Kennis & Onderzoek


To Brussels and back

To Brussels and back

For many people, it is difficult to get a grip on the European Union: what is happening there and and how can you influence it? You only need to turn on the television and you will hear politicians claim that 'Brussels' has decided something about our wildlife reserves, the climate or the economy. So it often seems like the EU is taking measures we have no influence over at all. This is not true, but then how does it work?

In Retourtje Brussel, Chris Aalberts and Mendeltje van Keulen talk to Dutch nationals working in Brussels. This creates a colourful picture of how European cooperation takes shape in practice and how 'the Netherlands' influences it. That makes this book a must-read for professionals who come into contact with the EU and for anyone who wants to understand the EU better.

'Retourtje Brussel: hoe Nederlanders werken aan de Europese Unie' was written with Mendeltje van Keulen and is published by Boom Bestuurskunde. The book is available in bookshops (ISBN 9789462363236). There is also a digital version (ISBN: 9789400111783).


Saïd Fazili (Ministry of General Affairs): 'Countries never want to be isolated within the EU'

Martijn Grevink (European Commission): The Commission is usually at the table from the beginning to the end'

Anne-Margreet Sas (Permanent Representation): When you negotiate, you know: we have to do it together'

Lara Wolters (European Parliament): 'As rapporteur, you quickly receive twenty centimetres of amendments'

Mielle Bulterman (Ministry of Foreign Affairs): 'Every national judge is also a European judge'

Robert van Asten (Municipality of The Hague): 'It's useful if you have a player on the field in Brussels'

Niels Schreuder (AGC): 'The organisations you work for need to be convinced of your reliability'

Kysia Hekster (NOS): 'We barely manage to meet the demand for Brussels news'


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dr. Mendeltje van Keulen