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FEUTURE European Council Simulation Game, Nice, 9 and 10 January 2019

On 9 and 10 January 2019 CIFE organised a two-day simulation of a Summit of the European Council tackling the future of Europe with a special focus on EU-Turkish relations.
The simulation took place in the framework of the HORIZON2020 Project FEUTURE.

The following topics were on the Agenda:

Internal and External Dimension of Migration 
• Is the EU-Turkey-Agreement still appropriate or does it need to be revised? 
• Can it be seen as a blueprint for other neighbouring countries?
• How to combine responsibility and solidarity in the Dublin reform?
• Should the EU adjust its enlargement policy in response to recent developments in Turkey?
• Are the EU institutions ready for further enlargement?
• Does the pre-accession assistance need to be revised?
• If further enlargement is to happen, which countries should join and what would be the time frame for accessions?
Economic Policy in the EU and its Member States
• What should be the EU’s economic policy? 
• Should states stick to the principle of austerity or should it be abandoned in favour of expenditure-led growth?
• Must countries stick to reforms imposed on them? 
•How to deal with current economic issues in the Member States?
Institutional Reform
• How should European integration proceed? 
• What can be done to counter Euroscepticism? 
• Should the EU institutions get additional competencies? 
• Should the member states retain their powers, or should they even reclaim powers from Brussels? Should possible reforms apply to all Member States or should there be more flexible integration?

36 participants represented 12 actors (the Presidency of the European Council and 11 Member States) and engaged in a lively debate about the future of relations between the European Union and Turkey in particular. The simulation was preceded by two weeks of pre-negotiations via an online-platform and was moderated by the simulation game experts of planpolitik.

This FEUTURE Simulation proved to be an exciting way for students to engage in current European affairs and gain perspective on the inner workings of the European Council.

Read the full report here.




Student Testimonials

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  • "I am grateful to have taken part in this event. It can teach you to look at Europe in a different light, to get in touch with cultures from all over the world and to read into other states' demands with a more conscious perspective. It has given me the opportunity to simulate potential negotiations in Europe through the point of view of a country different from my own. It helped me understand what is currently happening within the European Institutions: what are their issues, ambitions and objectives that they are facing with a glance towards the future – a future that will soon be in our hands.” - Sophia Zini (Italy)

  • “The simulation game was a great way to apply my gained knowledge in a practical manner. Bringing all the different incentives, sometimes even opposing constraints together was challenging and inciting at the same time. It illustrated the high degree of interdependence between all EU member states. Finding compromises on the international level is essential for the progress and well-being of each country. Thanks to this experience, I now respect even more the challenges faced by heads of states at every EU-Summit.” - Lea Schuck (Germany)

  • “The two-day simulation of a meeting of the European Council was a good approach to understand the complexity of a decision-making process in the European Union. It was interesting to see how different the European member states think about the EU-Turkish relations and the agreement. Some of them see it as a blueprint for neighbouring countries; others think that it need to be revised. It’s difficult to find a compromise by including the interests of all member states. I can now better understand why the decision-making processes in the European Council always take so long.” - Sebastian Nerger (Germany)

  • “After the simulation I have a clearer picture of the state of play between Turkey and EU member states. Some of us had directives to support dialogue in the interest of keeping a glimmer of hope alive for future Turkish accession; others took a hard-line position that all talks must be frozen as a signal that the EU does not stand for the deplorable recent events in Turkey. We reached the decision that some dialogue is better than silence and the EU should maintain the little leverage it has -- but serious barriers remain like Erdogan’s consolidation of power in the new presidential system. Perhaps it is overly optimistic, but I left with the impression that only way to move beyond this impasse is for Turkey to take some confidence building measures in an attempt to re-establish trust. - Monique Elliott-Smith (USA)

  • "Taking part in the simulation on EU-Turkey relations as part of the Italian delegation was a very enjoyable and interesting experience, and helped me to round out my understanding of how the EU deals with issues like enlargement (which was very helpful for my thesis). Having participated in many conferences similar to this one (though on sometimes very different topics), I was particularly impressed by the online portion of the simulation, which I found innovative and useful. Negotiating with the various other delegations, building coalitions and trying to pass resolutions gave me a new appreciation of how difficult it can be to achieve consensus and achieve meaningful results". - Tim Springett (United Kingdom/Germany)

  • “Due to this European Council simulation, I've learned from experience how countries negotiate, how decisions are being made, the roles of the Commission and the Presidency, how countries protect their interests and push their agenda and more. Everybody acted really well in their role and the simulation proceeded smoothly and efficiently, producing the result we wanted right from the start. The subject of the simulation was very interesting as it analysed very important issues of the European Union, like the enlargement issue, the accession of Turkey, the governance reform and the migrant crisis. Overall the whole experience was extraordinary and it was something I've never done before but hopefully will experience again as it was so productive.” - Marios Christodoulidis (Cyprus)

Click here for all student testimonials from the simulation game.