Europe in focus at Training for International Diplomats

Supported by the European Directorate-General at the Federal Foreign Office, Training for International Diplomats has been holding an EU Kolleg since June 2010. The programme will initially run for one year but is to be continued in the future. 

The programme, which focuses on European policy, is targeted at the European corres­pondents at the embassies of our EU partners in Berlin. Of the 26 EU member state embassies accredited to Berlin, 25 embassies have taken part to date, with most of them sending their counsellors or minister counsellors.

Increasingly, the European Union’s issues and fields of actions are having a direct impact on domestic policy in the member states. The interplay among national political forces is thus of growing significance for their ability to act in the sphere of European policy. The European decision-making processes are also ever more interlinked.

With a view to facilitating their reporting, we therefore want to offer the European corres­pondents at the embassies of our EU partner countries an opportunity to hear more opinions and assessments on the framework and background of Germany’s European policy. We are doing this by bringing them together with German decision-makers from the world of politics and society as well as by organizing high-level background briefings at the Federal Foreign Office, which is responsible for the overall coordination of Germany’s European policy, and at other ministries which deal with EU related matters. The aim should be to become familiar with the other side’s perspective and to take this into account in advance of national decisions. The talks will take place in Berlin as well as in various Länder and will, as a rule, be in German.

Following the first rounds of talks in Berlin with, among others, the Head of the European Directorate-General, Mr Clauß, and the Head of the Policy Planning Staff at the Federal Foreign Office and at the Federal Chancellery, the participants travelled to Karlsruhe and Frankfurt on 22 and 23 September. At the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe, we met the Vice-President and President of the First Senate, Professor Kirchhof. His presentation and the subsequent discussion were so interesting that the 90 minute slot flew by. The talks, during which the participants asked very specific and specialist questions of the highest calibre, threw light on some of the topical issues relating to the Federal Constitutional Court’s judgement on the Lisbon Treaty and on European matters.

The visit to the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, where we spoke to Deputy Head of Department Mr Glöckler, was also marked by a high level of expertise as well as a lively and informed discussion. Even though numerous financial issues concerning the future are still shrouded in uncertainty, many actions and decisions, especially those of the ECB, became a little clearer.

Beyond the themes and issues dealt with, thanks to the openness and friendliness of the participants as well as the many opportunities to meet and exchange views, a group feeling developed which was very much welcomed by the participants and which we encouraged as our own small contribution towards European integration.

Last updated 20.10.2010

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