MEELS students discussing strategy in a simulation game provided by planpolitikOn May 21st, the students of the Master Programme European and European Legal Studies (MEELS), accompanied by their new coordinators John Beuren and Christina Simmig, participated in a simulated game featuring a highly complex socio-political problem provided by planpolitik – a Berlin-based organisation. Joined by the class of the Postgraduate Programme in European Studies Berlin, our participants engaged in the simulation, taking on different roles of political actors/ countries and representing their respective interests over the course of the exercise.

“I particularly liked the simulation game. It was an interactive way to put the theoretical perspectives of EU decision making process into practice.”

Mrudul Dadhich (Class of 2015)

Working towards a solution, students negotiated strategically with their counterparts. Throughout the simulation, the moderators of planpolitik raised the stakes by introducing breaking news items forcing the group to adjust “on the fly”. In the process, our students practiced to be empathic to counterpositions, while continuing to pursue their own interests.

On the following day, MEELS students visited the Crisis Response Centre of the Federal Foreign Office. After an interesting tour around the centre, our students followed a speech by Dr. Christian Buck on the topic of ‘Major Crisis’ followed up by a Q&A. Afterwards, our students discussed current EU politics with Maja Ifland, EU policy advisor and Director of the Brussels office of the Green political party group within the German Bundestag. She provided insights regarding decision-making on the European level and into recent debates on EU politics in the Bundestag.

Meeting these practitioners was an invaluable experience for our MEELS students, as they saw significant aspects of their curriculum come alive in a practical context.

“The trip to Berlin was great. It gave us a chance to gain new insights into the way the EU works as well as to explore the lovely city of Berlin. For me, the highlight was the simulation game conducted by planpolitik because it was an innovative concept in which we applied what we had learned in the classroom. It was a perfect blend of individual effort and teamwork, and we all ended up taking some valuable lessons home from it.”

Anujaya Krishna (Class of 2015)