Three Chanticleer Intelligence Brief officers were among eight students from the Department of Politics at Coastal Carolina University (CCU) who recently participated in the elite European Union (EU) Simulation program in New York. The annual program involves nearly 150 students from over 20 American and European universities. The proceedings took place in the facilities of the State University of New York (SUNY), which hosted this year’s conference. Three CIB officers, Madison Nowlin, Jeremy Lee and Connor Kilgore, joined CCU students Mary Casey, Braxton Palmer, Shadda Corwin, Kelly Pysmennyi, and Kyla Ewersthe, who formed the eight-member delegation. The CCU team was accompanied by Dr. Mariam Dekanozishvili, assistant professor of politics at CCU. The CCU team was given the task of representing the governments of Poland and Latvia.
The task was familiar for Jeremy Lee (pictured right), head of the CIB’s Europe Section, who spent two semesters studying the complex politics of the EU prior to heading to New York. “I have studied European affairs and security issues for a few semesters”, said Jeremy, who also serves as the CIB’s Chief Operations Officer. But “the experience in New York taught me even more. I now understand more than ever before the inner workings of the EU”. These sentiments were echoed by Madison Nowlin (pictured left), the CIB’s Records Officer: “Participating in the 2017 Model EU simulation gave me a much broader understanding of the global diplomatic institution that is the EU. I now understand why some decisions taken by the EU are much harder than others”, she said. Connor Kilgore (pictured bottom right), the CIB’s longtime Recruitment Officer, noted that representing Latvia forced him to defend positions that in some cases contradicted his own views. However, “empathizing with the Latvian government and understanding its policies and stances provided me with insight into just how complex and demanding representing a peripheral nation can be”, he added.
All three participants felt a strong connection between their experience at CIB and their Model EU participation. “Speaking fluently and confidently to my peers at the conference was of the utmost importance”, said Connor. “The skill set that I have acquired from being a CIB analyst enhanced my ability to thoroughly grasp and present Latvian positions clearly and concisely”. Madison said that her position as an analyst at the CIB prepared her “for the extensive research that had to be done on my alter ego. I had to know exactly what decisions my delegation would have made in the situations I was presented with. Without the hours of reading and watching speeches that was necessary, I would not have been able to actively participate in the European Council debates”. Jeremy, who represented Poland, a country that also forms his analytical focus this semester at the CIB, stressed that that his prior experience in the CIB was “a tremendous help for for my model EU performance. I studied and analyzed the EU for almost a year before participating in Model EU”, said Jeremy. And he continued: “Other students did not have the same amount of knowledge that I was able to amass through the CIB, which sometimes gave me the upper hand in negotiating”.
Next year’s EU Simulation will be held in Strasbourg, France, which is the home of the European Parliament and the European Council, the chief policy-making bodies of the EU.