31. May 2023

AFECO students meet policy-makers and lobbyists in Brussels AFECO students meet policy-makers and lobbyists in Brussels

AFECO students travelled to Brussels in order to discuss the role of European Institutions and Lobbying.

AFECO students in Brussels
AFECO students in Brussels © Nicolas Gerber
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May 31st – June 2nd 2023

A group of 17 AFECO students travelled to Brussels to get informed about European institutions, their role in the field of agriculture, food and the environment, and about the role of civil society and interest groups in European policy-making.

The German food retail sector (BVLH), the European Council of Young farmers (CEJA), and the Biodynamic Federation Demeter International exchanged freely with the students about their work, objectives and roles in Brussels. Lobbying maybe lost some of its negative taint in the process: highlighted were the processes and necessity for the various groups to present their interests to the European policy-makers.

DG Trade and DG Agri both sent representatives to meet with the students at the European Commission, explaining how they implement the Common Agricultural Policy or the European green deal and the Farm to Fork strategy in the regime of European “consensus policy-making”. These policies are then often enacted in and by the regions, as an entertaining German member of the European Committee of the Regions highlighted to the group.

The trip was rounded-up with visits to the Museum of European History and the Parlamentarium, reminding the visitors about the most original European ideal: growing economically and politically together, despite historical, cultural and regional divisions, for a peaceful Europe - a message that resonated well with all.

To the accompanying staff members, it seemed that the students left Brussels determined in their academic progress, in a field as relevant to Europe and the world as ever before, and stimulated by the new insights and professional perspectives they gained.

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