Documents and Document Flow of the EU

5-6/Dec/2017  •  Luxembourg

Project Leader
Petra Jeney
For more information about the activity, please contact:

What is this course about?
The key objective of the seminar is to ensure that documents produced within the EU and specifically in the Council under the auspices of the rotating Presidency - with the support of the General Secretariat of the Council - are very well understood both as to their form, content and their respective role in the workings of EU institutions.

The seminar will provide in-depth knowledge about what type of legislative and non-legislative acts are produced by the EU, how documents are drawn up in the course of the decision-making processes, what are the different tasks of the respective stakeholders (Presidency, General Secretariat, Commission and Parliament), how drafting can further negotiations, and vice versa how the outcome of discussions needs to be transformed into a text. The seminar will target the timely and efficient flow of information that should be ensured and how the Presidency can guarantee it.

The overall presumption of the seminar is that participants are familiar with and/or have already participated in the working parties of the Council, and have basic knowledge about the respective institutions of the EU and can identify the most important characteristics of its decision-making processes. However, the work of the Presidency is significantly different from the role played by the national delegations as it requires actively drawing and circulating documents, managing information and knowing which dossier is in exactly what procedural phase. Therefore, the seminar aims not only to provide sound knowledge of the various types of EU legal acts, but to place legislative drafting into a procedural and inter-institutional context; documents should be looked at from a dynamic perspective as they are advanced by the Presidency in the course of its work.

How will it help you?
Teaching methods use presentations, workshops and simulations exercises; they all to aim to empower participants with insight, skills and techniques as to how document drafting may serve specific objectives, and how such objectives can be met by the proper circulation of information. By the end of the training, participants will be able to:

  • identify the sources of EU law, primary and secondary sources; understand the hierarchy of EU sources of law, understand the characteristics, effect and features of EU legislative acts;
  • identify executive acts as being non-legislative acts of the EU, understand the characteristics and use of implementing and delegated acts, understand the procedure in which implementing and delegated acts are adopted and the limited roe of the Presidency in this respect;
  • identify non-binding/soft law documents, and distinguish them from legal acts; understand the notion of better regulation and the alternative regulatory techniques falling into this category;
  • understand the European Commission’s right of initiative and its relevance in triggering the legislative procedures, understand the role of the other EU institutions in influencing the Commission to propose legislation;
  • understand the internal Commission procedures related to the development of legislative proposals;
  • understand the notion of legal base and the relevance of EU internal and external competences with regard to a certain regulatory item, understand legislative procedures of the EU;
  • understand the Council’s role in the legislative procedures;
  • understand the various types of documents that the Council generates in the course of legislative processes;
  • understand the working relationship between the General Secretariat of the Council and the Presidency; understand the process and formalities of publication of the EU acts in the Official Journal of the European Union.