Simulation Game: EU Responses to Security Threats

Date

Monday 08.02.16 to Friday 12.02.16

Location

Dijver, Bruges campus
Dijver 11
8000 Bruges
Belgium

From 8-12 February 2016, the students of the EU International Relations and Diplomacy Studies programme at the College of Europe, Bruges campus, embarked upon tense negotiations to find a response to two fictional crises unfolding in the EU’s neighbourhood.

On the one hand, in Jordan, a terrorist attack claimed by ISIL/Daesh took place at the largest refugee camp close to the Syrian border, with 110.000 residents. Attackers raided the camp overnight, shooting and taking hostages in a siege that lasted hours and ended with 338 people dead and hundreds injured, making it the worst terrorist attack in the history of the Hashemite kingdom. Given the economic and social impact of the refugee crisis and the EU's interest in deterring a further refugee flow to Europe, can the EU give a strong and common signal to step up to what represents a global challenge?  

On the other hand, skirmishes between Moldovan security forces and unidentified armed groups at the border of Moldova and the self-proclaimed independent Pridnestrovian Moldovan Republic (PMR), also known as Transnistria, caused the death of one Moldovan soldier and injuries to two policemen. The situation quickly escalated between the involved parties to the point where the Moldovan government ordered its military forces to deploy to the area and capture the individuals responsible for the attack. How will the EU react to this tragic event just at its doorstep, and further promote trust and security in the Eastern Partnership?

Whether in a hushed conversation in the corridor, over a cup of coffee or a meal, the delegates worked hard to agree on complex legal and political texts and pave the way for a common response to the crises. With consensus emerging for a substantial EU role, the evolving crises and ambiguous positions of third actors wrought new twists. Throughout the negotiations, the Ambassadors in the Political and Security Committee (PSC) in Brussels had to coordinate with their Foreign Ministers in the capitals, who would have to defend the outcome of the Council negotiations before voters at home. Meanwhile, a team of high-level EU officials and their expert teams worked tirelessly to draft potential EU positions, chair meetings and provide expert advice to the member states in the face of escalating crises and antagonistic national interests. At the end of the simulation game, a debriefing took place with the course directors. The performance of the students during the whole week was assessed in a manner to point out the similarities and discrepancies between the simulation and real life negotiations.

1st PSC meeting

Delegation preparation meeting, 2nd and 4th PSC meeting

3rd PSC meeting

Council meeting

Check the pictures and videos of past editions here!

For more information about the Simulation Game, please contact the secretary of the department sabine.dekeyser [at] coleurope.eu (Ms Sabine DEKEYSER).