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Published on March 7, 2022 Updated on September 20, 2022

The LC "Europe in the world" completed a new Virtual Simulation Exercise on EU Policy-Making

Adapted from original articles on March 3rd 2022, on the Brussels School of Governance website, and March 1st on the Warwick Department of Economics webpage.

From 7 to 18 February 2022, the EUTOPIA Learning Community Europe in the World, in partnership with VUB Brussels School of Governance's Winter School on EU policy-Making, held a virtual simulation exercise on EU Policy-Making.

During this exercise, a dozen students from all over EUTOPIA joined twenty-six other participants from VUB's Winter School in simulating the EU ordinary legislative procedure for two days. The students took on alter-ego roles as European Commissioners, national ministers, members of the European Parliament, tech executives, civil society, and media and negotiated two sets of proposed amendments of the EU Digital Services Act.

The aim of the act is to ensure a safe and accountable online environment across the single market with high protection for all users, no matter where they live in the EU. Specifically, the students were asked to negotiate on a ban on targeted advertising for minors, and an exemption of media from platform content moderation.

By enabling students to step into the role of an EU policy-maker, this simulation provided them with first-hand experience of EU institutional negotiations, rules, and strategies. The following Warwick Economics undergraduate students participated in the simulation exercise with specific roles assigned to them:

  • Albert Legutko – Role: Piotr Nowak, Minister, Poland
  • Michal Motyl – Role: Robert Troy, Minister, Ireland
  • Marios Koliandris – Role: Thierry Breton, Commissioner, European Commission
  • Houzeefa Zaffar – Role: Margrethe Vestager, Commissioner, European Commission

Albert Legutko commented:

"Participating in the virtual simulation exercise really offers valuable and interesting insight into the process of EU policy making in a way that’s really engaging and makes you find a whole new level of respect for those who do this on a day-to-day basis. Certainly something worth participating in, an experience that will surely ay dividends in the future!"

Houzeefa summarised his experience:

"The EU virtual simulation exercise was a wonderful experience and I was able to interact and connect with students from all around the world. I gained valuable knowledge in negotiation and was able to enhance my understanding of the EU and passing of bills."

Warwick’s academic co-ordinator of the simulation exercise, Dr Christian Soegaard commented:

“The event was a great opportunity for our students to see economic theory in practice and to provide them with a useful insight into how the EU institutions work and make policy decisions.”

The students produced a briefing paper in preparation for the exercise, which they posted in the simulation exercise Canvas course before the start of the exercise. Collectively they agreed upon a common position (in their respective negotiating teams) for the draft legislation that they negotiated.

Both the Winter School and EUTOPIA project are made possible with the support of the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.