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5th Brussels Summer School for Young Leaders                  EU as a Global Actor

Dates: 2226 June 2020

Venue: Institut d’Études Européennes – Université libre de Bruxelles, Brussels

Unfortunately, this event has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 restrictions – we sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused! We hope to announce a new date for the program as soon as all restrictions are lifted by the University and EU institutions.



 Debate Europe’s Challenges with Top EU Policy-Makers & Diplomats!


                                                                        H.E. Věra Jourová                                                                             Vice-President of the European Commission for Values and Transparency

  • Maroš Šefčovič | Vice-President of the European Commission for Inter-Institutional Relations and Foresight (tbc)
  • Colin Scicluna | Senior EU Diplomat, Head of Unit, European External Action Service (tbc)
  • Gilles de KerchoveEU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator, former Director of Justice & Home Affairs in the Council Secretariat (tbc)
  • Paul Nuber | Seasoned Executive in a Fortune 50 Company
  • Christopher Cooter | Ambassador of Canada to the European Union
  • Hiddo Houben | Head of Unit, European Commission, EU’s Chief Negotiator for TTIP Negotiations
  • Andreas List | Senior EU diplomat, former Head of the EU Office in Myanmar
  • Alain Ruche | Former Senior Advisor to the Secretary General of the European External Action Service
  • Harmonie Koutsivitis | EU Diplomat, European External Action Service
  • Aled Williams | Senior Director, Strategic Communications, FTI Consulting
  • Petr Lunak | Deputy Head, NATO Public Diplomacy Division, NATO Headquarters
  • Xavier Nuttin | Senior Analyst at European Institute for Asian Studies, Former Senior Analyst at European Parliament, Brussels
  • Paul Joseph Lim | Professor of International Relations, University of Tübingen, Germany
  • Lutgard Lams | Assistant Professor, KU Leuven, Campus Brussels


As a leading Summer School held in the ‘Capital of Europe’, the one-week program aims to immerse the participants into the theory and practice of EU policymaking with a special focus on the ‘EU as a Global Actor’. Through a series of lectures, debates, workshops and study trips to different EU institutions and the NATO Headquarters, the Brussels Summer School for Young Leaders provides the participants with a policy-maker’s ‘insider’ perspective into how the European Union and its leaders deal with the closely interlinked key contemporary security, economic and political challenges facing the block. The lectures and discussions are conducted by senior EU policymakers and diplomats, top NATO officials and leading academic experts.

Program Outline

Drapeaux européens devant le Berlaymont

The Brussels Summer School for Young Leaders is centered on the theme of ‘Europe as a Global Actor’ and the program builds upon our strong links with Brussels-based institutions and organizations. The program will start with an opening lecture and debate followed by a welcome reception in the evening on Sunday. Over the period of one week, the participants will engage in a series of lectures, seminars, workshops and debates addressing the main contemporary issues and geopolitical and security challenges facing the European Union. The Brussels Summer School for Young Leaders will broaden the participants’ knowledge of how the European Union decision-making functions and how it deals with different security, economic and political challenges it faces in today’s increasingly complex international system.

Packed also with simulation games (to get an insight into EU decision-making processes), study visits to EU institutions and a careers workshop (to learn about a range of employment opportunities with EU institutions and other organizations in Brussels, what skills are in high demand and how to apply), Brussels Summer School for Young Leaders provides the participants not only with an academic enrichment but is also a valuable asset in their professional life. Ultimately, this one-week of academic and life-enhancing immersion in the capital of Europe will expand your professional, academic and social networks and your future career prospects.

Please note that due to a potentially sensitive nature of the issues discussed, all the meetings will be held under ‘Chatham House rules’. We also encourage you to check the website regularly for updates to the schedule and program content. All participants receive Certificate of Participation confirming active and successful completion of the Brussels Summer School. 

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! For more information, visit the website of the Institut d’Études Européennes – Université libre de Bruxelles.

APPLY NOW! To register, please complete the online electronic APPLICATION FORM and pay by electronic transfer – bank account details are available HERE.

Detailed Program

You can download the program of the Brussels Summer School for Young Leaders: ‘EU as a Global Actor’ HERE.
















Main Themes

In the context of the main ‘Europe as a Global Actor’ theme, the series of lectures, debates and other activities focus specifically on the following main sub-themes:

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  • Introduction: Common Foreign and Security Policy – Does the EU Have Any ‘Foreign Policy’?
  • The Changing Geopolitics of Europe’s Neighborhood – Evaluating ENP’s Successes and Failures
  • EU and Russia – New ‘Cold War’ Looming?
  • EU and Its Changing post-Arab Spring Geopolitical Setting
  • Growing Instability in Europe’s Backyard and the Migration Crisis
  • Transatlantic Partnership in the Trump Era: Continuity and Change
  • EU’s Crisis Management – the Middle East and the Ukrainian Conflict
  • EU Tackling Its ‘New Enemies’ – Al Qaeda, ISIS, Home-Grown Terrorism
  • European Union’s Relationship with Emerging Powers (BRICS)
  • Global Energy Security & Implications for the EU: Evolving Dynamics, Policy Dilemmas & Prospects
  • Reassessing EU’s Human Rights and Democracy Promotion – Adjusting to Inevitable Realities?
  • EU as an Inspiration or a Model for Other Regional Integrations: The ASEAN Case
  • EU and the Changing Global Economic System – New Economic Governance and Competitive Regionalism
  • Climate Change and EU Policy Response
  • Study trips to EU institutions (European Parliament, Council, EEAS)
  • Human Resources Workshop (for Aspiring EU Diplomats)
  • Brainstorming and Action Groups’ Session, Simulation Game and many other activities

Our Students and Their EU & NATO Career

Our Students’ Testimonials











For Whom?

Library-ForWhomBrussels Summer School for Young Leaders is designed for high-potential future leaders – university students, young professionals, diplomats and experts in international relations, economics and security – who have the potential, interest and determination to contribute to the debate on what the European Union’s role as an active and responsible global actor should be. You can participate in the Brussels Summer School for Young Leaders: ‘EU as a Global Actor’ if you are

  • a student and a young researcher in various social sciences disciplines, namely International Relations, Politics, Economics, Sociology, Media and Communications;
  •  working as an academic, policy-maker, government official, as well as a civil society representative or a professional in the private sector;
  •  aged below 40 years and have a solid command of English.

You should apply especially if you have an interest in international relations and security and specifically in EU affairs and the Union’s role in the international arena and if you wish to broaden your knowledge – by using interdisciplinary approach – of how the European Union functions and how it deals with a number of challenges it faces in today’s increasingly complex international system.

Brussels Summer School for Young Leaders will provide you with the exceptional opportunity to enhance your global and leadership competence while focusing on various cutting-edge topics in international relations, politics, security and economics with a particular focus on European Union’s policy-making processes in these areas. Regardless of your academic or professional background, the study abroad experience will undoubtedly be seen as an asset later in your future studies or professional career.

Objectives and Learning Outcomes


  • Develop a critical understanding of the key contemporary security, political and economic challenges faced by the European Union;
  • Demonstrate a fuller understanding of the relationship between the key issues and developments that are relevant to the European Union today and how these influence its place on the global stage;
  • Develop a critical understanding of the contemporary debates related to the EU, its institutions and fundamental functions;
  • Understand a variety of approaches to the study and research of the European Union and its Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP);
  • Be able to identify and critically evaluate key security challenges affecting Europe in the context of the broader international geopolitical tendencies namely in Eastern Europe, Middle East and North Africa and the Asia-Pacific regions while showing an in-depth knowledge of the ‘toolbox’ (diplomatic, economic, political tools, conflict prevention mechanisms etc.) available to the EU to address these challenges;
  • Expand the professional, academic and social networks as well as research and presentation skills to enhance future career prospects;
  • Engage with senior EU policy-makers and experts working in major institutions such as the European Commission, European External Action Service, Council and NATO;
  • Total immersion in the ‘Capital of Europe’, endowed with a vibrant cultural scene, that is also the world’s second most diverse capital city, ‘a city that belongs to everyone’.


Program Dates & FeeBrussels Diploma

Fees&DatesSummer 2020
Program dates: 22-26 June 2020
Application deadline: 10 June 2020                                                      Credits Earned: a total of 3 ECTS
Program fee:
 390 EUR



Costs and Payment Method

 The program fee includes:

  • All tuition fees and classroom support costs
  • All study trips listed in the detailed program
  • Free access to all lectures, workshops and other activities
  • Light buffet lunches, coffee/tea and snacks during coffee breaks
  • Program book and an extensive up-to-date documentation pack
  • Certificate of Participation confirming active and successful completion of the Summer School

The program fee does not include:

  • Transport to and from Brussels and local transportation in Brussels
  • Accommodation during the program (a shared bedroom at a hostel in Brussels city center would cost as low as 100-120 euros for 5 nights)
  • Meals not listed in the detailed program
  • Visas (if applicable)
  • Insurance (students need to sort out their own overseas travel insurance before they leave their home country)

 Payment method

Pay by electronic transfer – bank account details are available HERE.

Applying for a Study Abroad Program

APPLY NOW! To register, please complete the online electronic APPLICATION FORM and submit your application along with the required attachments. Within the next 24 hours you will receive an email from us confirming that your application has been well received, reviewed and processed. Once your preliminary acceptance is thus confirmed, you can proceed to make the payment of the tuition fee (390 EUR) – bank account details are available HERE. Once the tuition fee is received, you will be issued and sent a formal Letter of Enrollment confirming your placement in the program. You may also send us the screenshot of the transaction to enable us to process your Letter of Enrollment faster.

Please register your interest in the Brussels Summer School for Young Leaders as soon as possible as places are limited. If you wish to register after the deadline, please send an email to to check if there are still vacancies. 

Cancellation Policy: If the cancellation is notified before 31 May 2020, reimbursement will be granted (a handling fee of 150 euros will, however, be charged).


Brussels - General Pavel


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