Master of Public Policy  

Influencing Brussels: The "Fit for 55” climate change package

This course introduces students to the theory and practice of influencing public policy, with a focus on the new European Union (EU) climate proposal for a “European Green Deal” and its implementing legislation in the “Fit for 55" package. European citizens, world leaders, climate scientists, and Greta Thunberg’s movement of #schoolstrike campaigners, all expect the EU to be a leader of action against climate change. The president of the European Commission has tasked her most senior vice president to develop a major new policy package to implement EU political commitments to a highly ambitious ‘net-zero’ by 2050 climate target, ‘-55 %’ by 2030 climate target, and a green economic growth plan. These commitments enabled EU diplomats to work with other countries at the COP26 UN climate conference in Glasgow in November 2021. At home, in Europe, the EU targets, and in particular the near-term 2030 target and “Fit for 55" package, is of high salience for European citizens because achieving decarbonisation will mean major changes in how the European economy develops, and, therefore, impact many interest groups. There will be winners and losers from a Green Deal and its transitional impacts: among economic sectors, among different generations and social classes, and among EU countries.

The course aims to equip participants with:
•    insights into the EU policy process and its access points for interest groups;
•    an in-depth understanding of the issues at stake in the Green Deal and the Fit for 55 package;
•    the ability to identify and assess the relevant actors, issues and timing of climate policy proposals;
•    a critical perspective on opportunities, constraints and strategic choices;
•    the capacity to interrogate theoretical arguments from a practical perspective;
•    a detailed case study of one of the Fit for 55 dossiers as it progresses through EU decision making ‘in real time’;
•    hands-on experience through in-class exercises and assignments that ‘shadow’ the work of a ‘real world’ climate activist in Brussels.

This course is for 1st year MPP students only.