EU enlargement in the region of the Western Balkans simulation – project PRINCE 2010 “Get on Board”

EU enlargement in the region of the Western Balkans simulation – project PRINCE 2010 “Get on Board”

Simeon Konakchiev

/Bulgarian Youth Forum/

As a member of the Bulgarian Youth Forum and a person who is interested in the processes of European integration, I took part in the multiplication of the project PRINCE 2010 “Get on Board”. The project is about organizing a series of simulations of the EU enlargement in several EU member states. In focus are the countries in Western Balkans – Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Kosovo.

The simulation was organized by students majoring in European Studies inSofiaUniversity“St. Kliment Ohridski”. The project is co-financed by “Konrad Adenauer” foundation and the European Union.

The model reproduced the institutions in EU responsible for the enlargement and integration – European Commission, European Parliament, Council of the EU, as well as media which follow the process.

During the first day there was a short presentation of the project’s aims, information on the topic and lottery for the roles that which participants will have to play the next day. Everybody received materials on the topic, information about the institutions they are about to represent and the countries applying for membership.

The game consisted of several parts – submitting documentation by applying states concerning the membership; a hearing in front of the European institutions; negotiations between the Union and the allaying countries; approval/disapproval of the submissions and signing the official membership treaties.

The simulation was immensely useful. It gave a practical experience on how the EU institutions work and interact with each other, their rights and obligations. On the other hand I felt a boost in my strategic thinking, teamwork and rhetorical skills. In the course of the game I got to know new, educated, smart and great people. The atmosphere was friendly, participants – above the expectations and the logistics – perfect.

There was an observer from the “Conrad Adenauer” foundation during the whole day and in the end everyone received a trainer certificate, which is proof that the carrier has the ability and knowledge to organize training and simulations on the topic of the European Union enlargement inBulgariaand abroad.