The MEC 2021 cast in their glad rags!
‘MEC stands for Model European Council. It is a political role-play organised by the European schools, which is supposed to simulate the European Council, in the EU.’
This is how Maia Finkelstein explains the mysterious 3-lettered acronym that was floating around our school from Monday the 15th to Friday the 19th of March. The mystery leads down the yellow-brick road to the Salón de Actos, where, surrounded by carefully arranged flags as a strong reminder of all things European, 10 students were undertaking the task of participating in a mock European Council Summit. They were in good company, with 14 other European and accredited schools participating.
Indeed, MEC has become quite a European School institution and tradition. Every year, teams of aspiring teenage politicians unite to debate, discuss, and negotiate in the name of an assigned EU country – a role-play in which delegations from each European school take on the representation and responsibilities of ministers and heads of state. This year’s MEC saw the European School of Alicante representing Latvia and Poland.
MEC IN COVID TIMES
Under normal circumstances, MEC would take place in large summit-rooms, to mimic in the best possible way the real European Council meetings.
However, this is 2021 (or, as is perhaps more accurate, 2020+1), so in-person meetings were unfortunately not a possibility. MEC persevered, nonetheless, and set itself the same Herculean task the European Council had to contend with – connecting, virtually, with people across the EU Member States.
Well, I say ‘Herculean’ but perhaps we should after all give a little credit to our best friend, the Microsoft Teams application, without which half the world would be quite lost… It was the medium through which the European schools connected, over the week, to participate in this ‘incredible’, ‘memorable’ event.
So, how did it go? What was it like to attend the ‘virtual’ MEC summit? Was it intimidating? What stood out? Were there any ridiculous moments?
I interviewed 3 MEC participants to find out.
Interview with Maia Finkelstein, head of State of Poland (on EEA Eurotimes website)
Interview with 2 members of Latvia delegation, Ben Finkelstein and Leyre Frutos (on EEA Eurotimes website)
BEHIND THE SCENES
Veteran MEC advisor, Herr Thalhammer
We cannot forget, of course, the contribution of our two Alicante teachers, helping to prepare and advise the MEC participants: Mr Florian Thalhammer and Ms Anja Fischer.
So, what did they think?
Ms Fischer: “It was my first MEC and I was deeply impressed by the high level of political discussions the students had. It was also a great feeling to be connected with so many students all over Europe. Last, but not least, the honour of having Ursula von der Leyen as a guest speaker was great. She answered the questions of the students in a very personal and friendly way.”
Thanks also to Ms Fischer for providing the photographs!