by Polina Ganeva
After a year’s worth of preparations, the first Model European Union event in Madrid held its opening ceremony and welcomed more than 80 student participants from all over the world. “It is a wonderful initiative.”, said Tom Morgan from the European Parliament office in Spain. “The European Union is not just Brussels, it is all of us.”
Jaime Roser, coordinator of the event, said that he thought the idea of a model like that was “cool”. He explained that at first he was not sure whether there were going to be enough participants but now there are people participating in all roles – members of parliament, lobbyists and journalists.
The organisers emphasized that all roles are important in their own way and recreating all of them would help to get a better understanding of how the European parliament works. “This model is about three key points – knowing, thinking and doing.”, said Oliver Soto, vice-president of JEF Spain and JEF Madrid. “To know how it works and to experience it; to think about what is going on and then to understand you have the power to change things, to do something about it.”
The event is appealing to many students from all years and departments – engineer students and students from China and other countries could be seen in the hall, patiently waiting to be told where to go next. “Europe is about participatory democracy.” said Tom Morgan. And all the students are there exactly to do that – participate and gain experience as the next generation of politicians and journalists who will represent Europe.
The Model European Union will take place from 11 to 14 March 2014 and will present the participants with various activities and opportunities not only to experience the EU but also to experience Spain’s culture and habits.