Your role as an Interest Representative is to use the system and circumstances to the best of your ability in order to influence final decisions by persuading Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and Ministers in the Council on the stances you will represent regarding one of the two topics during the Simulation. You will be a source of vital information for the MEPs and the Ministers, and you will do your best to influence the final decision on the legislative proposals being debated. Your unique knowledge of technical details, strong negotiating skills, and the professional relationships you will foster will be sought after by almost all participants inside and outside of the Simulation.
Your ability to think strategically and find common ground with MEPs and Ministers will be the first step of effective lobbying, which entails representing your interest through either proposing amendments to be adopted or better equipping your intended recipients with the key issues to reject the proposals altogether. You will be encouraged to make use of the media, who are available during the conference, to influence public opinion through public speaking. You will also implement effective strategies to successfully advocate for your interest groups by making speeches in the Parliament and the Council on your positions during the Simulation and have the opportunity to build coalitions between similar-minded political groups and other Interest Representatives.
Being an Interest Representative comes with the negative connotation of ‘the shadier side of the European Union’, so you will have a tough task ahead of you to overcome this association through hard work, transparency, and networking during the parliamentary hours and informal events. It is important to balance your expertise and legal knowledge with the more inherent qualities of strategy, persuasion, and maintaining professional relationships. All these tools combined will give you a chance to leave a lasting mark on the debates in the Conference – and to boast about making a difference in the lives of thousands of people!