A training seminar on negotiation at the École Nationale d’Administration in Paris

Training diplomats – in French!

The École Nationale d’Administration (ENA) has, of course, produced many a high-profile political figure, such as current President Francois Hollande. In June 2014, it was planpolitik’s turn to visit ENA – for a training seminar on negotiation for foreign diplomats.

When ENA comes knocking, you can’t say no – even though we had never before conducted a negotiation training in French. The participants were diplomats from 15 mostly Francophone states. The chosen topic was climate negotiations; we used it to highlight the most important elements of multilateral negotiations, such as the key importance of thorough preparation, the role of coalitions in reducing complexity, working on draft texts, and the importance of a neutral but result-oriented chairperson or chairing group. To this end, we repeatedly interrupted the negotiations to allow for reflection on the different actions.

The diplomats showed a great deal of interest in our feedback and were open to tips and advice on how the negotiations could be lead towards a better result. However, we, too, are powerless when singular states decide to totally block a compromise – a phenomenon that’s all too familiar from real-life negotiations.

We sincerely hope that this thrilling cooperation will be continued next year, even if our contact person has since left the ENA.

Facts + Figures

Target group

Diplomats from 15 different states

  • Reflecting on one's own negotiation skills
  • Overview of key elements of multilateral negotiations
  • Insight into the key points and obstacles in international climate negotiations

École Nationale d’Administration


1 day

Number of participants








  • Many thanks to you and Peter: it's been a great great pleasure to have you both here at ENA. The participants whom I've talked with this morning were also very happy of their day, they told me they highly appreciated your presence and how the training was conducted. I hope and am sure now there will be many other times!

    Aurélia Smotriez, Study advisor International Relations; Management of Ecole Nationale d'Administration

  • Dear Mr. Raiser, I'd like to let you know that your training has been a very positive contribution to my career.

    Jean Cottin KOUMA, Head of Department at ‚Ministère de l'Enseignement supérieur‘ - Kamerun