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Programme structure

Learn the fundamentals of policymaking, choose from four advanced specialisation tracks and develop professional skills for impact

Programme basics

  • Two years, part-time
    Designed to allow working policy professionals to ‘learn while they earn’ and attend classes while being employed full-time.​
  • Blended
    Through state-of-the-art online learning and support tools, participants can study from wherever they are. The programme includes a total of 25+ days in residence in Florence during the two-year period, complemented by three thematic executive study visits: a focus on strategic foresight in Brussels, the EUI’s State of the Union conference in Florence and a Global Challenge executive study visit outside Europe.
  • Project-based
    Designed to actively support professionals in addressing a real-world policy problem through a final capstone project.

Upon successful completion of the programme, participants receive a master’s degree diploma corresponding to 70 ECTS.

The programme is conducted in English.


Compulsory modules

GEM participants must complete four core modules and a professional development journey as compulsory components of the programme.

Core modules
During the first year, EUI GEM participants will take four core modules that will set the basis for a comprehensive understanding of the complex task of policymaking, and its interaction with government, the economy and global trends. All core modules are mandatory.

  • Delivery mode: Blended
  • Time period: Academic Year 1, October-November 2024
  • Lead faculty: Simon Hix

Informed policymakers need to be able to grasp the nuances of public opinion, navigate power dynamics and electoral processes, anticipate political consequences and the impact of policies on society. In this vein, this module presents the most recent and relevant theories and applications of political science and its implications for contemporary policymaking. The participants will gain a greater understanding of the drivers behind political behaviour such as public opinion, voting behaviour, party behaviour, and pressure from interest groups, as well as of the impact of political institutions such as electoral or party systems on policymaking and policy outcomes. Finally, the module will investigate critical questions of contemporary politics, such as populism, polarization, and erosion of trust in institutions, and how these impact the policymaking process.

The aim of this module is to acquaint policy professionals with the main dimensions of economic policy thinking and analysis and provide them with the tools for understanding, designing and/or implementing effective decision making. It covers issues at the heart of policymaking: options for allocating public budgets, dilemmas about how to source public revenues, concerns about the levels of public deficits and debts, understanding how fiscal and monetary policy combine in a complex global economy to achieve economic goals, structural reforms for productivity, competitiveness and long-term growth. It also discusses how best to ground economic policy on solid fundamentals while understanding its limits, and how to use data to examine the nature, impact, and effectiveness of economic policymaking decisions.

To produce effective and efficient public policies, public managers increasingly need to understand the relationship between businesses and governments, both domestically and internationally. This course explores how businesses and governments can work together to resolve significant social and political challenges in a globalized world, such as delivering growth, addressing food security, managing environmental crises, and creating more inclusive societies. Using historical and contemporary case studies from diverse contexts, the course explores the varieties of capitalism, the operation of firms in the new global setting, different development strategies, and the role of governments in market economies. Students will assess how novel types of engagement between business and government have yielded varying degrees of success in addressing domestic and global challenges.

  • Delivery mode: Online
  • Time period: Academic Year 1, February-March 2025
  • Lead faculty: Tommaso Nannicini

Big data are everywhere, from big firms to big government. Private companies have found innovative ways to gather and use data created by the behaviour of their users or customers. But what about the public sector? Policy leaders must know the use (and misuse) of big data, either to regulate them or to use them to design welfare-enhancing policies. Moreover, they must be aware that the enormous predictive power of big data may sometimes mislead sound policy making. That’s why policy leaders must also know smart data, that is, design-based data analysis meant to distinguish spurious correlations from causal relationships. This course will discuss these topics through both theory and case studies and equip students with the essential skills and the basics of data science so as to navigate the data-driven landscape of governance. and design big data-driven policies within ethical and regulatory norms.

Professional development modules (PRO)
The EUI GEM will also offer a professional development journey delivered by leading trainers, strengthening the capacity of its participants to become effective managers and lead with impact.

  • Delivery mode: Residential (in Florence)
  • Time period: Academic Year 1, October 2024
  • Lead faculty: Kristin Fabbe

This module aims to set a trajectory of leadership development for the participants, by putting it in the context of our ability to manage change in an environment that is constantly evolving. Starting with an introduction to the contemporary landscape of changes our societies are going through and a discussion on how equipped we are to deal with them, participants present their leadership and impact plans on the basis of a template prepared by the instructors and tools for thinking strategically about change management. The module ends with two case studies by high-level policymakers who had to manage change, manifested through transnational crises.

  • Delivery mode: Online
  • Time period: Academic Year 1, December 2025
  • Lead faculty: Jakov Bojovic

 

Effective communication about and of public policy is critical in today’s information environment. Without clear communication of policy objectives and instruments, the citizens, media, and other stakeholders may misinterpret it, opening the door to both compliance gaps and disinformation, which impact the results of the policy itself. This professional development module will equip the participants with skills needed to make their policy communication clear, evidence-based, story-driven, and strategic – and not just an after-thought of policymaking or research. From topics such as audience analysis, crisis communication, and the role of narratives in policy communication to key outputs such as policy briefs, position papers, op-eds, and videos, this module asks critical questions about effective policy communication in the era of polarisation, disinformation, and radical uncertainty.

  • Delivery mode: Blended
  • Time period: Academic Year 1, April-May 2025
  • Lead faculty: Christopher Hurst

 

The effective management of projects is a key skill for professional managers. This module will cover the range of issues raised by complex projects that interact with multiple stakeholders. In this context, project is broadly defined to range from physical infrastructure, the introduction of new management system, to institutional reform. The module will introduce the basic tools of project management to ensure projects are delivered on-time and on-budget. Moreover, it will focus on the broader question of good project design including the identification and understanding of stakeholders. This includes issues of general economic interest, environmental and social impacts as well as procurement. It will discuss how to manage conflicts and the ethical issues relating to project design and implementation. The module will take lessons from real-life cases, and participants will have an assignment to prepare a management brief on a (real or hypothetical) project of interest to them or their organisation.

  • Delivery mode: Residential (in Florence)
  • Time period: Academic Year 1, May 2025
  • Lead faculty: Roeland Scholtalbers

 

The Masterclass in Media Relations equips policy professionals with the essential skills to master the art of public engagement, by delving into the world of media relations, camera interviews, and public image management. Through practical exercises and real-world case studies, participants learn to navigate the fast-paced, ever-evolving (social) media landscape, mastering techniques to convey policy ideas with precision and impact. The module empowers professionals to harness the power of the camera, perfect their message, and confidently handle interviews. Participants will leave with the confidence and expertise to amplify their policy narratives and engage effectively with the media, ensuring their messages resonate, influence, and drive change.

  • Delivery mode: Residential (in Florence)
  • Time period: Academic Year 1, May 2025
  • Lead faculty: Alain Lempereur

 

In this professional development module we emphasise the pursuit of both more effective and more responsible negotiations. In contrast to generic negotiation training, we aim to reinforce your capacity to understand yourself and others in negotiation contexts, as well as to shape your negotiating environment and its outcomes in transnational settings. Our training methods will make you more reflective than instinctive, more proactive than reactive, more participative than directive, even as you face partners who might be stubborn in the face of change, passive when challenged, or aggressive when feeling threatened. Responsible negotiation is about enabling you with strategic, analytic and interpersonal intelligence that help you, as a leader, to accurately diagnose problems and craft creative solutions, build winning coalitions, sustain strong partnerships, and structure processes that yield robust agreements and timely implementation.

  • Delivery mode: Residential (in Brussels)
  • Time period: Academic Year 2, February 2026
  • Lead faculty: Andrea Renda

 

Over the past two decades, and even more after the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, governments have realized the need to develop new tools to identify, avoid or mitigate emerging risks, from health to climate disruptions to technological evolution, geo-political shocks and hybrid threats. Agility and resilience have become buzzwords that need to be coupled with new methods, such as horizon scanning, strategic foresight and the stress-testing of legislation for resilience. This course explores this blossoming domain of public policy, with examples, case-studies and interactive foresight workshops. During the module, the participants also get to meet and network with EU officials who work on strategic foresight.

  • Delivery mode: Online
  • Time period: Academic Year 2, April 2026
  • Lead faculty: Ruth Rubio Marin

 

This module tackles a wide range of topics related to diversity and inclusivity (D&I) in management from both a neuroscientific and a systemic/institutional point of view. Addressed at leaders in private and public organisations, the goal is to offer an open and secure space to explore, grow awareness, experience and discuss human behaviours in the face of diversity (as mediated through personal bias); people’s attitude towards change and growth; and the challenges of overcoming resistance and transforming organisational cultures. Instructors will include academics and practitioners and methods will combine lectures, storytelling, games and the sharing of personal experiences through conversation. The focus of this programme is on identifying and building key conceptual models that participants can dynamically apply to their organisation with new forms of humanistic leadership brought to the fore.

 

Elective modules

During the second year, EUI GEM participants select five elective modules from the four specialisation tracks.

Energy and climate specialisation track (ENEC)

  • Delivery mode: Blended
  • Time period: Academic Year 2, October-November 2025
  • Lead faculty: Leonardo Meeus

This module addresses energy markets in a global, comparative perspective. It takes European energy markets as a starting point, as the largest globally and the result of gradual harmonization and integration of national energy markets across borders. The module examines the functioning of energy and gas markets and focuses on the crucial role of regulation. It explores emerging consumer-side innovations, the formation of energy communities, the integration of decentralized flexibility into energy markets, as well as sector coupling, the role of hydrogen and other “clean molecules”, the obstacles to closer gas market integration and the most recent initiatives in energy security. Moreover, it addresses the fundamental principles of high-quality regulation of energy markets, including the use of tools and practices like cost-benefit analysis, regulatory impact assessments, and public consultations.

This module examines different regional strategies for achieving green growth and climate neutrality, including the EU’s Green Deal and the US Inflation Reduction Act. It will explore the evolution of energy and climate policy globally as well as the different institutions and organizations involved in developing and implementing it. Participants will learn about international climate agreements and will discuss how climate negotiations work and how they influence domestic climate and energy policies. The aim is to provide participants with a toolbox of cutting edge decarbonization instruments, to critically evaluate them, and identify ways in which green growth can be measured. This module will also address contemporary issues of security of supply policy, and discuss the challenges related to the integration of renewable energy, especially in light of the new geopolitical environment.

  • Delivery mode: Online
  • Time period: Academic Year 2, April-May 2026
  • Lead faculty: Leonardo Meeus

Cities hold a dual role as main drivers of the economy and key players for achieving climate goals. This module delves into the challenges and opportunities cities pose for energy and climate policy. We will analyse the motivations for cities to become active energy players and the carrots and sticks available to policymakers and governments to incentivise them. We will explore how cities can get organised to develop and implement urban infrastructure plans to reach climate and energy targets, in collaboration with citizens and companies in Europe and globally. We will consider different enablers for cities to become smart and climate-neutral including policy, regulatory, business and technological. Emerging technologies (e.g. big data, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Digital Twins) will be explored in their role for improving service provision, preparedness for emergency situations and effective responses to them.

Economy and finance specialisation track (ECOF)

Are we headed to a new global financial crisis? Is secular stagflation here to stay? How should fiscal and monetary policy operate in an environment of supply shocks and rising interest rates? What can be done about rising inequality? Is the world deglobalizing? This readings-based course will expose students to current theoretical and empirical issues in international political economy. Through lectures, discussions, and case-studies, it will focus on the policy issues and dilemmas that are currently dominating international economic debates and policymaking. Among these: the challenges of rising private and public debt and associated sovereign debt risk, the policy response to increasing inequality, the debate on secular stagnation and its implications for fiscal and monetary policy, and the future of globalisation.

  • Delivery mode: Online
  • Time period: Academic Year 2, March-April 2026
  • Lead faculty: Nicola Bilotta

This module provides participants with a comprehensive understanding of the evolving landscape of digital finance with a global approach. Covering the crucial aspects of financial technology (FinTech), the course explores the intersection of regulations and technological advancements which are shaping the global financial industry. This comprehensive course offers a critical introduction to the multifaceted world of digital finance. By delving into the latest innovations, participants gain insights into the future structure of the financial system, alongside an understanding of current and potential regulatory responses to these ground-breaking advancements. Through lectures, discussions, and real-world examples, participants develop critical thinking skills to assess the opportunities and challenges of digital finance and its transformative potential in various aspects.

  • Delivery mode: Online
  • Time period: Academic Year 2, May-June 2026
  • Lead faculty: Pierre Schlosser

Following the Paris Agreement and the COVID-19 pandemic, financial market actors, including banks, companies and investors, have increasingly acknowledged the risks of climate change for financial stability, deriving from weather-related events, global warming and the net-zero transition. Market actors have also acted as key players, channelling their funds towards “green” projects and companies. Against this background, the module will examine the interlinkages between climate change and financial risks and the instrumental role that financial markets can play to advance the sustainability agenda. It will explore both EU and global initiatives to promote ‘sustainable finance’, focusing on the fundamental questions and challenges facing policymakers and finance professionals.

Tech and governance specialisation track (TEGO)

  • Delivery mode: Blended
  • Time period: Academic Year 2, October-November 2025
  • Lead faculty: Pier Luigi Parcu

 

This module focuses on the competitive and regulatory environment and the business models supporting the development of technologies crucial for the digital age. Its approach is multidisciplinary, combining technical, legal, economic and political insights. The module starts by exploring key pathways through which digital transformation affects the economy and society, i.e. changes in scale, scope and speed; new forms of ownership, assets and generation of economic value; and markets and the formation of digital ecosystems. It then addresses areas such as: digital infrastructure and the challenges new 5G business models pose at regulatory and investment level; licensing patents enabling interoperability, connectivity and innovation across sectors as building blocks of the digital economy and the Internet of Things (IoT); the organization of innovation and flow of ideas and knowledge from R&D organizations to the marketplace; and geopolitics of innovation and the role of the state.

  • Delivery mode: Online
  • Time period: Academic Year 2, January-February 2026
  • Lead faculty: Pier Luigi Parcu

 

In recent years we have witnessed a remarkable growth of the platform economy. These platforms operate as multi-sided markets, connecting advertisers and business users with final consumers. Each platform meticulously constructs its own ecosystem, where it defines the ‘rules’ adhered to by users and enjoys privileged access to the data generated within its confines. This module delves into the fundamental economic features of the platform economy, encompassing platform business models and market dynamics. Furthermore, the module offers an insightful analysis of the interaction of competition policy with ex-ante regulation in relation to different digital platforms and draws comparisons between regulatory outcomes in different regions around the world. With a multi-disciplinary approach, the module allows participants to examine this subject matter from both legal and economic perspectives.

 

The rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a pervasive, general-purpose technology promises important benefits to the economy and society, but also carries important risks. This course looks at possible ways to govern AI at the international and national level by creating a suitable policy mix, as well as an agile governance framework; and discusses possible future developments in AI and related policies. Starting from defining AI and its ongoing developments (e.g. generative AI), the module covers key AI use cases (e.g. in health, government, defense, education, etc.), discusses the way to identify and address AI risks, the emerging policy and legal frameworks on AI, international standardization issues and the development of a framework for international cooperation on AI, and the debate around the future of AI and transforming AI (and data) as a force for good.

Geopolitics and security specialisation track (GEOS)

  • Delivery mode: Blended
  • Time period: Academic Year 2, November-December 2025
  • Lead faculty: Trine Flockhart

 

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the Hamas-Israel war are potent and tragic reminders that conflict prevention and resolution, peace mediation and geopolitical analysis constitute essential components in the conduct of sound and effective foreign and security policies. This module will equip participants with the tools and knowledge to plan and operate in this complex and at times contradictory reality. It puts the participants in the positions of foreign and security policy planners, monitoring and analysing the shifting alliances in the new era of global power competition and thinking of strategic ways to design effective national and international responses. Through case studies and debates with high-level policymakers, participants will develop the strategic insight necessary to comprehend, predict, and try to influence the complex geopolitical realities of the 21st century.

  • Delivery mode: Online
  • Time period: Academic Year 2, January-February 2026
  • Lead faculty: Diane Stone

 

Structural influences from beyond the boundaries of the state now, to greater or lesser extent, constrain, mitigate, shape or determine the policy process in many key issue areas. As a result, public servants have seen some work responsibilities internationalized and globally networked; traditional intergovernmental organizations are now complemented by a diverse range of so-called informal international organizations, multi-stakeholder initiatives and global public-private partnerships; and non-state actors from business and civil society contribute to ‘soft’ law and international standards, policy transfer and delivery of global policy. This module addresses the resulting global and transnational rule making across a range of policy areas such as migration, money laundering, forestry and marine stewardship, sports, and other.

  • Delivery mode: Online
  • Time period: Academic Year 2, April-May 2026
  • Lead faculty: Arancha Gonzalez

 

Over the last fifteen years, the international economic order designed in the aftermath of World War II has been fundamentally challenged. A series of shocks – from the 2008 financial crisis to the COVID-19 pandemic and war in Ukraine – have raised geopolitical tensions and led to a weaponization of trade. International trade patterns are increasingly determined by national and economic security considerations as well as by non-economic policy objectives, ranging from combatting climate change to protecting workers and promoting social values. Digitisation is also transforming international trade. This module will equip participants with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate today’s intricate world of trade policy and diplomacy. Participants will learn from leading experts, explore case studies and engage in interactive discussions to develop a profound understanding of international trade systems.

Specialisation track

To specialise in one of the four tracks, three of the five elective modules should be picked in the same track and the Capstone project must be conducted in the same thematic area.


Executive study visits 

The EUI GEM programme includes three executive study visits:


Capstone project 

Throughout the programme, participants work on a project addressing a real policy problem facing an organisation (including their own) and proposing solutions based on original research. The project is jointly mentored by the organisations in question and the EUI.

 

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Last update: October 2023

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