Week 3 of our time in Europe has seen some more excellent site visits.  On Monday, the students visited the European External Action Service (EEAS).  As the EU’s proto-foreign service, the EEAS manages external relations where the EU has a foreign policy competency.  The students got excellent briefings providing an overview of EU-US relations, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and cybersecurity.

Students hear from EU staff first hand on the most pressing foreign policy issues confronting the EU

As usual, the students asked some very astute questions, and the staff providing the briefings ranged far and wide over the subject area as our students explored the complicated terrain of EU policy.  This third week also represents an inflection point of sorts, as the students start to bring together the various threads they have been exposed to in class and in past briefings to begin to develop a more comprehensive understanding of the EU.

This ‘synthetic moment’ (as in synthesize, not fake) was very apparent as the students took briefings at the Centre for European Policy Studies on the issue of climate change.  Everything from TTIP to Ukraine to industrial espionage factored into the students’ questions as they sought to make sense of one of the EU’s signature policy areas.

Students and faculty briefed on an EU signature policy area: Climate Change

Tomorrow the students will have even more exposure to the issue as our own Assistant Professor Janelle Knox-Hayes will give a lecture on the history and operation of the EU Emissions Trading System.