REPORTING. "It’s quite complicated to discuss at 27" : in Brussels, young students play the role of EU leaders to simulate a European Council

Cairo: Hani Kamal El-Din


As in all real summits, it begins on the large red carpet lined with 27 flags with declarations from the heads of state and government such as the Belgian Prime Minister: “I’m very excited to be here [Je suis très heureuse d’être là]. For the exercise, English is required but as in real life you can question the managers : “Just a question in French, please.” Impeccable in her navy blue suit, Lauriane, a 22-year-old student years old, plays the role of President Emmanuel Macron: “So today we are experiencing a historic moment for the Union…”

Nearly 160 students, mainly from faculties and institutes of political studies from the 27 Member States, are since Monday 8 April in the premises of the European Council in Brussels to simulate a summit, a few weeks before the European elections. For this role play which will last two days, there are six of them per country and will put on the costume of leaders, ambassadors, ministers and advisors. The objective is to find a compromise on the regulation of Artificial Intelligence.

Head to one of the vast rooms of the European Council. Around the table, the fake Charles Michel distributes the floor. “Thank you, and now Susana for Poland [Merci, et maintenant Susana pour la Pologne]. Students negotiate for two hours in search of a compromise on a complex subject. At the exit, the French president, Laurianne, says she is surprised : “It was quite different from what I had prepared for. It’s true that talking to 27, that poses certain difficulties. Everyone tries to respect their speaking time while asserting their positions and it’s quite complicated.”

Anaïs played the role of cybersecurity advisor for Luxembourg. She provides technical and legal expertise to her head of state and her minister. “We met Lithuanians, Swedes, talked a lot with the Germans, it was really very interestingrejoices the student. Being able to understand and have other points of view. It’s true that it’s still very rich.”

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  • Source of information and images “pleinevie

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