Behind the Curtains: Q&A with the Organisers

1796531_359222494215497_1019053108_nWith the heated discussions on the floor, it is just as hot backstage with only a few people making the entire MEU come true. On Saturday, when the sessions were nearly over, we finally managed to bring together most of the organizers in one room and get some insights on the process.

Is the stress over now?

No, not at all! We stare at the to-do-list and already feel exhausted. Tomorrow is the check-out, we still have to sign the certificates for participation, and get up after tonight’s party. As for the next six weeks, we will spend them writing reports, doing accounting, and thanking our partners. What we dream about at the moment is meeting up, but just for fun, not related to the conference.

How many of you are there, and how did you come up with the idea to organise this conference?

We are seven, four of us still study. In June, Gregor wrote Manuel on Facebook that it would be cool to make a MEU. So it went on – by August we started meeting weekly. Vienna has a huge Model UN community, but there was no Model EU. It’s weird that especially in a city like Vienna no one has done it before.

Who are the participants of the Vienna MEU 2014?

They are so different, just like the EU itself – ‘’unity in diversity’. We had applications from over 35 countries and were especially happy to have received many from new and perhaps future member states; from Kosovo alone we have six participants. Some came from far away: Bangladesh, Tunisia, Jordan, Jerusalem, and one participant from Egypt who organised the Model UN in Alexandria.

How difficult was it to get funding for the conference?

Quite hard. For a long time we weren’t sure if we could do it at all. We sent out applications for financial support and while waiting for replies still had to continue planning. Only a week before we announced the application call, we knew that we had the funding for the ‘minimum version’. The FH Technikum and the student union (ÖH der FH Technikum) were really helpful. What we didn’t think through in advance, is that most institutions get a new budget at the beginning of a year and after half a year their granting of funds gets stricter.

Did anything funny happen?

Well, someone got lost during the tour in the Austrian parliament, even though our guide
said that it has never happened before. Other than that, everything went surprisingly smoothly.
There was no fire, no medical catastrophe. When Manuel told us that a room got locked – we were relieved: finally something went wrong!

What about the Vienna MEU 2015?

It would be great if this became a regular thing. But honestly, we haven’t discussed it so far. No one said ‘of course’ and no one said ‘never’. It is an open point so far.

by Benjamin and Vera Djemelinskaia

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