Model European Union Zagreb 2015
Start date: Dec 1, 2014,
End date: Aug 31, 2015
Model European Union Zagreb (MEUZ) is a simulation of decision-making on the European level – specifically, that of the EU institutions. Throughout the years, the MEU concept has established itself as a superb learning experience for young Europeans, providing them with a unique opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge of the EU institutions, its decision-making mechanisms and processes.
MEUZ 2014 aims to include young people, ages between 18 and 30, from different European countries as its target participants. They would meet together in mid-January for six days in Zagreb where they would simulate the decision making of the EU institutions and actively learn about EU legislative and democratic processes. The number of participants is set for one hundred. During the application process, they will be sorted out in the roles of the Member of the EU Parliament (60 participants), Minister of the Council of the European Union (28 participants), lobbyists (5 participants) or journalists (7 participants). Our recruitment staff is instructed to assign special attention to gender equality and national diversity when deciding on possible participants, with a goal of having at least 50 % of the participants from countries other than Croatia.
Once participants are selected, their roles are defined without regard to their personal ideological or political preferences, which requires them to disregard some preconceived ideas and biases and identify instead with the role they are given for the simulation purposes.
During simulation itself, participants will learn how to recognize complexities of policies which can be alternatively pursued and ways to argue in favor or against certain proposals in the light of potential consequences. Bearing in mind they are assigned with specific roles, debating skills and critical thinking are developed through simulation at a very different scale from that in an arena where the participants put forward ideas based on their personal backgrounds. Furthermore, participants learn to detect opportunities for cooperation, master practices of consensus-building strategies and develop a debating culture.
By this MEUZ seeks to empower youth for active democratic citizenship in a multi-level political community. It aims to engage participants in policy debates underpinned by certain European values, and to allow them to gain a practical understanding of the procedural and political constraints. Through allowing them to acquire both deeper insights into the decision-making processes at European level, and skills which would better equip them for their future role in the society, the project seeks to prepare youth for active participation in shaping their future as citizens of Europe.
Thus, the far-reaching goal of the project is to produce a multiplier effects on a wider societal scale by awarding participants with an opportunity to raise their consciousness and increase their involvement in the democratic processes on the European level.
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