At MEU Strasbourg 2013 both the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers will be presided over by a team of two chairs. The titles themselves – President and Vice President of the Parliament/Council imply a great level of importance and responsibility that chairs hold at MEU. It is the chairs who are responsible for the smooth running of the debates in both chambers, a role that is not the most visible one when things are going well, however an absolutely vital one at all times.
The crucial responsibilities of the chairs are:
- To keep order in the Parliament and in the Council,
- To ensure that the Rules of Procedure are followed and respected,
- Ensure that every single Member of the Parliament and Minister of the Council have the same right to speak and to reply,
- Guarantee that the debates are run in an atmosphere of mutual respect and no one’s rights are being infringed upon.
- To upheld the level of formality of the conference
At the MEU Strasbourg simulation, the President and Vice President of both the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers are expected to remain neutral, thus not stating their political opinion or pushing forward any political agenda. The chairs’ responsibility is to facilitate the debates, to guide and help the MEPs and Ministers to come to an agreement thanks their expertise and knowledge of the Rules of Procedure.
As the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers differ significantly in their size, the chairing styles in both houses will be adjusted to such a difference. In the European Parliament, since it is a large body with a great number of MEPs, the President and the Vice President of the Parliament will need to be very time-conscious and will not hesitate to strictly but respectfully enforce the Rules of Procedure. Whereas the Council being a smaller and closer-knit configuration compared to the EP, chairs might be more lenient when it comes to speaking times and time-keeping. Nonetheless, the President and Vice President will need to ensure that the Rules of Procedure are upheld so as to ensure that the conditions for debate are equal and fair.
In conclusion, we are confident that the President and Vice President of the European Parliament will inspire their peers, moderate the debates successfully, facilitate compromise, and help make MEU 2013 a great success and enriching experience for everyone.