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Author Erik Akse with examples of thesis, antithesis and synthesis

Portrait photo of Erik Akse

What’s the biggest priority facing EU Public Affairs this September?

Remaining effective in a world where we all meet online and decision-making procedures continue regardless. Budget cuts to PA are likely to erode capacities and understanding about how the EU works and how to influence decision-making.

Which EU leader has had the best 2020 so far?

Angela Merkel, Conte and Rutte. Classic example of thesis, antithesis and synthesis.

If you were giving gold stars, where would you post them?

John Harper, of course. It’s amazing that the best books about the EU are now sourced from outside the Union.

Tell us one surprising fact

I lived more than half my life outside my home country, The Netherlands. Germany – eight years, Belgium – ten years. Kosovo – four years. Now you can guess also how old I am.

What is the survey you would like to conduct? Or What is the finding or information fact you would like to establish?

How many people understand decision-making in their home country; people always complain about the EU being complex, but can they actually compare? The fact I’m interested in is the number of managers that label PA as part of strategy and R&D. And not just as a side show.

What are you reading?

Commission reports on proportionality and subsidiarity. I am one of those few geeks interested in that. Otherwise fiction, most recently ‘Death and the Dreadnought’ written by a friend of mine.

LinkedIn or Twitter for you?

LinkedIn mostly. I find that a more useful platform.

Who do you follow?

Too many to mention. But Commission, of course. And the European Parliamentary Research Service. Their reports are great.

Erik Akse is the author of How the EU Institutions Work: Your handbook and guide to EU decision-making

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