At every level, we witness that the EU has an increasing impact on the policies and regulations that condition the development of enterprises and their contribution to the development and social cohesion of Europe. Having a very clear understanding of the EU institutions, how they pass binding legislation and establish a policy agenda is therefore essential to our common action at the EU level.

The training series, which begins with this first handbook and continues with others focusing on specific EU policies, has been designed as a support material for training activities which CECOP has undertaken to impart in its network and area of expertise. More detailed material is provided in the course of the training sessions.

Obviously, the policy areas which this training series focuses on are linked to the specific nature of CECOP as the European confederation of cooperatives and other worker-owned enterprises that are active in the various industrial and service sectors. We will thus examine the various aspects of European enterprise policy, social policy and internal market policy. Yet, this material may also be useful to other cooperative organisations, as well as other organisations and citizens at large, who want to better understand how the EU institutions work and how they can improve their capacity to impact on them.

The handbooks are brief, sharp and clear, and include a list of references for further information and follow up. The purpose of this training initiative is not to purely impart theoretical knowledge, but to explain and clarify the framework in which a European enterprise representative organisation such as CECOP has to work.

This knowledge is essential to the CECOP network: indeed, as should become limpid during the course of this training, the endeavour should involve the network as a whole if it is to have the desired impact.

I very much welcome this training handbook on the institutions of the European Union. To successfully operate in Europe today one needs to know how the EU functions, how decision making processes work and how the institutions interact. It is important not just to know these things "in theory", but also to allow for a "hands-on" approach.

This handbook gives practical tips and will help organisations, employers and workers to find necessary information at the right time and without delay. This is what Europe needs: citizens that get involved and interact with EU institutions in very concrete ways.

I wish all the participants in the training the best of success!
Vladimír Špidla, EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities (2004-2009).

Have a look to this publication: a sampler of this first handbook is available online

Handbook 1: The European Union institution and how they function
CECOP training handbooks
ISBN: 9782960086119
54 pages
CECOP Publications 2009 (available in English and French)
printed on 100% recycled paper

Prix: 25€ (not including postage)