Speech writing in the EU

How to put into words the complexity of the EU? How to proceed when you write a speech for an EU commissioner in 2019?  

On Wednesday 20 November 2019, EmpoWording EU — a new CoE association that strives to put discourse and communication at the centre — organized its first event  on "Speechwriting in the EU". On this occasion, Mr Tom MOYLAN, Speechwriter to the Commissioner for Trade, animated an instructive and fascinating masterclass on how to speech-write in the European Union. 

This interactive session was an opportunity for the students to get a behind-the-scene view on speechwriting by learning tips and tricks from this exercise ("what I wish I had known on my first day of work"); listening to personal experiences and stories of the day-to-day challenges of a speechwriter; as well as analyzing and brainstorming on a real-life case study e.g. "Truths about Trade"Speech by EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström, 2019.


Such an interactive and refreshing workshop was an opportunity to learn about the concrete challenges of putting EU into words — in the literal sense — in the current context and from an insider perspective.

  • The issue at stake: putting into words the complexity of the EU;
  • The key takeaways: from poetry to politics, creative inspiration to complex expertise and technicality, the speechwriter must find the right balance; 
  • The biggest challenge: catch the attention of the audience and keep it.