published by Equipe FORCCAST on 27 Oct 2015
From february 9th to february 14th 2015, European Affairs Master’s degree students at Sciences Po and European Studies Master’s degree students at Paris 3 – Sorbonne Nouvelle University took part in a European summit simulation on energy issues, as a foretaste of negotiations of the COP 21, which is gong to be held in Paris next november.
Two innovations have been introduced this year: first, the use of Bruno Latour’s MOOC (Massive online open course) on scientific humanities as a knowledge-making tool. Second, the writing of an online logbook before, during and after the simulation. What also aroused surprise was the obligation for each delegation to create a Twitter and Facebook account and use social networks to communicate its positions. Most participants played along, as evidenced by the Facebook page dedicated to the simulation of the European Council.
Prior to the simulation day, some students had the occasion to attend several courses on the European Union’s political system, taught by Adrien Fauve. Following this was organized a conference reuniting experts in energy and climate policies.Quite exceptionally, all delegations were invited to a diplomatic cocktail at the Embassy of Latvia two days before the big day. On the occasion of Latvia ensuring the EU presidency from January to June 2015, this event was an opportunity to question Madam Ambassador on the realities of her role and learn about the Latvian policies. Feeling greatly inspired by their delegation roles, students seized the opportunity to secure the first agreements among themselves, in order to refine their position paper (role sheets).
The Council simulation was held throughout Saturday, from 9 to 7. Students in charge of the role of the Presidency of the European Council had carefully prepared a program dealing with greenhouse gas emissions, extraction of shale gas, protection of natural environments and all other energy issues specific to the European territory. Each item was discussed in plenary sessions, but the most difficult negotiations were held informally, in the secret corridors of Sciences Po and at the mercy of breaks granted by the Presidency.
Below: a video retracing the simulation’s key moments where the key players’ (students) speech is crucial.
Congratulations to the organizers, professional stakeholders, and students for playing along in this challenging game of international relations!