Sunday, June 1, 2008

Model European Union 2008

I am back from Strasbourg where I have been participating in the Model European Union 2008 event, which was basically a simulation of the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers, with the added fun of having lobbyists and journalists and spending 5 days in the actual building of the EP.

I was playing the role of a Conservative MEP from Latvia, and our two topics of discussion were the banning of the advertisement of alcohol products and the compulsory licensing of patents of pharmaceutical products so that they can be exported to least developed countries that couldn't manufacture or afford them otherwise. Though the proposals weren't 100% to my liking I thoroughly enjoyed discussing them, making amendments to them, voting and then hoping the Council would accept our changes. The other participants were mostly studying European studies or international relations, so there were only misunderstandings due to the complexity of the language of the proposals.

We spent the days in the building of the Parliament where we had breakfast (some croissants with coffee), debated in a smaller debating chamber interrupted with faction meetings in smaller conference rooms and coffee breaks.

We had lunch in the cafeteria: usually some sandwiches, but also very nice meals sponsored by the European Socialist and EPP-DE parties. Dinner was served in a student restaurant in the middle of the city, after which we usually had a party, either in Strasbourg or in the neighbouring German city of Kehl where the beer and taxi were cheaper.

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