On Friday, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen addressed the young members of the Model European Council. The simulation of the European Commission was founded in 1984 at the European School Munich and is now an integral part of the European Schools system. This year, the event took place completely digitally on five afternoons. On Monday, Andreas Beckmann, Secretary General of the European Schools, had opened this year's programme with a guest lecture. Now the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen spoke at the end.
Von der Leyen first spoke about her time as a pupil at the European School in Uccle, saying it had been a "fantastic experience" growing up among the many languages and the diversity. After the students had simulated political opinion-forming over the past week, she told of everything that goes with it, of ever-awake heads of government in late-night sessions, press statements and the wonderful espresso of the Italian delegation. She said despite long and difficult debates, an agreement is almost always reached in the end.
Afterwards, the delegates of the Model European Council could ask some questions. They were interested in Von der Leyen's handling of publicity and criticism, work and private life, and how she had experienced her nomination as Commission President. Finally, the pupils asked for advice for after school. "Live your dreams," Von der Leyen gave the students with them on their path of life: "And trust your abilities." She said you cannot plan the details of your life, but you can choose the field of work and ideals you work for and pursue your goals with passion and ambition. Motivating words at the end of this year's Model European Council, where once again important skills for later life were intensively trained.
The Model European Council is a realistic simulation of the European Council. Students take on the roles of ministers, heads of government and journalists. They deal with the same issues as the real European Council and re-enact the complex decision-making processes. The young people gain deep insights into the European political system and learn to discuss and make decisions with self-confidence.
Next year, the Model European Council will take place again. Then hopefully as a in-situ event in our school - interested pupils and interesting guests will definitely take part again.
(Photo middle: Italian MEC delegation of the ESM. LTR: Josephine Bauer, Edgar Roesch, Gaspar Waage, Lucie Janus, Merlin Ruiz.
Photo below: Slovakian MEC delegation of the ESM. LTR: Adeline Huper, Marwane Achahbar, Theodor Waage, Nathan Graniou, Fabian Zimmer.)
More information about the Model European Council can be found here.