For more information, contact Dr. Juan ArroyoSUNYMEU Co-Director
SUNY Model EU is a project funded by the Institute of European Union Studies at SUNY (IEUSS), through the Office of Global Affairs, SUNY System Administration, and participant conference fees.
As with many international simulations, students and universities represent country delegations in preparing to attend a European Council Summit. Usually, these delegations are comprised of four person teams, with each student playing an actual political figure from that country’s government. These roles are generally the Head of Government (Prime Minister or President), the Foreign Minister, the country’s ambassador to the EU (COREPER II), and a Finance Minister. Larger teams can also bring an additional deputy minister for Europe or deputy Prime Minister. Host teams will generally chair the Head of Government and Foreign Minister meetings, playing the roles of Council President and High Representative for Foreign Affairs. Additional delegation assignments also play the role of the European Commission and Secretariat, as well as the SUNY Model EU Press corps.
Once assigned “roles,” country teams work to prepare a single-page proposal for an item to be discussed at the summit, and submit it to the presidency team a little over a month prior to the simulation and the presidency team works with the secretariat to generate an initial agenda of items to be debated in each functional group setting. We try to debate the most important and timely issues confronting Europe, from the crisis in the Eurozone, to the military action in Libya, and problems integrating recent immigrants into European society. Students debate the issues and come to common positions on items before them, working first in small groups (of just their partner ministers) before putting the final conclusions of the presidency to a vote of the whole.
Model EU has proven to be an enormously rewarding experience for our past participants, and a visit to our SUNY Model EU Facebook page will confirm this. Students from all over the SUNY system and northeast have an opportunity to meet and work with students from all over Europe, to learn about one of the most complex and important actors in the international arena today, and to develop their social capital in learning how to present their views before both a small group and plenary setting. Smaller than most Model UN simulations, it is a more participatory experience for all those who do come, and there are fewer “spectators” given the small size and the importance of each country in EU Council decision making.
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