Simulation of the EU decision-making procedures

On 26th of March 2013, students of the University of New York in Prague (UNYP) participated in an extra-curricular academic activity organized by the UNYP International Organizations course lecturer, Dr. Lenka Eisenhamerová, and by the student organization Modeling United Nations (MUNYP). The aim of this event was to simulate EU decision-making procedures and to demonstrate how difficult it is to find an agreement across the different national interests of individual EU member states.  

At the very beginning, all participating students were assigned countries that they were supposed to represent. Afterwards, they were provided with a real proposal of the Directive by the European Parliament and the Council. Students were asked to write a Position Paper on this proposal from the perspective of the government of their allocated country, and to generate a mandate that the country would defend at the planned simulation. This Position Paper was supposed to be based on a real situation survey, which forced the students to make official inquires and interviews. The next step was the actual simulation of the meeting of the Council of EU that took place in the conference hall of the Eurocenter in Prague. The students, who had been provided with detailed instructions about the procedural issues well in advance, debated and voted as loyal ministers of their countries to adjust the Directive according the assigned mandates. The negotiations ended up with overall success, as the Council managed to push through the necessary amendments. After the conclusion of the simulation, each minister was asked to write an Assessment Report describing the outcome of the meeting, and concluding to what degree the mandate was really achieved and why.

This exercise represented a really fruitful experience for the students, since they were provided with experience of a hands-on political decision-making exercise.
This exercise contained all the important stages of a legislative process, ranging from the collection of data and analysis of the real situation in the assigned countries, construction of a concrete mandate based on identified national interests, real negotiations in the formal atmosphere of the conference hall and under the tight procedural rules orchestrated by the Presidency, to the actual voting and following accountability to their own government with respect to the fulfillment of the mandate. It was a concrete demonstration of how burdensome and compromise-demanding the democratic decision-making procedure can sometimes be.

Follow us

Go to top