Institut d'etudes Européennes
De l'Université libre de Bruxelles

Reporting on expert debates and conferences in EU affairs

Christophe Leclercq (EurActiv Founder) and Ramona Coman (IEE Director)

Learning Objectives: to acquire up-to-date expert knowledge and to develop new communication writing skills

The Institute for European Studies organizes in average 60 conferences per year bringing together renowned academics, experts, high-level EU officials, political actors and other stakeholders. By integrating this series of events in the program of the Executive Master in European Studies (MEUS) the aim is threefold:

  • to encourage participants to enlarge their professional networks so that they can benefit from the socialization effects in specialized milieus
  • to provide them with up-to-date expert information on recent evolutions in EU politics and policy-making so that they can use it for professional purposes.
  • While acquiring new knowledge and information through the MEUS academic program, the overarching aim of this course is to familiarize students with new communication writing skills, as participants are required to report on the conferences and debates in EU affairs organized by the EU to write a short communication piece.


Learning Outcomes

After the completion of this course, students will master some basic principles in communication and EU affairs.

Christophe Leclercq, founder of the European media EurActiv, will provide the MEUS participants with valuable feedback and hints to improve communication and professional skills.

Ramona Coman, professor in political science and EU studies, will help students to improve their analytical skills by familiarizing them with key concepts to frame recent evolutions in EU politics and policy making.


Teaching methods

The course is organized in four sessions of two hours each.

After an introductory session given by Christophe Leclercq and Ramona Coman explaining the learning outcomes, the learning objectives as well as the course requirements and grading, in session 1 and session 2 Christophe Leclercq will familiarize students with his approach and his hints on effective conference writing. Session 3 will be given by Ramona Coman who will introduce some key concepts in EU politics and policy-making so that students can use them in reporting on EU affairs; in session 4, participants will be invited to present their draft essays; they will receive constructive feedback from the professors so that they can prepare the submission of their essay in January (in August for the re-sit examination).


Course requirements and grading

Concretely, in order to fulfill the requirements of this course, the MEUS participants have

  • To attend the four sessions of 2 hours each; please note that participation to the in-class discussions counts for 10% of the final grade.
  • To attend at least two conferences (from October to December 2016) on EU affairs: one organized by the Institute for European Studies (IEE) and the other one by another academic/non-academic institution in Brussels. The list of conferences is available on the IEE website and IEE Facebook page. When attending one of the IEE conferences, students have the obligation to sign the registration list so that the professors can check attendance. Students who have not attended at least two conferences from October to December 2016 will be authorized to follow the IEE’s series of conferences from February to June 2017. 
  • To write an essay reporting on the two conferences; the essay is due for 20 January 2017 (16th August for the re-sit examination). The professors will explain the guidelines for the essay during the first. The essay is a five-pages document, without the cover page and the list of references. Please use Times New Roman, 12, double space. Students are invited to give an original title to their work. Students may optionally choose to provide a shorter report on the context, accompanied by a potentially publishable article in journalistic style, or a press release draft offered to the organizers (for their decision or not, which does not count in the grade). If so: 3 page 'academic' report, plus maximum 400 words 'media piece'


    Reader/support material


Academic Integrity : Students are expected to abide by all MEUS academic rules. In particular, any evidence of plagiarism will be sanctioned by a 0/20. The sanctions are decided by the Board of professors.