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!
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!