Members of the European Parliament are directly elected to represent the citizens of the 27 EU Member States in the European Parliament. As in national parliaments, these representatives work together in political groupings at EU level. With support from their respective factions, MEPs debate and discuss proposals drafted by the European Commission, reports delivered by other EU institutions and general developments in EU life.
Yet, as they are composed of MEPs emanating from many different national parties, political factions in the EP are not homogenous. Such diversity may generate some difficulty in forming a common faction position. During debates, MEPs are often expected to align themselves to the common position of their faction, but this is not mandatory. MEPs may leave the political grouping to which they belong and become independent MEPs (Non-Inscrits or Non-Attached Members).
In MEU 2013, participants assigned the role of an MEP shall work together with their colleagues in order to reach a common position within their respective factions and then try to create consensus in the EP and with the Council. In order to facilitate cooperation between the two co-legislators, 3 MEPs shall be elected to attend trilogue meetings, which will also involve the Permanent Representative of Ireland to the Council (note: Ireland shall hold the presidency of the Council during the first semester of 2013) and the Commissioner responsible for each Proposal.
Political groupings (factions) are the same as in the real EP. Obviously in MEU we will not have as many MEPs as in reality, due to the fact that this would involve more than 800 participants in total. However, the analogy of the repartition of MEPs per Country will be respected. We will also have Faction Leaders and Faction Secretaries. These roles play a very important role in MEU's EP and in the entire conference itself, as they provide both leadership and official representation when it comes to press conferences, for example, or to negotiations with the Ministers and the Commission.
People who apply for MEP positions will be given the opportunity to apply for an additional role. Should you be interested in one of these roles, please state in the application form.
Pre-conference Faction Secretary - This is an optional additional role for the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). Those applicants applying to be MEPs may also express their interest in becoming a Faction Secretary by ticking the relevant field in the application form. Faction Secretaries shall act as coordinators for their respective factions in the pre-conference period. They shall be in charge of organising internet-based faction meetings. They shall also oversee the preparation of common Faction Position Papers based on the Individual Position Papers. Once in Strasbourg, they will coordinate the very first faction meeting, where the Faction Secretary will be elected. Every Faction Secretary may stand in Faction Leader elections. Should they get elected, a new Secretary may then be elected. It is important to note that this is not compulsory, yet it is highly recommended that bigger Factions have a Faction Secretary who will help Faction Leaders in their work. If they remain in their position, the Secretary will remain responsible for administrative tasks within the faction. Please note that this role is only additional – every Faction Secretary remains a Member of the European Parliament, too.
Once in Strasbourg, you may be elected to one of the following positions:
Faction Leaders shall be elected by their respective factions on the very first day of the simulation in the EP and every MEP may stand for nomination. Alongside Faction Secretaries, Faction Leaders shall organise and coordinate the work of their faction. They shall chair their faction meetings and organise the drafting of amendments to the legislative proposals. At the beginning of the debate on each proposal in the EP, they shall hold a short speech in which they shall present their faction's position on each proposal.
Faction Secretaries are recommended for the bigger factions and also elected during the first faction meeting by all members of their respective factions. Any member may stand in the election. The work of the Secretary would be to assist Faction Leaders in their work. They will also replace their respective Faction Leaders, should the latter be absent. It is recommended that Faction Secretaries assist their leaders in the writing of speeches, due to time constraints.