Model European Union Zagreb is an international educational conference which gathers the most enthusiastic young people from around the world. It is designed as a combination of the simulation of the decision-making procedure of the EU institutions (the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union), workshops and structural dialogues with decision makers on the current issues.
MEUZ 2017 is the fifth edition of the conference which is annually organized by a group of highly motivated students, whose aim is to spread the knowledge about the EU institutions among their peers and prepare them for the EU of tomorrow. In previous editions, activities of the conference had a direct impact on more than 300 students and young professionals on their professional and personal development. MEUZ has received the support from many European and Croatian institutions and the relevance of the project was recognized by the Agency for Mobility and the EU Programs so this will be the third year in a row that the project is co-funded by the Erasmus+ program.
The participants will be assigned to the following roles: the Presidency of the Parliament and the Council of the EU, Members of the European Parliament, Ministers of the Council of the EU, journalist and lobbyist.
Not only is this the best way to learn about the EU politics, but also a unique way to network and improve your soft skills like public speaking, negotiation and communication. It is your turn to challenge the decision makers in the structured dialogues and meet like-minded ambitious individuals from all over the world.
Get out of your comfort zone and slip into a whole new world of the MEU Zagreb. Everyone is invited!
Dear future participant of MEUZ 2017, you can choose from several below mentioned roles in the EU institutions. Each role lively and realistically represents how things function in real institutions such as the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union.
Maybe you see yourself as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) or a MINISTER of the government you wish to represent? If not, take your chance as a LOBBYIST and prove your worth to the company or interest group you are lobbying for among the politicians. Last but definitely not the least, as a JOURNALIST you will be part of the press which is one of the main pillars of democracies. Seek, ask the right questions and be the voice public will listen to! Whichever choice you make, we can assure you that it will help you to grow both on a professional and personal level. Each of the roles is crucial and it is up to YOU to make the best out of it!
MEMBER OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT (MEP)
The Parliament acts as a co-legislator, sharing with the Council the power to adopt and amend legislative proposals and to decide on the EU budget. It also supervises the work of the Commission and other EU bodies and cooperates with national parliaments of the EU countries to get their input. The Parliament has sought to promote democracy and human rights – not only in Europe, but also throughout the world.
Members of the European Parliament sit in political groups – they are not organized by nationality, but by political affiliation. There are currently 8 political groups in the European Parliament plus the Members who do not belong to any political group and are known as non-attached Members.
Therefore as an MEP you will be assigned a country you represent and a political affiliation. You will need to cooperate with other members of your affiliation, other factions, lobbyists and press if you wish to have it your way.
Prepare for ruthless debates and demolish your opponents arguments one by one until there is nothing more standing than your proposal!
MINISTER OF THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION
If you see yourself more as a solo player than this might be the right role for you! As a minister, you have the power to take down decisions regarding sensitive topics like foreign policy and taxation which require a unanimous vote (all countries in favor). While some would call it a blackmail, others would call it an efficient mean to achieve some other national goals.
In the Council, government ministers from each EU country meet to discuss, amend and adopt laws, and coordinate policies. The ministers have the authority to commit their governments to the actions agreed on in the meetings.
The Council is responsible for negotiations and adoption of the EU laws, together with the European Parliament, based on proposals from the European Commission. It also coordinates the EU countries’ policies and develops the EU’s foreign & security policy, based on the European Council guidelines.
If you are about to become a Minister of the Council do not forget to make alliances. Offering someone cup of coffee during breakfast after a rough night might be all it takes to have someone to support you in life or death situation.
As a lobbyist, you will represent an activist who seeks to persuade members of the EU institutions (like MEPs and Ministers) to enact legislation that would benefit your group. The lobbying profession is a legitimate and integral part of democratic political process that is not very well understood by the general population. While most people think of lobbyists only as paid professionals, there are also many volunteer lobbyists.
Lobbying involves more than persuading legislators. Professional lobbyists research and analyze legislation or regulatory proposals, attend parliamentary meetings, and educate government officials and corporate officers on important issues.
Coal production has nothing to do with respiratory diseases. Fossil fuels are better than electric energy. Abortion is a murder. Gay marriages should be legal in the whole EU.
These are just a few examples of opinions you as a lobbyist might get to advocate.
Do you have what it takes to get your interests pushed through?
People will give you information for all sorts of reasons, some justified, others not. You must be able to recognize occasions when people are not telling the truth. Even though sometimes people give you false information unknowingly, it is important that you develop the ability to recognize it because otherwise, you will mislead your readers or listeners by reporting this information.
If you suspect you are being given inaccurate information or being told deliberate lies, do not let the matter rest there. Ask your informant more questions so that you can either satisfy yourself that the information is accurate or reveal the information for the lie that it is.
Some people call it aggressiveness, but we prefer the word determination. It is the ability to go out, find a story and hang on to it until you are satisfied you have it in full. Be like a dog with a bone – do not let go until you have got all the meat off, even if people try to pull it out of your mouth.
As a journalist, you are not just some random person on a keyboard.
Remember, you are a gladiator of democracy!