News and Events

Model European Union

Last year’s model European Union took place Friday and Saturday, February 18-19,
2012, at the University of Washington. It addressed the theme of the new EU Treaty in
the wake of the crisis of the EURO and the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy
(CAP). More than twelve delegations from colleges and universities on the West coast
participated. Our UO delegation consisted of four students organized in two teams
representing the Netherlands and Luxembourg. Each team had a student serving as the
head of government, and a student serving as Minister of Agriculture.

The program began with a dinner Friday night, where the keynote address was delivered
by the Deputy Ambassador to the United States from the European Union. This was
followed by each team’s head of government giving a short speech previewing their
country’s position on both issues. On Saturday two separate sessions took place, one
involving the heads of government, the other the Ministers of Agriculture. The heads of
government session focused on the economic crisis, while the Ministers of Agriculture
dealt with the reform of CAP. At these sessions each country’s representative argued the
merits of its position, and then met informally to negotiate towards common positions.
The format of the sessions included both parliamentary style debate and one-on-one
negotiations. These gatherings were observed by the graduate student and faculty
advisors of the participating delegations, who determined awards given to participants.
One of the UO’s participants, Erin Altman, received Honorable Mention as Minister of
Agriculture, based on her performance as a negotiator.

Kelley Littlepage, Ph.D. candidate in Political Science department and advisor for the
UO delegation, commented that the UO students were a particularly wonderful group
to work with. Their performance in bargaining sessions addressing the reform of CAP
was especially impressive. According to Kelley, the Model EU provides students a
great opportunity to think on their feet, and to engage in public speaking with the aim
of persuading others and bargaining with them towards common solutions of difficult
problems.

Comments from students confirm the value of their Model EU experience. According
to Annie O’Neal, “the Model EU helped to apply course material to real life scenarios.”
Annie is considering a career in European Union politics and found the keynote by the
EU deputy ambassador especially inspiring. Anya Klyukanova commented that “the best
part was being able to meet so many smart and motivated students – I learned so much
from them! … This was definitely a highlight of my college experience!” For Omar
Hagrass the Model EU provided “a simulation that will definitely help me in my future
career.” Erin Altman elaborated on her experience:

“The 2012 West Coast Model EU Summit was the most productive and rewarding
conference I’ve ever attended. Being among others who are just as passionate about
European policy, and highly motivated towards creating consensus, I felt inspired to
continue in the field of European Studies. Almost all aspects of my previous academic
training, from economics, to agriculture, and especially history, were integrated into

the challenging debates and informal negotiations at the Model EU. Through dynamic
interactions with other delegates, and the necessity of passing resolutions unanimously,
the Model EU was a perfect supplement to the academic study of the European Union.”

Through information and contacts that Erin made at the Model EU, she applied
successfully to the EU Studies Summer Program in Brussels administered by the EU
Center of Excellence at the University of Washington. She took part in the program last
July and August.