Between 4 and 7 January 2018, 14 students from the Master program “European and International Law” at the Europa-Institut participated in one of the largest simulations of European Union decision-making processes in the world, known as EuroSim. Alternating every year between the US and the EU, this year’s edition was hosted by the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) in Brussels, Belgium. 150 particiants from 15 universities dealt with the topic of EU Border Management.
The participating students assume the roles of the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, the European Council, the members of the European Parliament, and independent experts. Apart from intensive engagement with current legal questions of the EU and its politics, EuroSim also imparts rhetorical skills and competence in intercultural communication. In addition, practitioners, academics and politicians are invited to share relevant background knowledge with the participants. Besides training important skills for future employment, the simulation is an ideal platform for networking and offers the opportunity to visit interesting cities.
EuroSim was a great opportunity for me to familiarize myself with a completely new topic. Also it was a great experience to work with the other team members. I especially enjoyed the group preparation sessions: They train your communication skills and give you a good idea of what to expect from the conference. All in all, EuroSim helped me gain a thorough understanding of how EU law is made and to train my negotiation skills. I am sure that I can profit from that when applying for jobs in the field of EU law making. Lukas Kleinert
The 14 students representing the Europa-Institut underwent a selection process and an intensive training phase aimed at deepening their knowledge of the simulation’s topic, as well as their soft-skills (communication, negotiation, and teamwork). One of the other goals of the preparation phase was to enhance the participants’ analytic and writing abilities by drafting, for instance, a new EU-Regulation and ancillary documents thereto. As result of this comprehensive training, the Europa-Institut EuroSim team delivered an excellent group performance. In addition, 3 of the participants – Lukas Kleinert (Germany), Aikaterini Leftherouda (Greece) and Filip Matković (Croatia) were bestowed with 3 of the 6 awards granted for outstanding individual performance. .
Besides the academic benefits, the simulation also provided the participants with the opportunity to discover Brussels and Bruges, make new friends from both sides of the Atlantic and enlarge their professional network.
Eurosim has been one of the most exciting, challenging and rewarding experiences I have ever had! I studied and learnt a lot on European politics, I improved my public speaking and negotiation skills, I met interesting people from all over Europe and the U.S. and I had the chance to experience another beautiful country, Belgium! In order to prepare myself for Eurosim I had to study a lot on current European politics and legislation, I familiarized myself with the rules of procedure of the European institutions and I exercised my rhetoric and diplomatic skills. For a student like me, who wishes to pursue a career in the European institutions, all this will certainly prove to be very useful and beneficial for my future career. Aikaterini Leftherouda
Coaching for EuroSim
Having experienced EuroSim both as student and supervisor, I wholeheartedly recommend the simulation to all students interested in expanding their horizons and learning more about themselves. The EuroSim is an interdisciplinary, “learning by doing” type of event: it mobilizes knowledge of European and International law, of politics and the world as a whole, as well as abilities to communicate efficiently, negotiate and compromise. These soft skills are invaluable for today’s market place, but are rarely taught in traditional academic courses. In addition, due to its diversity and its transatlantic focus, EuroSim is an excellent opportunity to learn new perspectives on pressing European and International issues while gaining a better understanding of decision-making in the EU. And it’s a lot of fun too! Corina Vodă