January 23, 2014
From Jan. 4-7, Hamilton College’s Model European Union Club, led by Visiting Professor of Government Calin Trenkov-Wermuth, attended the EuroSim 2014 conference in Enschede, the Netherlands. The theme of this year’s conference was “Economic and Social Policy - Minimum Income Directive.”
Hamilton’s team consisted of eleven students: seniors Neil Edwards, Keara Fenzel, Alice Henry, Daniel O’Kelly and Scott Hancox; junior Jack Boyle; sophomores Dima Kaigorodov, Hristina Mangelova, Neijla Asimovic and Justin Long; and first-year Alex Hollister. Each person was assigned an alter-ego from either the European Parliament, the European Council or the Council of the European Union.
The conference took place at the University of Twente, where for four days the students not only immersed themselves in European politics, representing their countries and/or individual personas, but also met many people from all over Europe and the U.S. This year’s conference was attended by 15 institutions, including Colgate University, Widener University, University of Twente, Maastricht University, University of Antwerp, Helmut Schmidt University Hamburg and University of Dundee.
An interesting part of the conference’s program was that each day, a distinguished member of the European academic and political community acted as guest speaker. The first day, Frank Vandenbroucke, a former member of the Belgian Senate and the Flemish Parliament, gave the conference’s firstlecture on the development of welfare policies within the European Union.
The lecturers that followed were delivered by Professor of Sociology of Governance at University of Twente Ringo Ossewaarde, Deputy Secretary-General at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ronald van Roeden and former Member of the European Parliament’s Committees on Employment and Social Affairs Anne Van Lancker.
Hamilton’s team performed superbly at EuroSim 2014 and was the only American institution that received awards for best performance. Hancox and Boyle, both members of the European Parliament during the simulation, received individual awards for outstanding performance while competing against European students completing their Master’s degrees.
The entire Model European Union team was very excited to have gone on the trip to the Netherlands. Asimovic said,
“Through EUROSim, I gained better understanding of complex decision-making processes and governance in the European Union...and truly realized how powerful a group of individuals working together toward a common goal can be.”
The team is looking forward to next year’s conference about cyber security, which will be hosted by Skidmore College.