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Warwick Economics students take part in EUTOPIA virtual simulation exercise

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Warwick Economics students take part in EUTOPIA virtual simulation exercise

This February, the EUTOPIA European University network in partnership with VUB Brussels School of Governance held a virtual simulation exercise, with participation from four of our undergraduate students. The EUTOPIA European University alliance brings together ten regionally and nationally distinct European universities committed to delivering open, innovative and inclusive higher education in Europe.

The simulation exercise was arranged online by the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and enabled students to step into the role of an EU policy-maker and provided them with first hand experience of EU institutional negotiators, rules and strategies. There were five other universities participating in the event: Warwick, University of Ljubljana, University of Pompeu Fabra, University of Gothenburg and CY Cergy Paris University.

The participants of the simulation exercise were assigned specific roles (alter-egos such as the President of the European Commission) and asked to negotiate the EU Digital Services Act as a simulation exercise. The aim of the Digital Services Act is to ensure a safe and accountable online environment across the single market with a high protection for all users, no matter where they live in the EU.

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.

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EUTOPIA European University alliance