This section is dedicated to answering any questions you have about Model European Union Strasbourg 2021. Find below the most common questions we receive via email, including:

  1. The most common questions we receive about MEUS;
  2. The MEUS application process;
  3. The MEUS preparation phase for participants;
  4. The MEUS simulation itself; and 
  5. What happens after MEUS.


Make sure to look through the questions below to see if your question has already been answered! If you cannot find an answer for your question, feel free to email us at info[at]meu-strasbourg.org and we will answer as soon as we can.

MOST-COMMON QUESTIONS

When is MEUS 2021 going take place?
MEUS 2021 will take place across two weekends in the autumn of 2021, specifically between 24-26 September and 2-3 October 2021.

What are the age requirements to participate in MEUS?

All participants must be aged between 18 and 27 years old at the beginning of MEUS 2021. Exceptionally, all Participants selected to participate in MEUS 2020, which was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, are also eligible for MEUS 2021 even if they are older than 27.

I have never attended a political simulation before. Can I apply for MEUS?
Of course! MEUS is open to everyone regardless of their previous experience of political simulations. In fact, we actively encourage and welcome applications from those who have no prior experience of simulations like MEUS.

Will there still be interpreting services at MEUS 2021?
Yes! Interpreting strikes to the heart of the experience of MEUS and we will be incorporating interpreting into MEUS 2021 through the use of online remote interpreting software. The exact languages offered at MEUS 2021 is dependent upon the interest and applications we receive during the application process but we have traditionally been able to accommodation 8+ languages during our conference spoken around Europe (and beyond).

What happened to MEUS 2020?
The MEUS 2020 physical conference was regrettably cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In light of the cancellation, Digital MEUS was created which consisted of a variety of interactive and informative webinars, panels and sessions that saw experts, young professionals and students from an array of civil society organisations, businesses and political groups discuss some of Europe’s most pressing issues.

What is being debated at MEUS 2021?
Two real-life EU legislative topics will be debated at MEUS 2021. (Don't worry if you've never read anything legal before - that's why we're here to help)! Specifically, our two topics are: (1) a proposal for a Regulation on the Just Transition Fund (aka. 2020/0006(COD)); and (2) a proposal for a Regulation on Preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online (aka. 2018/0331(COD)). Put simply, we will broadly be discussing themes related to the European Green Deal and the desire for the EU to create a more Digital Europe.

Will MEUS 2021 take place in the European Parliament?
No. Regrettably, MEUS cannot take place in the European Parliament in Strasbourg in 2021 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Because of this, we have been working hard for months to transform MEUS 2021 into an immersive online conference that stays loyal to the life-changing experience that is MEUS while bringing a taste of Strasbourg to your doorsteps!

I want to promote MEUS 2021 in my city / university / workplace, how can I do so?
Thank you for supporting MEUS! Feel free to share our website and social media posts on your feed, networks and by promoting MEUS in chats with your friends and colleagues. Spreading the word and sharing our posts is the best way of promoting MEUS and you can make use of our graphics to help spread the word far and wide!

I have questions that are not addressed here. Who should I get in touch with?
That's no problem! Feel free to get in touch with the MEUS 2021 Organising Team with any general questions or doubts you may have about our conference via email at info[at]meu-strasbourg.org. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

MEUS 2021 APPLICATIONS

Can I still apply for MEUS 2021?
We're afraid not. The call for applications for MEUS 2021 began on 15 July 2021 and ran until 23:59 (CEST) 7 August 2021 as part of an extended deadline. We are no longer accepting applications for MEUS 2021 so we encourage you to follow our social media channels regarding information and news for all subsequent editions of MEUS!

Do I have to be a student to take part?
Not at all! It doesn’t matter what your current occupation or professional status is: you’re eligible to apply so long as you’re between 18 and 27 years old and you’ve never attended a previous edition of MEUS.

What level of English is required to participate in MEUS 2021?
An intermediate grasp of English is required to participate in MEUS 2021, equivalent to at least a B1 level of English (according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages). The reason for this is that English is the official language of our conference and, while that we have interpreting services at MEUS 2021, our workshops and preparatory materials will be held in English. Nevertheless, we want to emphasise that the vast, vast majority of our participants are not native English speakers and MEUS is also an opportunity for participants to improve their language skills, including English!

Do I need to provide proof of my English level?
Not at all! English is the official language of MEUS 2021 and this is why we ask for at least an intermediate level of English (B1+), but no certificate or examination proof is required. Our preparatory materials, sessions and communication leading up to the conference as well as our socials and activities during MEUS 2021 are all in English, so even though our wonderful Interpreters allow many of us to celebrate our linguistic diversity during the simulation itself, an intermediate level of English (B1+) is still needed to ensure that all Participants feel comfortable expressing themselves and interacting with others leading up to and during the conference.'

Must I be an EU citizen in order to take part?
No! Part of what makes MEUS special is its diversity and our conference is open to everyone from around the world wishing to learn more about the EU and its decision-making process. Your nationality and country of residence will have no impact on your application for MEUS.

I may have to work or attend classes during the conference. Would I still be able to participate?
Potentially. All Participants are expected to be present for at least 75% of our simulation sessions in order to receive a certificate of attendance. We appreciate this not always easy for young people working full-time or those in full-time education but this is also one of the primary reasons why MEUS 2021 will take place across two weekends, with the 1st session on Friday 24 September beginning in the early evening so as not to disrupt people's work and studies. If you are selected to participate in MEUS, we will provide you with a letter confirming your participation in MEUS that can be shared with your university / employer should taking time off on either weekend of MEUS 2021 prove problematic. Should you not be free on either weekend of MEUS 2021 or be unable to acquire the time off necessary to take part, we are afraid that participation will not be possible.

I have already participated in MEUS before. Can I apply to participate again?
No. MEUS is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and due to the sheer demand for places at our conference, participation is only permitted once at MEUS. If you enjoyed your participation in MEUS so much that you would like to return, we recommend applying to join the Organising Team for the next edition of MEUS, which will provide you with the opportunity to return to be a part of the conference in Strasbourg!

Is there a participation fee or deposit for MEUS 2021?
No! Exceptionally, there will be no participation fee or deposit for MEUS 2021 due to its online format. Future editions of MEUS, which will hopefully once again take place in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, will more than likely have a participation fee once again.

Can I apply without having studied politics, law or EU-related studies in the past?
Yes! Although MEUS simulates politics and EU institutions, our conference is designed to be as accessible as possible to young people of all careers and backgrounds. Our vision for MEUS is to be as inclusive a learning experience for youth as possible, therefore we strongly encourage anyone interested in learning more about EU politics to apply regardless of their studies or professional work. Whatever your background, we will make sure that you acquire the assistance and help you require to take part in MEUS 2021!

I have a disability / chronic health condition that may impact my participation in MEUS 2021: am I still able to apply for MEUS?
Of course! While MEUS 2021 will be online and this may create new challenges for participation in comparison to a physical conference, MEUS is open to everyone regardless of any disabilities or chronic health conditions they may have and we will strive to accommodate the needs of our participants. Previous editions of MEUS have seen participants take part with visual, hearing and physical impairments in addition to numerous learning disabilities and chronic health conditions. The application evaluation procedure does not take into account your disability / chronic health condition. If you are selected to participate in MEUS, our Participants' Coordinators will be in touch with you to discuss your individual needs and how we can support you as an organising team during the conference to guarantee your full participation in all aspects of MEUS.

PARTICIPANTS' PREPARATION

How does preparation for MEUS 2021 work and will I be helped?
Of course you will be helped! If you have been selected to participate in MEUS 2021, you will be contacted by our Participants Coordinator at the very end of August/very beginning of September to join our conference platforms, receive access our preparatory materials and find out more about the workshops we envisage throughout September to assist your participation. Our preparatory materials include role guides, content guides and explanatory documents providing an overview of how our ICT infrastructure and simulation works for MEUS 2021. In addition to the materials we provide, a series of thematic online workshops and panels will be held in the weeks prior to MEUS 2021 to provide you with insight, expertise and advice ahead of the conference. The Organising Team will also take an active role in your preparation, creating podcasts to aid you with your preparation, acting as a first point of contact for your questions, assisting your preparations and coaching you so that you are ready to shine during the conference!

Will I be able to get in touch with other applicants before the conference?

Yes! Successful applicants for MEUS will be connected with each other prior to the conference to introduce themselves, get to know each other and prepare together. You will have ample opportunity before MEUS 2021 beginning to get to know fellow participants and the MEUS organising team. Our ICT infrastructure for the conference will enable you to easily chat and reach out to your fellow participants prior to our first weekend of debate.

How much time will I need to prepare for MEUS 2021?
Our preparation period will last 4 weeks from 1 September until the beginning of our conference on 24 September 2021. There is no need to begin preparation until this period and until you have had your participation in MEUS confirmed. Generally speaking, we encourage participants to invest 3-4 hours per week into their preparations for MEUS leading up to the event, ensuring that they have sufficient time to read through/watch/listen to our preparatory materials and ask questions as necessary. Having said that, the amount of time needed is entirely down to you, how much time you have available to you and how confident you feel with your role and the contents explored at MEUS; if you are passionate about social and environmental issues and keenly follow current affairs, the chances are that you won't need to dedicate much time into learning about the Just Transition Fund topic, for example!

I have little-to-no public speaking experience. Will you provide any assistance or training with public-speaking?
Yes! As part of the preparation period of MEUS 2021 we hope to make you fele as comfortable and as confident as possible prior to participating in our conference. It is not uncommon for MEUS participants to have never debated before or not have any public experience, so please don't think you're alone in this regard. Our hope is that thanks to the assistance and encouragement of the Organising Team, holding a dedicated workshop on public speaking and providing you with a mock debate prior to beginning proper debate, you will be ready to take part in MEUS and do yourself proud once the conference begins.

How much time does preparation for MEUS take?

This largely depends on your role and how much time you have available. We generally recommend that participants begin preparing for MEUS at least one month in advance in order to make the most of the conference and to be as prepared as possible. In any case, we provide participants with a variety of preparatory materials and assistance in the weeks prior to the conference that are designed to help you every step of the way before arriving in Strasbourg.

I have never taken place in an online conference before. Is there anything I need to know or prepare prior to taking part in MEUS 2021?
There will be a few things, yes, but all of these aspects will be communicated to you at the beginning of the preparation period. Specifically, you will need to feel ready to navigate our ICT infrastructure to communicate with fellow participants and participate in the conference. Instructions on how to use and navigate said ICT infrastructure will be part of your welcome pack for MEUS! Beyond this, it is particularly important for you to be careful with your microphone and, if you are taking on the role of MEP or Minister during the simulation, to respect the orders and decisions of the Chairs during debate to ensure that we have as smooth and cohesive debates as possible.

OUR SIMULATION


How will the simulation work online in terms of infrastructure?
Physical editions of MEUS have tended to focus around two rooms, with the majority of participants based in two EU institutions (a room for the European Parliament, a room for the Council of the EU), thus two main online conference rooms will also be used for MEUS 2021 and be open for participants throughout the conference. We will be using online video conference software that ensures that participants of all roles can switch seamlessly between debate and calls relating to their roles. In addition to this, we will also be using remote online interpreting software to ensure that those participants whose interpreting language is available during MEUS 2021 can speak and be understood by all participants in their preferred language. This combination, complemented by a dedicated ICT communication channel and a conference app will ensure that MEUS 2021 functions online just as a normal physical edition would and that the immersion of MEUS is retained despite the different format.

Which roles are available at MEUS 2021?
You can apply to take on the roles of: Member of the European Parliament (MEP), Minister of the Council of the EU (Minister), Interpreter, Interest Representative and Journalist at MEUS 2021 during our general call for applications. Our Chairs are recruited in a separate call for applications that takes place prior to our general call for applications. Due to limitations introduced by the online format of MEUS 2021, we regret that the role of Photographer will not be present for this year's edition.

Will I get any free time during the conference?
Yes! The MEUS 2021 schedule has been designed bearing in mind that, unlike a physical conference in Strasbourg, it is difficult and uncomfortable to spend long periods of time on our electronic devices without breaks. Likewise, we are aware of the fact that MEUS will be taking place during weekends, which is most people's rest days away from work and studies. We have adapted the MEUS 2021 simulation hours, when our sessions take place and finish in order to ensure that all participants, regardless of their location and background, still have plenty of down-time in between debates and that there is no risk of digital exhaustion. Moreover, you will have late afternoons and early evenings free on most days of MEUS 2021, ensuring that you can still enjoy your weekends while experiencing MEUS. (Just don't forget about our awesome socials)!

Will we have breaks during the simulation?
Yes! We will have daily lunch breaks to ensure that everyone has time to relax, cook (if they wish) and take a break from debates. Likewise, every day will have at least 1 break during sessions to ensure that simulation hours are not excessive.

What happens if I am selected for MEUS but then I can no longer take part?
Please contact our Participants Coordination team as soon as possible! In such circumstances, an applicant on our waiting list will be contacted to replace you and it is vital that we know as soon as possible so that we can ensure that they have sufficient time to prepare.

How is the EU decision-making process simulated at MEUS?
MEUS 2021 simulates Ordinary Legislative Procedure (OLP), which is the most common framework by which EU laws are initiated, debated and amended. Traditionally, the European Commission introduced a proposal for legislation, which must then be debated and approved by both the European Parliament and the Council of the EU in order to be passed into law. The European Parliament and the Council of the EU both have dedicated hearings on the proposed law and have the opportunity to propose changes (amendments) to the proposal, being able to remove, alter or add sections to the proposal subject to voting in their institution. Any changes made to the proposal, after being passed in their respective institution, must also be passed by the other institution (both European Parliament and the Council of the EU) and, if this is achieved, the law will be signed off by the Commission and confirmed to become a new law. This is what we simulate as part of MEUS and, whereas multiple hearings (and conciliation procedures) tend to take place during EU decision-making, due to time and logistical constraints, we will only be simulating two hearings during MEUS 2021 and participants in the European Parliament and the Council of the EU will only have one opportunity to make amendments on either of the topics debated at MEUS.

Why do you have the role of Interest Representative at MEUS?
Interest representation plays an important role in the EU decision-making process. In order to achieve as realistic and immersive a simulation of EU institutions as possible, we believe that the role of Interest Representative is integral to our conference. Moreover, interest representatives are experts in their specific fields and have a wide array of interests and agendas; re-creating this at MEUS not only provides participants with a more realistic simulation, it also ensures that there are a wide-range of participants with expertise in specific areas of the topics debated to ensure that they can hear a wide range of opinions and perspectives on the contentious topics debated. Put simply, the role of Interest Representative is important to MEUS and it is important to ensuring that a wide range of voices, interests and priorities are represented.

Do I get to choose who I represent if I take on the role of MEP, Minister or Interest Representative?
Nope! If selected as an MEP, Minister of the Council or Interest Representative, the MEUS Organising Team will be responsible for deciding which role you take on (e.g. which political group or country you represent) and whose interests you must advocate for during the conference. We believe that being asked to think and argue from a different perspective and political ideology from that of our own (in most cases) is integral to gaining a deeper understanding of European politics, to learn how to approach different arguments on contentious issues and how to engage with difficult topics critically. Granted, some participants may step into the shoes of a role with interests that broadly reflect those of their own political ideology, but the vast majority of participants will have to put themselves outside of their comfort zone and think from a different perspective. Remember, MEUS is a simulation (!) and we're all doing our best in our own specific roles; no one will think that the arguments and positions you present are reflective of your own!

AFTER MEUS


Will you provide any recognition of my participation?
Of course! Presuming that you are selected to participate in MEUS 2021 and that you participate in at least 75% of simulation sessions, you will receive a digital certificate of participation within a month of the conclusion of MEUS.

Is there any way that I can give back to MEUS?
Of course! MEUS is entirely run by young students and professionals who volunteer their time week-in and week-out to make our wonderful conference happen. MEUS is therefore reliant upon the creation of a new team of dedicated organisers each year to ensure the sustainability of our project. If you enjoyed MEUS, the best (and most valuable) thing you can give back to MEUS is becoming an MEUS Organiser as part of the next edition, with applications for the new organising team tending to open within 2 months of each edition concluding. Alternatively, if you happen to find yourself in a very sound financial place and wish to support MEUS financially, you can feel free to make a donation to our conference that will go towards our general budget. (See the Partners & Sponsors section of our website)!

Is anything required from me after participating in MEUS?
Not really! We thank you for taking part in MEUS and the only thing we would love to hear from you is your feedback and advice for future editions of MEUS! After the conclusion of MEUS 2021, you will receive a feedback form in which you can share your thoughts and views on MEUS 2021 and your feedback would mean the world to us.

I really enjoyed MEUS! Can I take part again?
Unfortunately not. MEUS has a one-time policy to enable as many people as possible to take part and experience our conference. Nevertheless, MEUS is only one of multiple MEU conferences organised by Bringing Europeans Together France, so make sure to follow our social media page to find out more about our other conferences. Likewise, there are plenty of other conferences organised around Europe by our fellow BETA branches, so make sure to take a peek at the BETA Europe website and follow updates from conferences around Europe on their social media platforms!

When will the next edition of MEUS take place?
We do not know. This is the decision of the next organising team of MEUS to take and is not the competence of the MEUS 2021 Directorate and Organising Team. Traditionally, MEUS has taken place in the early spring but, because of the pandemic and the amount of time needed to make sure that a high-quality, life-changing conference can take place, future editions may also take place in the autumn.

How can I stay in touch with participants from MEUS 2021?
We have a dedicated MEUS alumni LinkedIn group and a dedicated newsletter just for MEUS alumni. Once MEUS 2021 comes to a close, we will be sure to send you links to both and we highly encourage you joining to stay in the loop with everything MEUS-related! Alternatively, the best way of staying in touch is to join the next Organising Team of MEUS, with a large number of participants continuing with their MEUS adventure in the form of taking on the role of Organiser the year after their participation - please consider doing the same!