Andrew Wilson, Persephone Johnstone-Burt and Bertie Archer from the University of Exeter taking part in the SUNY Model EU
The University of Limerick and the State University of New York New Paltz (SUNY) hosted Ireland's first Model European Union (MEU) from the 7 - 9 Jan at the UL campus. The hosting of the SUNY MEU at UL is a first for an Irish university and over 140 students from US and Europe will attend, together with 30 faculty who will participate in a parallel series of lectures. The MEU is a simulation of an EU summit meeting in which all member states are represented by teams of four students. The student led exercise involves undergraduates drawn from Arts, Law and Humanities programmes.
The simulation topic for the Model EU will be "European Council Summit Spanish Presidency" and UL students will play the role of 'Spain' and direct the affairs of the simulated EU summit.
Francis Jacobs, Head of the European Parliament Office in Dublin gave the keynote lecture entitled, "European Union after Lisbon" at the launch event, Thursday 7th Jan at the Strand Hotel.
Law & Accounting student Erin King participated in last year's event in New York and is co-ordinating this years UL team playing the role of 'Spain'; "This simulation is not only a great learning experience but also a fantastic way to meet and socialize with students from many different countries. Our goal this year is to make it a first class experience for our guests and to have a chance to showcase our great University and the City of Limerick."
The University of Limerick enjoys a very good relationship with the State University of New York (SUNY), having welcomed many Study Abroad students from SUNY in the past through a bilateral exchange between both universities on a fee neutral basis.
Cathleen Hecker, Aline Tzitschke, Mareen Spitzer, Maria Weigert from Wildau Institute of Technology, Germany
Speaking in advance of the conference, University of Limerick Vice President Academic & Registrar, Professor Paul McCutcheon said; "Ireland is deeply committed to the European Union and the recent endorsement of the Lisbon Treaty has strengthened our position among the member states. The often intense debates sparked by the Lisbon Treaty had the very positive effect of educating the general public on the role and functions of the EU. Across all our educational and research endeavors, it is the aim of this University to produce graduates who can make positive contributions to the Europe of today and tomorrow."
Professor Paul McCutcheon, Franics Jacobs, Prof Kathleen Dowley, Dr Ruan O'Donnell at the launch of the SUNY Model EU in Limerick.
In the earliest years of the University of Limerick which coincided with Ireland's entry to the then EEC, UL took as its theme "Products into Europe" to reflect how Ireland had to adjust its focus to active and genuine partnership with European neighbours. UL's BA in European Studies, which was established in 1974, has for many years been recognised as one of the most eminent such degree programmes in Europe. The University's Centre for European Studies is recognised by the European Union as a Centre of Excellence with postgraduate programmes including an MA in European Integration and doctoral and post-doctoral research in European Studies and related disciplines.
Dr. Ruan O'Donnell, Professor of History, University of Limerick said; "we are delighted to host the SUNY MEU at UL. The simulation represents a new threshold in the long standing and mutually beneficial relationship between the universities of Limerick and New York and augers well for future developments."