The European Union Visitors Programme (EUVP) is the key strategic tool of the EU’s public, people-to-people diplomacy enhancing the EU’s smart power, global impact and outreach. It was established in 1974 and has since then been jointly managed by the European Parliament and the European Commission. The EUVP is supervised by Dr Othmar Karas, Vice-President of the European Parliament, and by Dr Josep Borrell Fontelles, Vice-President of the European Commission and High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
The EUVP’s distinguished Alumni include many former and current national political leaders, high-ranking government officials, academics and business people.
In close cooperation with EU Delegations throughout the world, the EUVP invites young political leaders and opinion-formers. They come from countries and international organisations outside the EU. Their study visits enhance mutual knowledge and understanding, foster common values, and promote EU interests and policies.
The EUVP provides tailor-made study visits to meet Members of the European Parliament, officials from the EU Institutions, and other EU stakeholders. The visits comprise both individual and joint meetings and activities with fellow EUVP participants. Joint meetings and activities are organised on the basis of visitors’ thematic interests, or by bringing together visitors from neighbouring countries or regions.
Visitors have usually completed university education or equivalent training and have already gained a few years of professional experience. Basic knowledge of the EU Institutions and how they work is required, as is a sufficiently good command of English or French to allow active participation in meetings.
The EUVP seeks to cultivate long-lasting relationships between visitors and their European contacts in order to sustain and maximise its impact. It therefore has a longer-term commitment to remain in touch with its distinguished Alumni after their visit with the aim of creating a global network of friends and supporters of the EU.
How to prepare for your EUVP visit? Read more.
The EUVP has existed for over 40 years
The EUVP was established in 1974 by the European Parliament and the European Commission as an invitation programme to bring promising young professionals from the United States to Europe in order to learn more about the Institutions and workings of the European Community. It has been conceived and created thanks to the initiative of the Vice-President of the European Parliament Dr. Willem Schuijt.
In 1974, on the inaugural visit, five American visitors for the very first time took part in the Programme. Since then, the EUVP has greatly expanded and grew, so that it now operates on a worldwide basis.
In the years, more than 4,000 visitors from non-Member countries have taken part in the programme.