Careers in the EU with Europanetzwerk Deutsch

Participants of the network meeting of the Europanetzwerk Deutsch 2018 in front of the German Bundestag.
Participants improve their language skills and promote European integration. © Goethe Institut/Bernhard Ludewig

The and the Goethe-Institut set up the scholarship programme in 1994 to promote German as one of the languages in which the EU works and conducts its proceedings. Since then, intensive language courses and events have given participants the chance not only to expand their language skills but also become more familiar with German society, culture and politics. The programme has led to the development of a lively German-speaking network in Europe. In 2022 alone, some 800 people attended Europanetzwerk Deutsch courses and events.

At the core of the programme are the exclusive EU Courses in Germany. These are aimed at EU officials and at civil servants working from government ministries of member states, and at civil servants from EU accession candidates, the UK, Norway, Iceland and Kosovo. Almost 3,000 people have attended these courses since 1994. Most are from senior levels but those in the early stages of their careers can apply, too. ‘The language courses don’t just teach high-level language skills,’ says Sonja Meckl, Programme Leader at the Goethe-Institut. ‘They also impart an up-to-date picture of Germany. The understanding of German positions on European issues grows when these positions can be discussed in their specific historical and cultural contexts,’ she adds.

‘Engaging with German expert contacts builds lasting bridges’

During 2023, 5 week-long courses attended by up to 12 participants are taking place in cities in Germany. In addition to language teaching, the courses are focusing on conversations with senior figures from German government ministries and institutions. Participants in the Trade and Sustainability course, held in Hamburg in June, will be talking to delegates from the Hamburg city parliament in addition to visiting the chamber of commerce and a major Hamburg business. As Sonja Meckl says, ‘Engaging with German expert contacts builds lasting bridges. There are often opportunities for one-to-one conversations with German policymakers, which participants value particularly highly.

Europanetzwerk Deutsch | Viktor Makarovs shares his experience

Europanetzwerk Deutsch | Viktor Makarovs shares his experience
Europanetzwerk Deutsch | Viktor Makarovs shares his experience ©

Europanetzwerk Deutsch is also active in Brussels and Luxembourg, where it holds a wide range of events, discussions and regular meet-ups for alumni. German courses for EU ministerial officials and journalists were inspired by an initiative of Martin Kotthaus, who has been Germany's ambassador to Belgium since 2018. The courses moved online in 2021 in order to reach a wider target audience. ‘The idea behind them is to promote dialogue between the individuals who make decisions within the EU and the people who report on those decisions,’ explains Dr Franziska Humphreys from the Goethe-Institut in Brussels. Current issues related to Germany are a significant element of these courses too, from energy policy to the Frankfurt Book Fair. ‘The diversity of perspectives is always very enriching,’ Dr Humphreys adds.

Staying in touch with German language and culture

In 2021 Europanetzwerk Deutsch started providing on current political issues such as reducing the size of the Bundestag. Vocabulary lists and worksheets are provided so that listeners can expand their political vocabulary and familiarise themselves with terms such as ‘proposed reforms’ and ‘lighthouse project’.

Many alumni are actively involved in the large network. In May 2023 a three-day meeting took place in Berlin for all participants of EU courses over the past three years, but registrations outnumbered places by two to one! Since 2021 Europanetzwerk Deutsch has used for its alumni activities, and discussions before and after the courses only take place through Alumniportal groups. ‘The portal really helps us share information,’ says Sonja Meckl. ‘It also gives the alumni a fantastic, simple way of staying in touch with one another.’

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  • Ruth Field


    Great initiative to expand Germany outside of the country to other nationalities.

  • Thembi



  • Zandisile Pase


    Thank you for the information. Looking forward to receiving more information. I would like my son to consider applying for a scholarship.

  • Nisheeth Srivastava


    I am Nisheeth Srivastava from India and working with a German Development Bank called KfW Developed Bank stationed in Delhi, India. I have started learning the German language and would be interested to interact and network with interested participants.

  • Mpumelelo Nhlapo


    Looks very interesting, I would like to expand my knowledge more!

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