Research Tour: The new EU Commission’s climate drive: What does it mean for member countries?

We are inviting: Journalists from France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain
02 Dec - 04 Dec 2019
Brussels, Belgium
Import into your calendar

Climate action has soared to the top of the agenda in many countries as millions of mostly young people have taken to the streets. In December, a new European Commission will take office in Brussels, and president-elect Ursula von der Leyen has pledged to put climate policy at the centre of the next five years. But how ambitious are the commission's plans? What is the business sector's take on the new climate drive? How do international climate experts assess the plans? And how will EU decisions shape national energy, mobility and climate debates and actions in the member states? This research tour for journalists, jointly organised with the European Climate Foundation and Ecologic Institute, offers an introduction to relevant institutions, actors and topics and will equip participants with background and contacts to cover EU climate, energy and transport policy from their respective home countries. Application deadline: 07 November 2019.

European Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen © European Commission 2019

The incoming European Commission is set to take office on 1 December. Ursula von der Leyen, the first woman to become commission president, has vowed to make climate action a cornerstone of her political agenda, with several key projects being started in the first 100 days in office. These include a European Green Deal, setting a new goal of climate neutrality and enshrining it in a European Climate Law, as well as adopting a Climate Pact.

Support from member states for this ambitious platform is by no means guaranteed. EU member states remain divided on whether to increase ambition on climate and even the progressive ones still need to actually adopt stronger and more effective measures at home to meet the next set of emission reduction targets.

Decisions at EU level on energy and climate policy determine significantly what can and must happen at the country level. What happens in Brussels is of key importance for national policy – and understanding the politics and the actors crucial for the debates and their impact on domestic issues.

This research tour will provide essential background on EU energy and climate policy making and cover topics of relevance to national policies. Topics will include:

  • How does Brussels policy-making work, what are the roles of the European Commission and the Parliament? And how do business associations and civil society represent their interest in the political process?
  • What are the key climate policy related processes under the new European Commission and how are they expected to influence member states
  • How is EU policy influencing the security of energy supply in Europe - and what is the role of natural gas in this context?
  • How can EU-level action shape the future of transport at all levels of the economy, developing new technologies and supporting the necessary infrastructure?

The research tour will be implemented in collaboration with the Ecologic Institute, a think tank based in Berlin with a strong focus on EU environmental policy, which will provide both logistical support and content expertise to the programme and the tour itself.


Frequently asked questions on how to apply, costs and logistics

Who is eligible for the research tour? And how can I apply?

The research tour is open for journalists from all over Europe (country of primary residence).

To apply, please click on the red  'Apply Here' button above that will take you to the webform.

Please note that applications in any other language than English will not be accepted.

By submitting your application, you agree that your name, associated media outlet, country of primary residence and email address will appear on the list shared with all participants if your application is successful. All data that is necessary to organize the tour will be shared with our partner Ecologic Institute.

What languages will be spoken during the tour?

All presentations during the workshop will be in English, or otherwise live translated into English.

Are there any costs for tour participants?

Participation in the research tour is free of charge. Furthermore, all expenses incurred during the tour, including food, accommodation and local transportion during the tour will be covered by the Clean Energy Wire.

What about travel arrangements?

Selected participants will organise their own travel to Brussels and back independently, and will be reimbursed for their expenses after the event. Do not book anything before you get the confirmation that you can take part. When arranging their travel, participants are kindly asked to consider climate friendly modes of transportation where viable and reasonable. Please keep in mind the budgetary constraints of up to 400 euro return connection for economy class travel. Participants who would like to cover their expenses on their own (travel, food, accomodation) can get an invoice on request after the tour.

The tour will start on 5 December at 6.30 p.m. and will end on 7 December around 5 p.m. 

All successful applicants will be notified on how to claim reimbursement ahead of the tour. It is generally not possible to reimburse the travel expenses in cash.

What are the deadlines?

Application deadline for applications is 6 November 2022. 

Please make sure to have access to your email, and do check the spam folder. If your application has been sucessful you will receive a confirmation email from CLEW not later than 9 November. In that event please confirm your participation until 12 pm CET+1 time on 13 November. Otherwise your place will be offered to another applicant.

What if I need a visa?

If you require a letter of invitation for your visa application, please let us know by sending an email to Please make sure you have a visa appointment at the embassy or consulate well before the research tour to leave enough time for processing your visa.

Note that we do not reimburse visa fees or insurance costs.

I get an error message saying I’m over the character limit, but I don’t think I am.

The character limit is specified in the boxes. Note that the limit includes paragraph breaks. If you have removed all paragraph breaks and are otherwise 100 percent certain that you are below the limit specified, try using a different internet server. For example, if you have previously tried submitting unsuccessfully via Google Chrome, try Firefox or Microsoft Edge or Safari.

I have submitted an application but have not received a confirmation of receipt.

Please check your spam folder for an automatically generated email, which asks you to confirm that you indeed submitted an application.

You will then hear from CLEW regarding the outcome of your application no later than 9 November 2022.

What are the rules of citation during the tour?

Interviews and public debate between journalists and speakers follow different rules and practices in different parts of the world. To make the context of our media trip clear for all involved, we would like to set out the following framework guiding the interaction with participating journalists:

Quotes and interviews

  • We work on the basis that statements made by participants can be quoted by the journalists present in their media reports. As a rule, conversations are “on the record”.
  • If speakers do not want to be quoted, we ask them to inform the participating journalists where this is the case. Remarks may then be made "off the record" and will not be quoted.
  • Outside Germany it is not common practice for journalists to seek authorisation for quotes before using them. If a speaker does require the participating journalists to check quotes with the speaker before publishing, we ask the speaker to advise journalists of this.

Photos, audio or video recordings

  • We respect journalists’ fundamental right not to disclose the sources of their research. Some of the participants also come from countries where press freedom is under threat and where journalists are prosecuted. As a safeguard to participants’ rights and their well-being, we kindly ask the speakers not to take any photos or to make any film or audio recordings on which participants can be individually identified.
  • If the speakers would like to take photos or make audio or video recordings of our visit, they approach a staff member for Clean Energy Wire so that we can agree on safe and workable solutions.
  • If there are restrictions to taking photos or to making audio or video recordings on the premises, we will inform participants.

Don't hesitate to get in contact with us at

Journalism for the energy transition

Get our Newsletter
Join our Network
Find an interviewee