Understanding the EU

Understanding the EU

Everything you wanted to know about the European Union but were afraid to ask 

The EU is impossible to ignore. But sometimes it feels like it is equally impossible to understand. Its structure is unique, its decision-making procedures fiendishly difficult to comprehend and it often communicates in unintelligible jargon.


So how to make sense of the EU? This one day course cuts through the jargon, the rhetoric and the often heated debate about the EU to provide you with the facts about how the 28-member bloc has evolved, how it works, what it does and what are the big issues it faces. Designed for participants who have little or no knowledge of the EU, its aim is to give you the basic facts to participate in the European debate.


  • EU quiz – How much do you know about the European Union?
  • EU history – From a six-member coal and steel pact to a global power with 28 states
  • How the EU works – The main institutions and how they take decisions
  • Big issues in Brussels – Will the euro survive? How can Europe remain competitive? Should Turkey join the club? Do we need a United States of Europe?

PS – We also arrange study visits to Brussels and offer more advanced courses on the European Union and its institutions.


staff-garethGareth Harding has worked in and around the EU institutions for over 20 years. Armed with a degree in politics and history from the LSE and with experience as a House of Commons researcher, Gareth arrived in Brussels as an intern in the European Commission. He later worked as a speechwriter in the European Parliament before covering the EU for over a decade as a journalist. He now lectures on EU media and politics in Europe and the United States.

Michiel Van Hulten is a Dutch-born, UK-educated consultant who has been involved in EU politics, policy, and communications for over 20 years. He was previously a Member of the European Parliament, Chair of the Dutch Labour Party, head of government relations for Burson-Marsteller in Brussels and Managing Director of VoteWatch Europe. He is currently a visiting senior fellow at LSE and a well-known speaker and commentator on EU affairs.