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EU-negotiation and negotiation techniques - Slovakia

Project title: “EU Negotiations and Negotiations Techniques”

Countries: Slovakia

Recipient authority: Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Chief Negotiator Department) in Bratislava

Project description:

The overall goal of the project was to assists Slovakia in preparing for membership of the EU by improving the capacity of the staff involved in the preparation of negotiations and the negotiation process. In particular, the project should improve the capacity in a key group of negotiators for preparation of negotiation positions; increase the group’s negotiation skills; improve their knowledge of the English language and give a better understanding of the EU traditions and working environment.

The project was implemented in Copenhagen in April-May 2001 and was attended by 29 civil servants from 13 ministries/agencies in Bratislava.

The major part of the training included a simulation of a negotiation of a proposal from the Commission. The participants formed national delegations from Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, UK and Poland  (they were all considered as Member States). Some of the participants took roles of the rotating presidency. The staff from the Institute took the roles of the Council Secretariat and the Commission. The simulation included also an informal co-ordination meeting between the “old” and the “new” Member States. The meeting room was shaped as in Brussels in Council Working Group.

During the visit in Copenhagen the participants had the opportunity to meet their colleagues in 11 Danish ministries/agencies and also the National Audit Office of Denmark.

Finally, the participants had English language training in a combination of individual work, group work and short plenary presentation on ‘the language of negotiations’. The method used was teaching English as a Foreign Language (EFL). This part of the training was implemented in co-operation with the British company ‘The Language Project’ in Bristol, UK (contact details: Director Dr. Jonathan Wright, website: www.languageproject.co.uk., phone +44 117 909 0911).

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