Simulation game on lobbying in the EU as part of the Bertelsmann Summer Academy on Europe

Lobbyists are only doing a job like any other, right?

The European Parliament is a meeting point for MEPs, politicians from national Parliaments, media representatives and – lobbyists. The participants of the Bertelsmann Summer Academy use the simulation game “Lobbyism in the European Union” to examine the role and respective perspectives of lobbying groups in the European legislative process and then discuss their experiences with lobbying experts from Brussels.

Every year, between 20 and 30 young professionals from politics, economics and media used to take part in the Bertelsmann Foundation’s Summer Academy. The participants are dealing with Europe through their work and were therefore put forward for the Academy by their respective institutions.

In 2010, planpolitik developed a simulation game for this ambitious and demanding programme. The game dealt with the role played by interest groups in European law-making. Above all, the aim was to give the participants a change in perspective, enabling them to gain a better understanding of the respective other professional groups and the challenges each of them faces. In order to achieve this, none of the roles in the European Commission, the interest groups and the media were distributed in correspondence to the actual backgrounds of the participants.

The simulation game itself only takes three hours. This means that there was enough time at the end for the participants to exchange experiences with lobby experts from Brussels and conduct a critical discussion about the role of lobbying in Brussels.

The first time the game was played at the Academy was such a success that it has since become a fixture on the programme.


Facts + Figures

Target group

Participants of the Bertelsmann Summer Academy: young professionals from politics, media and economics whose work is related to Europe

  • Understanding the interaction of politics, interest groups and media within the European legislative process
  • Getting to know the respective other professional groups' perspectives by having to take them on in the game

4 h

Number of participants



Schloss Steinhöfel in Steinhöfel





  • I'd like to use this opportunity to thank you very much for your involvement in this year's Summer Academy, which was very well received by the participants. As always, the simulation game was extremely popular as could be heard in the feedback round on Friday.

    Gabriele Schöler, Bertelsmann Foundation, Senior Project Manager Programme Europes Future

  • I have never learnt so much in so little time about the obstacles during international negotiations. #SommerAkademieEuropa @BertelsmannSt

    Participant Sabine Rossi @sabine_rossi, Reporter with ARD/WDR, Cologne, Germany