This spring, students from numerous U.S. and Canadian universities participated in the 2020 West Coast Model EU event organized by the University of Washington’s Jean Monnet Center of Excellence with the generous support of the European Commission’s Erasmus+ Programme. The event was kicked off with a keynote speech on Friday evening with Dr. Max Lemke, the University of Washington’s European Union Fellow and Head of Unit for Digitizing Industry at the European Commission. Dr. Max Lemke discussed his thoughts on the significance of the European Commission’s new Green Deal, which tied directly to the climate change goals that the Heads of Government were to discuss at the Model EU. After Dr. Lemke’s keynote speech, the students who represented the presidency shared their proposals for the Heads of Government and Labor Ministers.
It was a great experience for the students to hear from a representative of the European Commission in-person. Participants were also very dedicated to their roles and learned a lot through their interactions with students from other universities. The universities who participated included the University of Washington, the University of Oregon, Bellevue College, Brigham Young University, the University of Idaho, and the University of British Columbia. Each representing different European Union member states, students engaged in negotiations as either Heads of Government or Labor Ministers. EU member states represented this year included: Poland, Portugal, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia, Spain, France, Germany, and more. Student Heads of Government negotiated proposals that addressed the European Union’s efforts in meeting the Paris Agreement’s goals. Labor Ministers negotiated proposals regarding the Strategic Engagement for Gender Equality, as well as financing job training and cultural integration programs.
At the end of Model EU, awards were given for Outstanding Heads of Government, Outstanding Labor Ministers, Outstanding Position Papers, and Honorable Mentions. All of the participants did very well in the negotiations and all of the awards were well deserved.
The 2021 West Coast Model European Union event will take place at the University of Washington next spring.