Model European Union Zagreb – MEUZ is a simulation of the decision-making process of European Union institutions which was held for the first time in Zagreb in 2013, based on the Model European Union Strasbourg expertise which was developed by BETA e.V.
It is designed as an interactive and innovative non-formal educational program applying a specific methodology of “role-play” common to all “Models” (Model United Nations, Model International Criminal Court, Model European Union). During the Model simulation, young people take up the roles of ministers, members of the European Parliament, lobbyists, journalists or other bodies – and contribute to specific debates from their role’s point of view.
In general, the participants of the simulation are given an opportunity to grasp the workings of EU institutions in practice, to understand policy challenges and pressing current issues, which the EU is faced with, as well as the underlying principles, standards and values of the EU. The participants develop their skills in EU law, debating and negotiations at the EU level. Through simulating the decision-making process, the participants learn about it first-hand (“learning by playing”) by defending certain positions and voting on real-life legislative proposals. This method transforms the participants from passive recipients of classroom knowledge into active participants in the educational process. Additionally, the project produces a multiplier effect on a wider societal scale with participants increasing their involvement in the democratic processes on the European level.
MEUZ was held yearly from 2013 to 2018.
MEUZ 2013 was organized as a pilot project, a local law student debate with only a few foreign participants. MEUZ 2014 was a springboard as it was the national Charlemagne Youth Prize winner which largely contributed to the approving of the MEUZ 2015 project application for ERASMUS+ funding by the Agency for Mobility and EU programs in Croatia. MEUZ 2015 hosted 101 participants from 13 partner organizations and was the first edition that implemented structured dialogues with decision-makers.
MEUZ 2016 went even further, hosting 104 participants from 22 partner organizations from 20 different countries and simulating decision-making in the premises of the Croatian Parliament.
MEUZ 2017 hosted 108 participants of 16 different nationalities and was one of the few conferences in Europe which incorporated structured dialogues with decision-makers into the program of the simulation.
MEUZ 2018 brought together 60 young participants (from 18-30 years of age) from 13 European countries. Under the slogan “Reshape your MEU experience”, the 2018 edition of MEUZ had a slightly different concept- instead of simulating the work of the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union with lobbyists, journalists and Commissioners, the simulation featured the institutions of the European Council and the Foreign Affairs Council. Besides the simulation, the programme included three structured dialogues and six workshops.
After six years and six editions with 475 participants and more than 100 students acting as organizing teams, improving their skills and widening knowledge on how EU institutions work, HERMES has decided to retire the project. We are going to continue to stay loyal to our mission through new projects in the domain of promoting and strengthening European common values. Therefore, this is not goodbye but rather “until next time!”.