Niagara University hosted nearly 200 students from 20 colleges and universities across the United States and Europe for EuroSim 2021, an annual intercollegiate simulation of the European Union. This year’s event, which took place March 25-27, was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Niagara students have participated in the conference since 2006.

Participation in EuroSim gives students the opportunity to enhance their knowledge of the European Union, international law, and diplomatic protocol and procedures through political role-playing. Assuming the role of policy makers, such as members of the European Parliament and the European Commission, heads of government, and national ministers, students negotiate a real-world issue of the EU’s policy agenda. This year, the simulation focused on migration and the Dublin Regulation, which establishes the criteria and mechanisms for determining which EU member state is responsible for examining an asylum application.

Under the guidance of Dr. Chris Lee, associate professor of political science, 12 NU students attended committee meetings that mirrored those of their real EU counterparts, gaining first-hand experience working in a multicultural environment while enhancing their public speaking, negotiating, leadership, and diplomatic skills through intense discussions, debates, and negotiations. On the last day of the rigorous event, students took a final vote on legislation.

The students included political science and international studies majors Andrew Fleckenstein, a EuroSim officer who served as president of the NU group, Tyler Battestin, Timothy Tyszko, Christian Farkas, Gillian Piazza, Ferdaouss Hariri, Daniel Kelly, Eli Rusticco, Jessica Bisbee, Marissa Myers, Isabella Aiu, and Maren Grieger.

Recent issues simulated include energy policy, asylum policy, food safety, the Constitutional Convention, the Intergovernmental Conference, EU neighborhood policy, Kosovo, EU-Russia relations, EU budget, migration policy, and data retention. The venue alternates between the U.S. and Europe each year.