Self enrolment (Student)


Have you ever wondered how governments arrive at decisions and policies? What is a “policy system” and who are its main actors? Are you interested in finding out how – and why – governments organise or should organise to carry out their work? And would you like to find out how different countries coordinate their relations with the European Union, and what this entails?

If so, this course is for you! First, the course explains what policy system is, who are the actors involved in it, and what their roles are. It presents the institutions and procedures that support the work of the Head of Government and the government as a collective body. Secondly, the course gives you a general view of coordination for EU affairs – its structure and functions, and its relation to the general policy system. It also answers the question why EU affairs coordination is separate from other forms of policy coordination. Then the course examines coordination institutions and systems for various countries’ relations with the EU. There is no one-size-fits-all model, and different countries choose their own solutions, depending on their respective legal and administrative traditions, and depending on the nature of their relations with the European Union. This part is illustrated with the three case studies - coordination models applied by Croatia, Estonia, and Poland. Last lessons discuss the role of experts, mid-management, and political level in the EU-related policy formulation, implementation and decision making. The role of the parliament is also presented.

By following this course, you will be able to appreciate differences of various EU affairs coordination systems, and understand the logic of different set-ups and solutions. You will see when and how disagreements can be resolved. You will also take away with you an understanding of certain underlying common features present in systems where relations with the European Union are managed efficiently and effectively, bringing benefits to all the stakeholders.


Lesson 1: Introduction: What is the policy system?
  • Centrality of decision-making to the work of government
  • Importance of policy planning and coordination
  • Definition of the policy system
  • The players in the policy system, and their roles
  • Regulation of the policy system
Lesson 2: Policy coordination: The role of the Centre of Government
  • The role of the Centre of Government/main functions
  • General Structure of the Centre of Government
  • Relation of the Centre of Government to the constitutional system (the structure of the Executive Branch)
  • Management of the system
Lesson 3: How the Centre of Government works in practice
  • Examples of Centers of Government
  • Issues in building a fully functioning Centre of Government
Lesson 4: Coordination of EU Affairs
  • Rationale for establishing a system for coordinating EU Affairs
  • Functions of EU Affairs coordination systems
  • Structures of EU Affairs coordination systems
  • Linkages to the general policy coordination system
Lesson 5: European policy coordination on a state level
  • Differences and common features, and possible options based on selected member states’ models (the Estonia model, the Croatia model, the Polish model)
  • Key elements of a successful coordination model

Lesson 6: Role of domestic EU affairs coordinating institutions
  • Key functions of coordination institution
Lesson 7: European decision-making on government level
  • Domestic decision-making structure for European policy
  • The key domestic restrictions to effective coordination of decision-making and implementation
Lesson 8: Mid-management and expert level cooperation on European policy
  • The need for mid-management level cooperation
  • The need for expert level cooperation
  • Key tasks for cooperation at mid-management level and expert level
Lesson 9: Role of national parliament in European policy formulation and implementation
  • The need for government-parliament cooperation on European policy
  • The practical tools for effective cooperation between the parliament and the government
Final test

Ms Michal Ben-Gera (lessons 1 – 4) Bio note
Mr Marek Tabor (lessons 5 – 9) Bio note
Self enrolment (Student)