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Cards project


EU-negotiation techniques in the field of transport (Chapter 9)

Project title: “Course on Negotiating in English”

Countries: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia

Recipient authorities: Ministries of transport in the EU candidate countries in Central and Eastern Europe

Project description:

The objectives were

  • to reinforce the participants’ English-language communication skills in a negotiation environment

  • to offer practical guidance on planning and preparing for negotiation and on the development of successful negotiation strategies

  • to provide a clear understanding of the components of the negotiation process in the context of EU accession.

The project was implemented in September 1999 in Bristol, UK for civil servants from ministries of transport in the countries mentioned above.

The training included:

English language training included an assessment of the individual participant. It went on with proper English in a negotiation context in blocks:

  1. Presenting a position; giving strong/neutral opinions; expressing disagreement; summarising techniques;

  2. Presentation skills: collocations; proposals – strong and tentative;

  3. degrees of importance; degrees of certainty; review of intonation and discourse

  4. Development of collocations and idiomatic expressions; creating conditions; Decision making

  5. Presentation techniques by each participant of a transport case
  6. The language of compromising; concessives and contrasts
  7. Phrasal verbs in business contexts; prepositional phrases for emphasis; review of phonological considerations

  8. Paraphrasing; extemporising; listening skills practice

EN-negotiation techniques included a review of the EU-enlargement process. It went on with  

  1. General aspects of the negotiation method

  2. Practice and formal procedures used in Brussels when negotiating; code of behaviour

  3. Mandates and reservations used by national delegation

  4. Simulation of a negotiation in Brussels concerning a proposal from the Commission for a Council Directive establishing transitional arrangements within the transport sector for Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Poland and Romania. The proposal was negotiated among 11 national delegations, Commission and conducted by a rotating presidency assisted by the Council Secretariat. The participants took the roles of the rotating presidency and national delegation. The staff from the European Institute acted as Commission and Council Secretariat.

The English language training was implemented by the British company ‘The Language Project’ in Bristol, UK (contact details: Director Dr. Jonathan Wright, website:, phone +44 117 909 0911)

EU Phare Multi-Country Transport Programme financed the project as part of the EU support for the candidate countries.

For an overview of EU-negotiation seminars implemented by the European Institute, please click here