The March EU Academy ‘Advocating for the public good: gearing up for the 2020 German Council Presidency’ gathered eighteen participants working on a variety of policy areas, such as climate, sustainable development, human rights and agriculture with varying levels of experience. Led by Marc-Olivier Herman and Joost Mulder, the training combined the essentials of EU decision-making, insights from Council representatives and key steps of an advocacy strategy in a uniquely interactive format. Exploring the role of the Council was undoubtedly a breath of fresh air as its importance in EU advocacy often gets overlooked.
The EUChanger Team combined a thorough preparation with an openness to participants’ key areas of interest, ensuring that the training was as personalised as possible. Both trainers created a platform for diverse perspectives, fuelled by beginners’ enthusiasm and veterans’ vast expertise. The atmosphere was inclusive and empowering which guaranteed inspiring discussions both during and outside of the training’s sessions.
However, what made the training really stand out for me was that it went beyond facts and theory. Not only did it offer unique insights into the essentials on ‘when’, ‘how’ and ‘who’ in advocacy but also concluded with an interactive session on an advocacy strategy for a hypothetical policy scenario. With a strong, but supportive push from both trainers, I was really inspired to seek creative solutions when advocating for the public good.
I would especially recommend this training for those advocating for a more sustainable EU who would like to go outside of their ‘organisational’ comfort zones. It will equip you with a solid understanding of EU decision-making processes whilst generating new, fresh ideas that you can apply in your work.
Big thank you to the EU Changer Team for accepting my application for a pro-bono training spot! I fully believe in the importance of stronger youth engagement in the EU decision-making processes. By making it possible for me to attend the training, you allowed another fresh graduate to explore how to deliver ‘the right message, at the right time, to the right person’.
Agata Meysner works on the implementation of SDGs at the EU level at the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) as well as at Visegrad for Sustainability (V4SDG) where she advocates for a strengthened partnership for sustainability in the Visegrad Region. She is a youth activist and an environmentalist with experience working for various youth organisations.