nl en

EU Public Affairs & Lobbying


Admission requirements

Admission to the Master International Relations, track European Union Studies.


Today, there is virtually no policy area that is not directly or indirectly impacted by decisions made in Brussels. From the single market to environment and from agriculture to consumer protection, name it and the EU will in most cases be competent to make binding decisions on it (shared or exclusively). It has even been estimated that currently over half to three quarters of legislation that applies on national level originates from Brussels. Legislation that can have vast consequences (e.g. costs) for businesses, public organisations and consumers alike. These realities have attracted a wide variety of stakeholders to influence EU decision-making: it is estimated that there are approximately 20.000 EU lobbyists working for trade associations, companies, NGO’s and other organizations, indicating that lobbying is an accepted and widespread part of the EU system. In comparison: there are approximately 50.000 civil servants working for the institutions
In this course you will be made familiar with the art of lobbying the EU. First, we will discuss the major EU developments that have had an impact on the way EU Public Affairs & Lobbying is conducted today. Then we will discuss the methods and techniques of EU Public Affairs along its main dimensions: monitoring, political intelligence, strategy, networks, lobbying and institutional communication. Finally, we will debate the role of lobbying in the EU system, ethics and transparency and how EU lobbying relates to democracy.

Summary of main topics:

  • Introduction: Major EU developments affecting EU PA; and players, powers and procedures

  • Structure & methodology of EU Public Affairs Management

  • Lobbying strategy

  • Stakeholder management, networks and coalitions

  • Communicating with the institutions

  • Ethics, Transparency and Democracy

Course objectives

This course will provide students with an understanding of the theory and practice of EU Public Affairs and lobbying. Students will become acquainted with different approaches, the tools & techniques and learn how to successfully work with them in a multi-level arena. This includes when, where and how to intervene in EU decision-making processes, influencing EU policy and legislation.

The course will use a variety of sources (for example books, journal articles, policy documents from the European institutions and guest speakers) and we will work on real lobby dossiers that are in the EU decision-making pipeline today. At the end of the course you will put your lobby skills in practice during a lobby game in Brussels.


See the website.

Mode of instruction

Interactive seminar.

Course Load

Total course load is 5 ec x 28 hours = 140 hours:

  • Attending lectures: 4 hours per week × 6 weeks = 24 hours

  • time for studying the compulsory literature and preparation for the lectures; 6 hours per week x 6 weeks : 36 hours

  • Writing a paper (incl. research) and presenting it: 60 hours

  • Lobby game: 20 hours

Assessment method

The final mark will be a combination of the following notes obtained during the classes, weighted in the following way:

  • take active part in class discussions (20%);

  • paper and presentation (70%);

  • lobby game (10%).

There will be a retake for the policy paper if students have failed the course.

Reading list

The compulsory literature for weekly readings will be made available during the course.




Via uSis.

Contact information

The co-ordinator of studies