From the EP to the Model EP

After the opening ceremony we got a chance to find out what some very prominent speakers think of the Vienna MEU. Between the role play and reality check:

IMG_0002Dr. Eva Lichtenberger, MEP from Austria, Greens

I think the only difference to real life is that we rarely have the possibility to work only on one file – usually there are 3-4 different files at the same time. So your simulation will be faster, because there is less pressure on your shoulders. It will be interesting to learn the negotiation process. I would be very curious to see how delegates will unite in coalitions. My forecast: differentiation between countries with strong labor market regulation, like Germany and Austria, and a fully liberalized one, like Great Britain.

IMG_0120Thomas Weber, European Parliament, information office in Austria

At the time when I was a student, Model European Union didn’t exist, but I did participate in a Moot Court. Back then I was impressed by a speech of the UN former Secretary General Boutros-Ghali, who asked us to be “foot soldiers” in human rights. Now I work for the European Parliament and we support a lot of MEU simulations. I find these debates quite realistic: people learn to find compromises, to negotiate. The main difference to the real parliament is that some participants don’t exactly know what they are representing. But also, there will be less pressure from national actors. As a recommendation I would say, try to create ties for the future and do not neglect the social aspect. You always have to come back to people.

by Vera Djemelinskaia

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