Announcements & Activities

The College of Europe Development Offices wishes you an enjoyable festive season

This is the perfect time to set strong goals, to start thinking of trying new things, and to challenge ourselves to be better in the New Year to come.

In a contest of economic difficulties and financial challenges, 2013 has been an emblematic year for the Development Office. Seventeen years in business show what a solid foundation we have. Seventeen years are a proof that the DO has the most reliable and supportive partners and clients in the world, and that we can always rely on a devoted community which has continued supporting us in our initiatives and projects.

As the DO continues to grow we know that this is the direct result of your contributions to our success. Therefore I would like to take this opportunity to extend my sincere gratitude to all of you who have made this a gratifying and challenging year.

However, we position ourselves for continuous growing in 2014 and we are eager to roll out with you our already successful initiatives as well as new projects and challenges.

I wish you a happy, healthy and productive 2014.

Jesús Ballesteros, Deputy Director, College of Europe Development Office

Armenia - The Diplomatic School of Armenia on Study Tour

As part of the two-year project “Support to Capacity and Institution Building of the Diplomatic Academy in Armenia”, the College of Europe Development Office organised a Study Tour in Brussels and Vienna for 29 students and staff of the Diplomatic School of Armenia.

Through this study tour (14-20 September) the participants were given the opportunity to visit major EU institutions (European Parliament, the European Commission, the Council and the EEAS) and NATO in Brussels; and the OSCE, UN and IAEA in Vienna. Furthermore, as part of the tour, they were also kindly welcomed by the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Armenia to NATO, the Armenian Ambassador to Belgium, Luxemburg and the EU and the Armenian Ambassador to Austria and OSCE.

Georgia - Project award: Capacity building in International Relations

The College of Europe Development Office has been awarded with the two-year project : « Capacity building in International Relations in Georgia ». The overall objective of this initiative is to support the strategic development, capacity building and promotion of the Diplomatic Training Centre of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia and by this to contribute to the implementation of the major part of the Institutional Reform Plan of the beneficiary institutions.

By strengthening the Diplomatic Training Centre and ensuring the transfer of knowledge and skills to diplomats and civil servants, this project should create favourable conditions in support of a closer association and integration between the EU and Georgia. A large number of activities have been foreseen including study visits to Europe, curricula development of standard and short training courses on diplomacy related topics and skills, training of trainers and promotional events.

Moldova - Enhancing the expertise of civil servants on EU legislation

In December 2013, the College of Europe Development Office has been awarded by the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Moldova the contract “Staff Development Services”. The main activity of this initiative is to organise professional training for civil servants working for the Centre of Legal Approximation under the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Moldova.

The training seminars to be provided are aiming at enhancing the skills of the civil servants on different areas of EU legislation, namely EU Environmental Policy, Fundamental Human Rights in the EU, and EU legislation in the Insurance sector.

Collaboration avec l'OIF: Le français dans la diplomatie et la fonction publique

Depuis plusieurs années, le Collège d’Europe coopère avec l’OIF dans le cadre de son programme « Le français dans la diplomatie et la fonction publique ». Le but de ce programme étant pour les fonctionnaires d’améliorer leurs compétences et connaissances en affaires européennes en français.

Pour l’année 2013, le Service de Développement du Collège d’Europe a organisé 5 formations en français à destination de fonctionnaires des pays partenaires du programme. Deux formations ont été organisées en Estonie, respectivement sur la crise économique et ses conséquences en Europe et sur le processus du décision européen, une formation d’introduction aux affaires européennes s’est tenue en principauté d’Andorre, et une formation sur les acteurs, processus et défis de l’intégration européenne des Balkans occidentaux a eu lieu en Ancienne République Yougoslave de Macédoine. Enfin les fonctionnaires lettons ont bénéficié d’une formation sur le processus de décision européen et la négociation européenne, s’intégrant dans leur préparation intensive pour la prise de la présidence du Conseil par la Lettonie en janvier 2015. Au total quatre formateurs ont été mobilisés sur ces formations.

Le retour des participants et celui des formateurs ont été très positifs et témoignent de l’utilité de ce programme. Le Service de Développement se prépare déjà pour les formations 2014, et développe actuellement des propositions de programme avec les pays parte.

Balkan corner

The College of Europe Development Office remained active in the Western Balkans during the autumn season through the organisation of various activities for the Ministry of Interior of Serbia and for the Ministry of European Integration of Albania.

In September, we welcomed a delegation of 15 civil servants from the Serbian Ministry of Interior for a six-day professional training on the EU functioning and policy-making with a focus on Justice and Home Affairs.

In November, two of our trainers travelled to Belgrade, Serbia, to deliver a 4-day professional training on soft management skills for which a practical Handbook has been specifically prepared in the framework of the above-mentioned cooperation with the Serbian Ministry of Interior thanks to a programme managed by the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF, Belgrade office).

M. Crescenzi, trainer on regional policy, travelled to Tirana, Albania to train Albanian civil servants on regional policy, in the context of the Chapter 22 of the EU acquis. This training has been developed in the framework of an EU funded project entitle “Support to Ministry of European Integration” in Albania, the Development Office being a member of the consortium managing and implementing this project.

More information on the project in Albania.

Autumn Training Seminars 2013: a success story!

While we are slowly entering into winter, it is time for the College of Europe Development Office to reflect on our studious and successful autumn. Our three autumn training seminars were fully booked with participants coming from all over Europe and beyond to deepen their knowledge on Trade Policy and WTO (28-30 October 2013), improve their negotiation and communications skills (18 - 22 November 2013) and learn how to apply and manage EU funded projects (18 - 22 November 2013).

In October 2013, we welcomed 11 participants to the Trade Policy training course. During three days, participants gained a better understanding of the global trade system, EU trade law and the trend on how it is likely to move in the future. Our lecturers were found to be real characters with impressive careers who enjoyed very much teaching!

For the EU Project Management course we welcomed 31 participants coming from all over the world. During this 5-day training the participants had the opportunity to learn and practice the technical tools required by the European Commission in the management of projects. In particular, participants gained a better understanding about the main EU funding schemes, and the instruments and tools necessary to well manage EU funded projects, such as the Project Cycle Management and the Logical Framework. They had the opportunity to practice these tools on real projects while working together with their fellow participants. The feedbacks were very positive and participants highly appreciated the international and multicultural experience offered by this course. Next year's programme is already under preparation and will be soon available on-line. If you are interested in learning more about EU funded projects and would like to understand better how the different phases of a project work, join us in November 2014. We will work together on new tenders and call for proposals!

This year we were proud to welcome 20 participants in the framework of the seminar EU Negotiations in Practice. During 5 days, our students practiced intensively bilateral and multilateral negotiations. They also learned more about the EU decision-making process, tested their communication skills and expanded their knowledge on lobbying and interest representation on the EU. They finally had the opportunity to use all the skills and knowledge learned during a one-day simulation of a negotiation of the Council in the premises of the Council and on a hot topic issue currently debated in the EU : Gender balance in business leadership. The feedbacks from the participants on this experience have been highly positive. Next year’s programme is already under preparation and will be soon available on-line. If you ever wonder what it is like to take a decision with 27 other persons, please join us for our 2014 edition and come to negotiate in the Council on the next directive our lecturers will have selected for you. Please note that this training will now be entitled “Negotiations in Practice”.

New Training Modules on EU2020 Strategy in 2014

The College of Europe Development Office is developing new training modules on the EU2020 Strategy and its flagship initiatives in order to assist professionals to understand the new objectives and instruments created to achieve the ambitious targets of the Strategy (e.g. Innovation Union, Horizon 2020 or Resource Efficient Europe). Stay tuned! More information will follow in 2014.

The European Union is working to move beyond the crisis and create the conditions for a more competitive economy with higher employment. In order to achieve these objectives the European Union launched its new strategy for the coming years: the EU2020 Strategy.

The Europe 2020 strategy is about delivering growth that is: smart, through more effective investments in education, research and innovation; sustainable, thanks to a decisive move towards a low-carbon economy; and inclusive, with a strong emphasis on job creation and poverty reduction.

And these are the topics of the new training modules recently designed and to be organised by the College of Europe next year.

UNU-CRIS - Book Series Traces Six-Decade History of Regionalism

The United Nations University Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS) has published Regionalism, a four-volume intellectual history capturing and organizing six decades of research and policy discourse on regional integration and regionalism. The series, edited by Philippe De Lombaerde (Associate Director, UNU-CRIS) and Fredrik Söderbaum (Associate Professor, University of Gothenburg, and Associate Senior Research Fellow, UNU-CRIS), was published as part of the respected SAGE Library of International Relations series.

The ambitious collection consolidates a fragmented field of study that is characterized by a lack of dialogue among academic disciplines and area specializations, as well as divergent theoretical traditions and approaches. Regionalism provides the scholars with a collection of seminal articles that have contributed to shaping the thinking about regional integration, regionalism and regionalization during the past six decades.

Further information on this collection.