Photographer:Fotograaf: Henning Hatje
“We had to step back, we couldn’t take the recent changes – like the economic crisis – into account”, says European Studies student Tina Fanenbruck. She was one of the students representing the Netherlands at the historic European Council at EuroMUN, which took place in the MECC from 16 until 20 May. The European Model United Nations (EuroMUN) is a simulation of the bodies of the United Nations and other selected world politics forums. This is the fifth time UNSA Maastricht has organised the congress. In honour of the twentieth anniversary of the Treaty of Maastricht, the students decided that one of these simulations should be of the European Council of 1992.
Over the past four days, the delegations from all member states have come together to draw up an alternative treaty. Now, on the last day of the congress, they will sign it at the same place the original treaty was signed; the Statenzaal in the Limburg provincial government building. Going back in time was hard work for the students. “You really need to dive into the country you’re representing; what were their main issues?”, says Fanenbruck. She’s glad she was able to represent a very pro-Europe country, as the Netherlands were twenty years ago. “If you’re the UK, you have to say ‘no’ all the time.” Her fellow participants Sofija Grbic and Friederike Haase agree. “Also, as the delegation of the organising country we could claim we paid for the lunch”, Grbic laughs.
As the students gather in the Statenzaal, committee director Thomas Reinhard Barber takes the audience through the biggest changes from the original treaty: a Common Foreign and Security Policy is included right from the start, one high representative will be the face of the EU and the euro is now called the epic, which stands for European Payment Intergovernmental Currency. One by one the countries come forward and sign. When the United Kingdom delegation return to their seats, it’s official: a new Treaty is born.