuesday, 15th of September 2015

09:00 a.m. For participants from Germany only:
Departure of the coach from Frankfurt to Brussels
02:00 p.m. Arrival in Brussels
03:00 p.m. Representation of interests in the multi-level system of governance in the EU
Speaker: Anne Lauenroth, German Institute for International and Security Affairs / Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik  (SWP)
04:30 p.m. Overview of the programme & getting to know each other
06:00 p.m. Group session
07:00 p.m. Dinner

Wednesday, 16th of September 2015

08:30 a.m. Visit to the European Parliament:
Discussion with MEP Michael Gahler (EPP)
10:30 a.m. Group session
12:00 a.m. Lunch
02:00 p.m. Visit to the European Commission:
The role of the Commission as the executive of the EU
Simon Pascoe, DG Communication
The EU Transparency Register and lobbying regulation
Martin Ohridski, Policy Officer
04:00 p.m. Guided tour with Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO), an organization critical of lobbyism
Guide: Pia Eberhardt
07:00 p.m. Dinner
08:00 p.m. Get-together with all participants and JEF Bruxelles

Thursday, 17th of September 2015

10:00 a.m. Volkswagen (VW) Group representative office Brussels
01:00 p.m. Reception at the Representation of the State of Hesse to the EU
Speaker: Dr. Claudia Schöler, Head of division for affairs of the Hessian Ministry of Justice and the European Court of Justice
afterwards Dinner at the representation
04:00 p.m. Group session
05:00 p.m. Group 1:
Representative office of The German Confederation of Skilled Crafts to the EU / Vertretung des Zentralverbands des Deutschen Handwerks (ZDH) bei der EU
Speaker: Dr. Stefanie Espitalier (i.a. single market and consumer policy)
Group 2:
The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC)
Speaker: Johannes Kleis, Head of Communications / Elisavet Sergiadou, Communications Officer
07:00 p.m. Dinner
08:00 p.m. “Pluxen” (Visit to the Place du Luxembourg)

Friday, 18th of September 2015

09:00 a.m. Group session
12:00 a.m. Imperial Tobacco
Speaker: Alan Hardacare, Head of Corporate Affairs Strategy of the Imperial Tobacco EU-Office
afterwards Dinner
03:30 p.m. Final discussion & evaluation
04:30 p.m. For participants from Germany only:
Departure of the coach back to Frankfurt
10:00 p.m. Arrival in Frankfurt

Register now

Practical information

For information for participants from Germany please click here.

Participation fee: For people from Belgium the participation is free of charge. However, a donation is much very appreciated!

Working language: English

Your participation – and that of your friends

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Sounds exciting? You would like to take part in the event? Register right away then – and help us spread the word by inviting your friends and acquaintances to register as well. The more we are and the more diverse the group becomes the more interesting it’ll get – especially regarding the discussions and the exchange of thoughts and ideas. Apart from an interesting programme – we did our best to take care of that – motivated and committed participants are after all what make such an event a succes – and that’s were you come in. So let’s get started! 🙂

Number of places: 50
Number of registered participants from Germany: 27
Number of registered participants from Belgium: 18
Last updated: 06.09.2015, 03:20 p.m.

Here’s how you can help us to recruit participants for the event and make it a success:

  • Can you think of people from your organisation, your class, your university, your work environment or your neighbourhood who might as well be interested in the topic? Talk to them and ask them if they want to accompany you to the event!
  • Like and share this facebook post.

Thanks a lot for your support!

Details regarding the registration

For information for participants from Germany please click here.

Who can participate? Everyone between 14 and 35 who is interested in Europe is very much welcome to register!

Registration form for participants from Belgium: please click here

Deadline for participants from Belgium: Tuesday, 8th of September 2015, 08:00 p.m.

An event organised by JEF Hessen
in cooperation with JEF Mainz-Wiesbaden and JEF Brussels

Subsidised by:

Logo des Bundesministeriums für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend MDEP Michael Gahler (EVP)
out of funds of the Federal Government’s
Child and Youth Plan (KJP)
Office of MEP Michael Gahler
Logo Asta TU Darmstadt Logo Asta Uni Mainz

Photos homepage: “parliament” (modified) by Paul Frankenstein; CC BY-NC 2.0 / „European Commission in Bruxelles“ (modified) by bernard_in_va; CC BY-NC 2.0 / “_MG_9315” (modified) by Corporate Europe Observatory; CC BY-NC-SA 2.0