On 28th February and 1st March a group of eleven delegates from eight Departments visited Brussels as part of the CAL course ‘Introduction to the European Union’.
The Office of the Northern Ireland Executive in Brussels organised an intensive programme for the delegates to ensure they gained a meaningful insight into the European Union and to provide perspective on the approaching negotiations between the UK and the EU. Separate sessions were arranged with representatives from the UK’s Permanent Representation to the EU, Ireland’s Permanent Representation to the EU and the Scottish Government EU Office in order to explore and discuss their work in Brussels and how it related to the work of the group.
The delegates had the opportunity to meet with Commission officials as well as paying a visit to the European Council to discuss the process of decision making in the EU. The group also took the time to visit the European Parliament to meet with MEPs Jim Nicholson and Diane Dodds who explained the role of the Parliament in the coming UK exit negotiations as well as setting out their own views on the current situation.