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Simulating the EU is not exactly an easy task. Thus one week ago, MEU Strasbourg started with a preparatory day, during which the future MEPs and delegates were briefed once more on the topics to be discussed in the following days, had the chance to consolidate the rules of procedure, and could exercise their debating skills.

From Monday on, things got serious and suits became mandatory. The day also brought another exciting feature: daily video newscasts put together by MEU’s video journalists Anke Harthoorn, Mitch Weaver, and Jan Zelina. It is thanks to the so-called Strasbourg Insider that MEU outsiders can nevertheless glimpse the inner workings of the simulation experience. This is why we decided that the videos should not be withheld from all the E&M Insiders out there.

Let Croatian Ambassador Marina Carre-Moliva explain the challenges and fears the Croatian people associate with becoming the 28th member state of the European Union. Listen to Commissioner Martin Dederke, when he envisions how the Music Copyright Proposal of the European Commission will bring the single market to the digital age. And let Magda Nemkyova from the European Greens explain how the Parliament in Strasbourg can help MEPs reduce their carbon footprint.

I put off writing about the last day of the ETC Spring Tour because I didn't want to do it. I knew it was going to be nostalgic and mushy, and it was going to confirm what has already happened – the tour is over and so is our time together in the Driving Jail. Until reaching that point of sobbing though, I'm going to take the Eastern European dignified-and-unmovable position and write about the full, productive day we had on the way to and in sunny Zagreb.

While on the bus, we gathered as we had gotten used to in the previous days, to discuss our future projects. As you might remember, a large part of the group decided to work together on an artistic project after being inspired by what we saw and talked about during our travels. Also, we had reached a point of frustration because of the packed, fast schedule that didn't fully allow us to absorb what we were going through and give something back to our wonderful hosts in the eight cities we visited. Therefore, we wrote a manifesto with the massive help of Ivor and agreed to think about concrete steps towards our goal.

Friday, 26 April 2013 15:11

Simulating is not malingering. E&M at MEUS

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There are a lot more MUNs than MEUs out there, but there is only one MEUS, and since MEUS is a MUST, E&M is there to cover it.

E&M would not be E&M if it did not dismantle those cryptic abbreviations. Those who have been E&M maniacs for long enough as to read this age-old article can skip the following paragraph or delve into the Baby section instead. For everyone else, here you go:

MUN, MEU, MEUS, E&M. Basically, M stands for Model – not in E&M though, where it stands for Me, which is I, which is you, the readers, we, us… Yet except for E&M, M means Model, so far so good. A MUN nevertheless is not the conference of the prettiest of the international community, nor is a MEU an EU-wide beauty contest – at least not in the literal sense of the word. Rather than that, a MUN is a gathering of people willing to put themselves in the shoes of diplomats of the United Nation. And just the same kind of modelling or simulation when applied to the European Union and its political bodies is referred to as a Model European Union.

What may sound like a get-together of megalomaniac nerds playing war or big politics, is indeed a thrilling and very intense learning experience – and, if well organised, it can be tremendously realistic. 

Day six of the ETC Spring Tour found us working very hard on the way to Bratislava, Slovakia. After a fiery Monday, the members of our group made a commitment to each other to think about ways to work together and create an artistic product that is relevant to the issues we've been confronted with on the tour. Therefore, we gathered in the front of the bus and, for several hours, we thought and wrote down ideas and issues up for debate.

Despite our continuous exhaustion and being aware of the vagueness of our plans, we realised we needed to clarify the concept of "crisis in theatre" that we've been hearing so much about and pinpoint its symptoms – this way, we'd know what we're trying to solve. Secondly, we wanted to think about what issues are important to us individually – whether it's the transition from school to work, the outdated themes theatre addresses or the unequal representation of gender and ethnicity on European stages. We knew we wouldn't find the answers to every question we had on the tour, but we thought that we should take advantage of the time we had left on the bus to talk about the future. The matter on everyone's mind was "how do we go on?"

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