Simulation of the Council of the European Union

An activity organised for European Studies Secondary School Students

In November, SEM and Europe Direct Valletta hosted several Year 10 and Year 11 European Studies students from different schools, for a simulation of the Council of the European Union.

A total of three simulation activities took place at SEM’s offices in Valletta, welcoming more than 60 students. The Secondary Schools taking part in this activity were: St Thomas More College - Santa Luċija and Żejtun, St Clare College - Pembroke, St Nicholas College - Dingli, St Benedict College -Kirkop, St Ignatius College - Ħandaq and St George Preca - Ħamrun.

The simulation was an interactive and educational activity that aimed at helping students to get a better understanding of the EU decision-making process. Students were presented with a mock proposal by the European Commission for a Regulation for an EU Fair Fashion Label. Their task was to present the interests of the Member State assigned to them regarding fair fashion, find a compromise that benefits all Member States and vote on one of the articles of the proposed Regulation.

As part of the activity, the students had to seek how to best formulate their arguments about the article of the Regulation, and work together with like-minded countries to push for the same position. As ministers, the students had to prepare opening statements and also engage in a debate before reaching a common agreement. Therefore, this was an opportunity to practice public speaking skills while also learning first-hand on the collaborative environment of the EU in decision-making.

During one of the simulation activities, SEM was joined by the Parliamentary Secretary for EU Funds Dr Chris Bonett. Students had the opportunity to discuss with Dr Bonett how decisions are taken at an EU level, particularly with respect to EU Funds and the importance of each Member State presenting its interests while also seeking a compromise for a common solution.

As part of the run-up to this activity, SEM officials held preparatory information sessions about the Council of the EU with every participating school. A total of eight preparatory sessions were carried out during the month of October. During these sessions SEM officials provided information on the role of the Council of the EU, its functions and how decisions are taken by Ministers. Information was also provided on what is the Simulation activity and what students were to expect on the day.