From Bangor to Brussels: Law and Business students unite on Europe trip

Students from Bangor Business School and Bangor Law School have united for an eye-opening study trip to the institutions of the European Union and the Council of Europe, sponsored by Jill Evans MEP.Bangor Law and Business students outside the Louise Weiss building of the European Parliament, StrasbourgBangor Law and Business students outside the Louise Weiss building of the European Parliament, Strasbourg

Starting off in Brussels, the students were welcomed to the Council of Ministers, the European Commission, the EU Committee of the Regions and the Economic and Social Committee before moving on to Luxembourg, home of the European Court of Justice. Next on the itinerary was the European Parliament in Strasbourg, where students also visited the European Court of Human Rights and the Palace of Europe, followed by a memorable final night in Paris.

Led by Brian Jones, Lecturer in Strategic Management and Public Administration at the Business School and Evelyne Schmid, Lecturer in International and European Law at the Law School, the trip was intended to provide students with a better understanding of the roles of the various institutions of the European Union and how they interact with key institutions and domestic law in the UK. It was also an opportunity for students from both schools to get to know one another and to see first-hand how the disciplines of law and business influence each other.With Jill Evans, MEP for Plaid Cymru, at the European ParliamentWith Jill Evans, MEP for Plaid Cymru, at the European Parliament

Along the way the students met a number of important figures, including Jeremy Rand of the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union; Tobias Maass and Thomas Springbett, Analysts at the European Commission Directorate-General; Jean-Pierre Faure from the European Economic and Social Committee; Christopher Jones from the Committee of the Regions; and Mr K Ziegler and Mrs A Melesko, Legal Secretaries at the European Court of Justice. At the Parliament in Strasbourg they met with Jill Evans MEP and two other Welsh members of the European Parliament, Derek Vaughan MEP and Kay Swinburne MEP.At the European Court of Justice, LuxembourgAt the European Court of Justice, Luxembourg

At the European Court of Human Rights the group met with lawyer Aysegul Uzun-Marinkovic, while Alun Drake, Council of Europe Spokesperson and Head of the Press Division, welcomed them to the Council of Europe. As well as giving insightful presentations on the operation of the European institutions, these speakers gave students an idea of the career opportunities available in Europe.

The European Union field trip is offered annually to undergraduate students taking the ‘Britain and the EU’ (Business) and ‘European Union Law’ (Law) modules.  

Some of the students’ comments:What a way to finish: the group spent their final night in Paris before returning to BangorWhat a way to finish: the group spent their final night in Paris before returning to Bangor

“Highly informative and very interesting trip. A great opportunity for us to meet very interesting people with highly influential and prestigious positions”

“The visit to the Council of Europe was very interesting. It was interesting to distinguish the work dealt with by the Council from the work of the European Union itself, as well as the differences between the two”

 “Visiting the European Court of Justice was possibly the most interesting part of all. We were really lucky to witness a court case – even as a non-Law student, it was easy enough to follow. Later in the day we were also lucky enough to speak to current MEPs, and through this, I was able to better understand the parliament and the roles of all involved”

“All visits were excellent, and all talkers were very knowledgeable and helpful with our questions. It has been a great trip!”

Publication date: 23 January 2012