Excursion to Strasbourg
The European Institutions seem to be very complex, whereby many people often have difficulties in grasping their role and functions. For a better understanding of these institutions, our group, composed of this year's students of the German-Israeli study program and the organisers, Dr. Zeynep Nettekoven and Max Rudel visited Strasbourg on the 29th of July. At Europe Direct, a European wide network initiated by the European Commission to inform about the Union, we participated in a discussion with Francis Gutman, a former Head of Unit for Events and Exhibitions at the European Parliament. Before elaborating on the specific tasks and functions of the European Union's different core bodies and their relations to one another, Mr. Gutman stressed the founding motives of the Union, dating back to the post-World War II era. Further he explained to us the triangle of the legislative and executive processes among the European Council, the European Commission and the European Parliament. The tasks and functions of the European Court of Human Rights which is headquartered in Strasbourg was also an important part of his speech. A discussion on the question of how the European Union affects our everyday life, for example traveling without border controls or using a common currency followed his speech.
Our second stop was the European Parliament. We had the opportunity to watch a 360-degree video of the Union and visited the plenary. Before our departure we took advantage of the spare time for a walk through the historic city centre of Strasbourg.
Excursion to Berlin from 15-19 July 2019
The excursion visit of the 1. Year of the German-Israeli International Certificate Program to Berlin took place between 15th and 19th July, 2019. The goal of the visit was enhancing the students’ understanding of the strategies and everyday work of trade unions as well as the policy and legislative responses of policy makers to the most demanding labour and social issues in Germany. During the five-day excursion in the hub of German politics, we had the opportunity to meet the representatives of the leading trade unions and employees’ associations in Germany and discuss on the mostly debated current issues in the German labour market and social security system, such as precarious jobs, digitalization, platform economy and pension system. We met politicians and political party consultants during our visit, whereby they explained to us the most recent legislations and regulations in regards to the labour market and migration politics in Germany. The excursion visit enabled the students to combine the classroom subjects with the practical side of policy making, while allowing them to raise further questions for improving the labour market conditions in Germany.