MEU 2013: Unique Opportunity to Experience the EU at First Hand
Student:  Paul Nallon, BA Politics and International Relations

From the 20th to the 27th April 2013, I took part in the Model European Union in the European Parliament Strasbourg. Having completed an academic essay and motivational letters, I was one of the lucky approximately 170 out of the over 1000 candidates. Model European Union is a week-long simulation, drawing students up to the age of 26 from disciplines in European Politics, International Relations and Law. MEU gives students a valuable first-hand experience within the roles that reflect the daily decision-making of the European Union. MEU 2013 simulated two legislative procedures for two legislative proposals: the ordinary legislative procedure for the Music Copyright Directive and the consent procedure for the simulation of Croatia’s EU membership accession negotiations.

As Croatian Ambassador, my delegation of three fellow colleagues concentrated on the latter proposal and the negotiations to successfully close Chapter 8: Competition Policy, Chapter 23: Judiciary and Fundamental Rights and Chapter 27: Environment. During the course of the week, the Croatian delegation was called on to formally answer questions both before the European Parliament and Council on issues from shipyard restructuring, criminal case backlog to water management projects on the Danube. However as the week progressed it became clear that informal meetings in the corridors of power with key ministers and faction leaders can have substantially more influence over the terms of accession than formal plenaries or bilateral meetings.

By the end of the week, the three chapters were successfully closed by the Council with conditions tailored for the significant environmental and competition policy concerns in Croatia. MEU 2013 reaffirmed by firm belief that the future of the European Union is a bright one and that the pursuit of enlargement into the Balkans should continue to be primary objective of the Union. The social events organised as part of the programme enabled participants to hear the views of those from within the EU and those states wishing to join, and to enjoy the best of food and drink from their home state.  I would like to extend my thanks to the Politics and Public Administration Department for making my participation in MEU 2013 possible.

Images from Paul's participation in the 2013 Model European Union as part of the Croation delegation