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Europaeum Seminar 'Policy-Making inside Europe'

Participant Shanti Walde talks about her impressions.

Apr 20, 2021

Shanti Walde

Shanti Walde
Image Credit: Linus Plaßmann

The EUROPAEUM's traditional Policy Making Seminar, which usually takes place annually in Brussels, was organized online this year in cooperation with the European Parliamentary Research Service (DG EPRS). The aim was to link academic and political institutions and to contribute to a better understanding of the process of EU policy preparation and implementation.

Participant Shanti Walde had the opportunity to gain insights into key areas of European politics during the seminar. She is studying international security and political science as part of the Franco-German double master's program between Freie Universität Berlin and SciencesPo Paris. As she is particularly interested in the interface between European foreign policy in the MENA region (Middle East & North Africa), counter-terrorism policy and security cooperation, she applied for the Policy Making Seminar.

She hoped the seminar would deepen her knowledge of the intricacies of European policy-making processes, which are incredibly granular and complicated, and help her understand what can make this meticulous work easier. Two weeks after submitting her application, she received an invitation to participate in the seminar, which took place at the end of January. The panel was very diverse in terms of content. "The seminar was attended by researchers, experts, politicians from different parties and party families, so the debates were really insightful and rich," she says. As part of her studies, she is particularly interested in intersectional-feminist and postcolonial perspectives, and with this in mind, she emphasizes that she would have liked to see more diversity in the panels participants. Despite this, she enjoyed the seminar very much. One of the things that contributed to that was that at the end of each session it was possible to exchange ideas with the speakers in an open and controversial atmosphere.

However, the most exciting part for Shanti Walde was the keynote speech by Heidi Anneli Hautela, the Finnish Vice-President of the EU Parliament, who spoke about the role of the European Parliament in promoting human rights and democracy in the world. "In her speech, she explicitly addressed the newly introduced human rights sanctions mechanism and discussed the challenges and opportunities it presents".

The Europaeum is a network of 18 European universities, of which Freie Universität is also a member. Under the leadership of the University of Oxford, the universities are committed to promoting young academics and European integration. You can find further information on the Europaeum and upcoming events here.