EU, simulation game, and my Brussels’ fairytale

22. 6. 2016 Autor: Rubrika: English žádné komentáře

That feeling when you realize taking a bus from Prague to Brussels was not such a good idea after all, especially when a huge sweating guy sits next to you during the 12-hour journey and takes up not only his whole seat but also almost three quarters of yours… I truly have to say there could not have been a better beginning to the summer school I was going to attend.

Let the dream begin!

Since then I was just floating through time like a child on Christmas Eve. PHOTO: DTArriving at the heart and soul of the European Union, I immediately forgot about my swollen legs and cramps in my entire body. It was honestly like starting to live a dream. Six o’clock in the morning found me totally lost at the central bus station. Asking about ten different people for directions, including the many soldiers walking the streets, I finally arrived at the hotel, shocked by how people can be helpful even in the early hours of morning and, what is more, towards someone who can’t speak a word of French. Since then I was just floating through time like a child on Christmas Eve. Back in my homeland, people wonder what it was that made me feel so great and happy every minute of my stay in Brussels. Surely, it must have been the combination of two factors. Sunny weather (unusual for that part of Europe) and the very nice hotel that was paid for by the organizers – what more could a student want?

There was of course much more to it in the end…

The real deal

From the very beginning, I saw it as a great opportunity. A privilege that I was given to finally start doing something real and get closer to the reality I was just learning about all these years. PHOTO: DTEvery today’s student knows how difficult and challenging it is to penetrate into the real world of politics and international relations. The rivalry between young people is inevitably increasing. I often wonder if it is caused by their will to make things better in the world, or just by their desire to become a part of the political circus aiming to fulfil someone else‘s expectations. Anyway, I guess my enthusiasm and total devotion to the summer school stemmed from my view of it. From the very beginning, I saw it as a great opportunity. A privilege that I was given to finally start doing something real and get closer to the reality I was just learning about all these years.

Watch, listen and speak up!

Like a tourist watching the Eiffel tower, I was walking through the building where the greatest giants of European affairs left a bit of their thoughts.PHOTO: DTThe Brussels’ summer school during which one can experience politics first hand began with the idea to bring students from four different universities together to let them exercise their know-how in European affairs. Through intensive shadowing and almost a nonstop cooperation, me and my 26 fellows experienced diverse circumstances in which international relations are created. We heard official voices speaking for European institutions, such as the parliament or the commission. We heard unofficial voices coming from the European institutions calling the things by their proper names… We heard determined voices coming from the NGOs such as the Human Rights Watch, standing out from the political row by their everlasting naivety. But mainly, we debated, argued, watched… Apropos watching – I just enjoyed every single part of the “famous” halls where all of Europe’s affairs are being decided. Like a tourist watching the Eiffel tower, I was walking through the building where the greatest giants of European affairs left a bit of their thoughts.

All is well – unlike reality

The first three days of absorbing all the information from experts were followed by our own simulation of politics, namely of an EU-Turkey summit in which we focused on the European refugee crisis and the EU-Turkey relations. Honestly, we did great. We were not only able to prepare all the “real” documents connected with the meeting of European and Turkish delegations, but through negotiations, we finally found a great compromise. Although we were perfectly aware that the outcome was obviously a bit far from reality, we still enjoyed the short moment during which we were in possession of power.

It was – using the words of the other participants – an exhausting challenge, during which we had a lot of fun and beer, a wonderful experience and a great opportunity to make friends. The spirit of Brussels and the overall atmosphere might have been what made us enjoy all five days of the stay to the fullest, even though we ended up in bed socially and politically exhausted every night.

Thanks for the chance

I wish that anyone interested in real life politics could have such a great opportunity, and could be blessed to share it with wonderful people, as I was able to. PHOTO: DTThe simulation exercise was without exaggeration like a nirvana for me – I wish that anyone interested in real life politics could have such a great opportunity, and could be blessed to share it with wonderful people, as I was able to. EUcopas and PROTEUS designed the project as an “interdisciplinary and international seminar,” research assistant from PROTEUS Laura Hughes explains, which aims to bring students together and provide them with a practical insight into the heart of European politics. From my own perspective – which is impartial of course – I have to say that the aim was achieved more than successfully!

More info about the summmer school can be found here and here.

Daniela Tkadlečková
Autorka studuje bezpečnostní studia na FSV




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