Joining MEUS

Fees and Registration

Current fees for participating in the Mid-Atlantic European Union Simulation are:

  • $400 registration fee (per school), plus
  • $30 for each participating student

The fees cover the costs of the hotel conference facilities, program events, speaker, and printed material (name tags and program).

Additional costs:

  • Hotel Rooms: $139 (plus taxes) a night – for up to four people to a room. Paid directly by you/your school – the simulation consortium does not involve itself in that payment process.
  • Dinners: two dinners are scheduled parts of the simulation and are paid for by each university. Budget about $30.00 per student/dinner.
  • Travel to DC: cost varies considerably by university.
  • Additional meals: usually meals in between – lunch/breakfast.

Total costs thus vary per university – but plan for around $2,500-$4,000 depending on total number of students. Some universities do this for less with cheaper travel and fewer students participating. Schools vary widely in how the expenses are financed. While all universities have some limited support from departments and administration, some manage to charge students no additional fee; others have the students covering nearly all the costs.

To gain more information, ask questions, and register, please contact the MEUSC Executive Committee.

Short Summary of the Simulation Time-Line and Activities

MEUS is held typically in the middle of November from Thursday morning through Saturday around 5pm at the Holiday Inn Arlington at Ballston, just outside DC (with many of the groups arriving Wednesday night). View the most recent timeline and program.

On Thursday, after visits to the embassies of the countries our schools are representing, we have an opening session with a speaker and speeches by the students representing the heads of government and key EU officials (e.g., Jean-Claude Juncker). Then, it’s down to business. European Parliament (EP) party groups begin selecting their party leaders and discussing party platforms.

Friday and Saturday, the students debate a legislative proposal written by the Commissioners (other students who have spent the semester writing the legislation). The two parliament committees each deal with one half of the proposal as do the two ministerial councils; each of the four bodies can only amend the proposal.

On Saturday, there is more debate. Both the EP and the Ministers finalize their versions, no longer in split sessions. They then meet in a conciliation committee, trying to work out differences. The final draft of the directive is sent to the Heads of Government or State (who have spent the last day and a half discussing other issues important to Europe) for an additional review.  The directive is then subject to the parliament’s vote.

We do realize that this is not exactly the way the “real” EU writes and handles legislative proposals; however, it is the only practical way to include the Parliament, Ministers, European Council, and Commissioners.

Role of Faculty

  • Select a country your school will represent. Schools with smaller delegations often select smaller countries.
    • Some schools adopt two countries when they bring large delegations.
  • Select the roles that should be filled:
    • Head of Government or State
    • 2 Ministers (ex: Foreign Minister and Defense Minister – depends on the topic)
    • Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), split into two committees (ideally divided along party lines in such a way that is reflective of the country’s actual split). Example: Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs.
  • Help prepare the students. Some of the schools do this as a club, others as part of a class. So, approaches vary dramatically as do the preparation levels of students.
  • Contact the embassy representing “your” country and set up an appointment Thursday morning (often around 10am). The embassies have typically been very welcoming. This is often a highlight for students.
  • Make hotel reservations.
  • During the simulation, most of us observe our students most of the time.

Description of Student Roles:

  • Students adopt the persona of the actual individuals (Head of Government, Minister, MEP) and so it is important that they prepare for that “role.”
  • Commissioners: these are typically good students who have attended before and who can function independently. [This would not be something a school does the first year].
    • There are only five or six a year (usually) and are volunteered by faculty willing to work with them; most schools don’t have a Commissioner.
    • The Commissioners’ role is to write the resolution on the topic chosen by faculty. The students do a tremendous amount of work in the first weeks of the semester to prepare a resolution for the simulation.
    • The Commissioners do participate in the simulation by attending all sessions and being available to answer questions about the resolution and what was intended by its authors
  • Heads of Government or State
    • They spend most of the simulation in a room with other HOGS discussing anything of importance except for the resolution. Only on Saturday do they discuss the resolution itself.
    • The Heads of Government or State also give a brief speech on Thursday to all the attendees.
    • Heads of Government or State have to be able to handle a lot of information and be ready to speak about a wide range of information.
  • Ministers:
    • They spend much of the simulation in simultaneous session: each Council going around dealing with their half of the resolution.
    • They focus only on the resolution, but do have to frequently discuss and contribute to the group (usually about 12 students around the table)
  • Members of European Parliament (MEPs):
    • They spend much of the time debating and amending the legislative proposal, caucusing within their own parties, talking to other parties, and generally surviving the chaos that is parliament.
    • There are officer positions (three for each committee and for the plenary session—chair, vice chair, and rapporteur). Only students who know the rules and can run a meeting should consider running for any of these.
      • We don’t use Robert’s Rules but a version of EP’s actual Rules of Procedure.
    • Whatever the role, students need to come prepared, participate, attend all sessions, and be on time.
    • Professional dress and decorum is emphasized. For the students, especially, this is business wear; jackets, ties, or at least button down shirts and slacks for the men and the equivalent for women.
    • Since the hotel is occupied by others too, it is important that students behave themselves appropriately at all times.