Top civil servants visit the Brussels Bubble with Clingendael
21 May 2024 - 14:23
Source: Clingendael

On Monday, May 13th, a group of senior civil service professionals (from the ‘Algemene Bestuursdienst’) from various Dutch ministries and executive agencies embarked on a visit to Brussels as a final part of the four-day Insight into Europe training programme. The Insight into Europe training programme focusses on the workings of the EU and covers various EU institutions, Brussels-The Hague relations, and the EU’s current and future challenges. The programme includes training sessions, expert contributions, simulations, and an optional visit to Brussels. During this visit to Brussels, participants explore the 'Brussels bubble' and experience the practical application of their course learnings.

After taking the train from Rotterdam to Brussels early in the morning, the day began with a warm welcome from the Dutch Permanent Representation to the EU. This was followed by insightful discussions with Dutch employees at the European Commission and the European Parliament. The day concluded with the newly appointed Ambassador Pieter Jan Kleiweg de Zwaan who shared invaluable insights on the main economic, political, and institutional developments in the EU. After a closing drink hosted by the Permanent Representation, the group returned to Rotterdam by train. 

In general, the visit to Brussels provided firsthand exposure to the intricacies of European policymaking and offering a clearer view of the Dutch role in EU decision-making. We are thankful to all participants for their active involvement in the course. Additionally, we would like to extend warm thanks for the hospitality of everyone in Brussels who made this visit possible.