BREXIT? Migration Crisis? The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership? What do these terms have in common? They are all issues facing the European Union, a regional association comprised of 28 European countries that has been the major force for European integration since 1957. Would you like to learn more about the European Union? To meet and work with students and faculty from European universities and other universities throughout NYS?
Would you like to travel to Brussels in January to participate in the SUNY Model European Union (SUNYMEU) simulation? If you answered yes to these questions, please stop by Professor Buonanno's office, Classroom Building B214 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
PHOTO: Buffalo State undergraduate students at SUNYMEU (Yolanda and Tim) in center with students from other universities. Yolanda is now an attorney working in NYC and Tim is a policy analyst with the US Department of Energy (in Washington, DC). We were honored that year for the SUNYMEU director to select Yolanda to play the president of the European Council and Tim the European Commission's president.
SUNY Model EU is a project funded by the Institute of European Union Studies at SUNY (IEUSS), through the Office of Global Affairs, SUNY System Administration. Like many international simulations, students and universities represent country delegations in preparing to attend a European Council Summit. Usually, these delegations are comprised of four person teams, with each student playing an actual political figure from that country’s government. These roles are generally the Head of Government (Prime Minister or President), the Foreign Minister, the country’s ambassador to the EU (COREPER II), and a Finance Minister. Larger teams can also bring an additional deputy minister for Europe or deputy Prime Minister. Host teams will generally chair the Head of Government and Foreign Minister meetings, playing the roles of Council President and High Representative for Foreign Affairs. Additional delegation assignments also play the role of the European Commission and Secretariat, as well as the SUNY Model EU Press corps. SUNY Buffalo State's Public Administration Division sponsors the European Commission delegation. The "Commission" are the EU's "Eurocrats," the equivalent of public administrators (okay, bureaucrats, if you will) in Washington, D.C.
Once assigned “roles,” country teams work to prepare a single-page proposal for an item to be discussed at the summit, and submit it to the presidency team a little over a month prior to the simulation and the presidency team works with the secretariat to generate an initial agenda of items to be debated in each functional group setting. We try to debate the most important and timely issues confronting Europe, from the crisis in the Eurozone, to the military action in Libya, and problems integrating recent immigrants into European society. Students debate the issues and come to common positions on items before them, working first in small groups (of just their partner ministers) before putting the final conclusions of the presidency to a vote of the whole.
Model EU has proven to be an enormously rewarding experience for our past participants, and a visit to our SUNY Model EU Facebook page will confirm this. Students from all over the SUNY system and northeast have an opportunity to meet and work with students from all over Europe, to learn about one of the most complex and important actors in the international arena today, and to develop their social capital in learning how to present their views before both a small group and plenary setting. Smaller than most Model UN simulations, it is a more participatory experience for all those who do come, and there are fewer “spectators” given the small size and the importance of each country in EU Council decision making.
Undergraduate Students - Can participate through a J-Term class with Dr. Buonanno.
Students participating in SUNYMEU attend strategy sessions throughout the Fall 2017 semester.
The SUNYMEU club adviser is Dr. Laurie Buonanno.
Graduate Students - Can participate as "policy advisers" to the undergraduate students. Graduate students work on an independent study basis (PAD 590) registered during J-Term with Dr. Buonanno to become policy experts in two key areas and learn the role of the European Commission in EU governance. They travel to NYC and are on-site policy advisers to the undergrads throughout the course of SUNYMEU. Graduate students participate in all faculty functions, including seminars and dinner. We ask graduate students to apply to the GSA for funding.
Photo: Buffalo State's SUNYMEU 2013 delegation at SUNY's Global Center.
Photo: Buffalo State's SUNYMEU 2012 delegation at the University of Exeter at the opening banquet. Yes, SUNYMEU takes place during winter break each January of even years!
The EU has its roots in the 1950s, when six Western European states established what they called the European Economic Community for the purpose of enabling them to promote economic growth through various forms of mutual economic cooperation. From these relatively modest beginnings, the importance of the EU has grown enormously over the years. It has done so in two particular respects.
First, its membership now includes 28 European states. Until May 1, 2004 these were all Western European states: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. On May 1 the EU-15 were joined by the two Mediterranean islands of Cyprus and Malta, and eight former communist countries in central and Eastern Europe: the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia. The 2004 enlargement marked a major advance in the gradual unification of the European continent, bringing together as it did most of what formerly were thought of as the two halves of Europe. Bulgaria and Romania joined in 2007and Croatia in 2013. Other European states are applying for membership as well. It is an importance that is seen in a number of ways: the EU has the world’s largest economy as measured by gross domestic product; it is the world’s largest external trader (just ahead of the U.S.); it has a market size of some 450 million post the 2004 enlargement; and it has a currency – the euro – that is rapidly establishing itself as the world’s second most important currency.
Second, the range of activities and responsibilities of the EU has grown enormously. Far from it being confined to economic coordination tasks, it is now deeply involved in the making of policies and laws across a wide range of policy sectors. There is now a Single European Market, with European-wide regulatory rules on matters as varied as health and safety standards in the workplace, product specifications and standards, and trading practices. As part of the process of completing the Single European Market, 19 of the EU’s member states have even given up their national currencies in favor of having a shared currency – the euro. The new member states will, in time, adopt the euro. Beyond market-related policies, other policy areas in which the EU is deeply involved include environmental policy, internal security policies, and foreign policy. The regulatory nature of the EU has important implications for US public administrators, and there are many bodies and fora in which American public administrators meet with their counterparts from Brussels (the EU's de facto capital).
Third, paralleling the growth in importance of the EU have been developments in its organizational capacities, many of which have been brought about through treaties negotiated between the member states. Such has been the extent of these developments that many observers have described the EU as having many of the characteristics of a federal state.
PHOTO: Part of the SUNY Buffalo State SUNYMEU delegation in London on New Year's Day before heading to University of Exeter for SUNYMEU.
SUNYMEU Briefing Book - this is the 12th edition for SUNYMEU 2018
PHOTO: Here is a Buffalo State SUNYMEU study mission which took place after SUNYMEU in Ireland (University of Limerick) on a study mission to EU institutions. Dr. Buonanno and her students wrote a grant to cover the study mission which took us to Dublin, Brussels, Luxembourg, and Paris. We interviewed government officials at each stop. Here is the group meeting with at the Court of Justice of the European Union (roughly equivalent to the US Supreme Court) in Luxembourg (with the Justice from Cyprus -each EU member state has one justice - and his cabinet). Business tends to be conducted in French at the CJEU, but they kindly spoke English with us. The main purpose of the mission was to interview Court personnel as to the potential impact of the EU's Charter of Fundamental Rights, which at the time had just been given a treaty basis.
SUNYMEU has been taking place since 1988. History of SUNYMEU. Buffalo State has been fielding delegations since 2007 as follows:
SUNY Fredonia, 2007
Izmir University, Turkey, 2008 (followed by a study mission of Turkey)
SUNY New Paltz, 2009 (Video)
Limerick University (Ireland), 2010 (video)
SUNY New Paltz, 2011
University of Exeter (UK), 2012 (video)
SUNY Global Center, 2013
Free University of Brussels in the city of Brussels (Belgium), 2014
SUNY Global Center, 2015
Free University of Brussels, 2016 (Video)
SUNY Global Center, 2017
(Prior to Buffalo State's participation, SUNYMEU was hosted by the following campuses: SUNY Brockport, Luxembourg European Institute, Czech Republic VSE University (Prague), and Tilburg University in the Netherlands.
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