This two-day skills workshop connected participants with politicians (MEP), lobbyists, NGOs, and practitioners working in fields related to law and finance. It comprised workshops and visits with representatives, which facilitated exchanges between academia and politics. Participants gained fresh insights into the decision-making and lobbying processes in Brussels, allowing them to translate their ideas into actions and create a stronger social impact. 



29-30 MAY 2017 

Our speakers included: 

  • Finance Watch 

  • MEP Jakob von Weizsäcker 

  • S&D Group  

  • European Commission 

  • Transparency International 

  • Centre for European Policy Studies 

  • European Banking Federation

  • Finance Watch 

  • Positive Money 

  • European Banking Federation

  • Better Europe Public Affairs  

  • Corporate Europe Observatory

  • European Affairs Recruitment Specialists 

  • Open Europe  


Full programme can be downloaded on the right. 













Javier Solana

Lecturer in Commercial Law, University of Glasgow

D.Phil. candidate in Law, University of Oxford


The “Skills Workshop at the European Parliament” has turned out an unforgettable experience. I have come out with a very comprehensive view of the decision-making process in Brussels, a better understanding of the different voices that compile that complex process, and the different interests they defend.

I also leave inspired and optimistic. Brussels is a dynamic yet competitive environment where advocates of different narratives struggle to be heard. Attending this workshop has given me exposure to some of these advocates’ work and has made me realise that they are constantly looking for ways to improve those narratives. This represents a unique opportunity for academics to provide support.

I have also enjoyed the opportunity to meet like-minded young scholars and take away friendships that I will hope to develop further in the near future. I am very grateful to the YSI and to Finance Watch for the opportunity to participate in the workshop and I will be looking forward to contributing to the further development of the working group.

Esma Akkilic

Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Cambridge


The Finance, Law and Economics Working Group’s annual skills’ workshop was a delight to participate in. I enjoyed the vibrant mix of other participants, who all brought their international backgrounds and unique perspectives to the debate, and learning from the various experts who shared their insights with us.


My two favourite sessions were listening to the economic policy advisors in the European Parliament, and the walking tour we did through the European Quarter of Brussels to learn about the different lobbying companies. Firstly, the two policy advisers helped me to gain a real understanding of how complex decisions are and how quickly they need to be made. Secondly, the lobby tour made me understand just how deeply rooted the institution of lobbying ‘Eurocrats’ in Brussels is, and how this instrument can be used for gaining leverage by highly differentiated interest groups.


Going forward, I am excited to take part in the webinars to continue to exchange ideas on these critical issues with the INET YSI FLE community. 

Michael W. Müller

Doctoral candidate at LMU Munich

2018 marks the tenth anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers in the United States of America, commonly referred to as the catalyst point for a domestic mortgage crisis turning into an international financial crisis. The previously unseen dimension of a financial meltdown made financial regulation a major topic of public and political concern. Since then, the reform of crisis prevention and resolution has been a central task of international, supranational and domestic policy making.


The YSI-INET Skills Workshop at the European Parliament allowed to reflect on the challenges of this process. I enjoyed this workshop a lot since it focussed particularly on the role of actors that are often unseen: Non-governmental organizations and lobbyists trying to influence decision-making processes on the European Union level.


Once more, I was honoured to meet and discuss with a number of participants of the YSI Working Group on Finance, Law, and Economics. The variety of nationalities and backgrounds in Philosophy, Economics, Political and Social Sciences, and Law, allowed for inspiring conversations that went far beyond the actual topics. A major insight of both the presentations and discussions was the following: Ten years after the beginning of the financial crisis, the reforms of crisis prevention and resolution are far from being completed. The quest for new paradigms of financial regulation still is an important task for both policy-makers and scholars.

Lily Theresa Zechner

Ph.D. candidate / Research and Teaching Assistant at the Tax Law Department of the University of Graz

The Young Scholars Initiative (YSI) Finance, Law and Economics Workshop held 29-30 May, 2017 in Brussels was a great opportunity for me to first participate in a YSI event. I had the chance to meet open-minded and critical thinkers from all over the world, who were keen to exchange and discuss ideas on any topic (remotely) related to financial markets from a legal or economic, academic or even hands-on perspective.


The talks given by politicians, lobbyists, NGOs, Think Tanks and practitioners working in fields related to law and finance, were quite enriching. They gave me a broad understanding of how the European institutions operate. Gaining these insights in the city of Brussels itself helped comprehend how the European decision-making takes place. I also learned that discussing personal research questions with PhD students from other countries and educational backgrounds may enhance one’s personal academic work and can lead to new perceptions.

Clara Martins Pereira

D.Phil. candidate in Law, University of Oxford

There is a saying that ‘laws are like sausages: it is better not to see them being made’. The YSI’s Finance, Law & Economics Working Group paid no attention to this advice and took us all on a tour around the EU Parliament – arguably one of the most complex ‘law factories’ in current existence.

This tour had us talking to everyone: from the lawmakers themselves, to the think tankers and lobbyists who influence them. We were given the chance to ask them difficult questions, and they were kind enough to provide us with some difficult answers.

At the end of the day, it is this dialogue that can bring the new economic thinking endorsed by the YSI to the centre of the discussion.


Looking away from the EU legislative process – refusing to peer behind the veil of the EU’s ‘law factory’ – might be more confortable, but it is not the way to move forward. 

© 2018 by Finance, Law, and Economics Working Group, Young Scholars Initiative