4^ Simulation to the European Union: “.... Students’ questions are relevant to our professional life...they are sincerely interested to understand our activities” This is a statement from one of the speakers involved in the simulation

36 students from Italian universities, 4 days of intensive workshops and lectures, 13 speakers from the Institutions, Members State Permanent Representation, industries, NGOs, social platforms and press. These are the key figures of the 4^ simulation jointly organized by Associazione Diplomatici and EuropaBook from 23 to 26 October 2017 in Brussels.  This is short summary drafted by the participating students, does not reflect the position of the speakers but only the understanding of the authors. Thank to all of them for their efforts! Roberto Carpano and Giuliana Quattrocchi

Simulation Game: the Cosme Program – Approval of the Regulation

We conduct a European Commission simulation regarding the new regulation of articles 17, 18, 19 of Cosme Program. During the Formal section the Member States pointed out their different views by proposing their own modification to the articles and remarks. Whereas during the Unmoderated Caucus the Member State started to ally themselves with other States and to concretely negotiate the contents of the articles. At the end of the phase two drafts were produced. Both drafts focus on the need to support the equity financial system, increase the control during the distribution of the loans and to give an extra bonus, (increase 10% Cosme budget) for the successful SMEs and to create a consortium which allows SMEs to share the risk within European SMEs and facilitate access to European funds and loans for start-up Who could have difficulties to obtain loans.

Chiara Lavia and Giulia Perissinotto

The EU support to Small and Medium Enterprises in Europe: simulation of the COSME Regulation.

We attended the seminar on COSME. Dr. Armando Melone held the discussion, policy officer at the European Commission’s Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises). His presentation underlined the aims and functions of the COSME Programme, which us ‘delegates’ had to previously research, particularly concerning Articles 17, 18 and 19. Armando introduced COSME by providing us some data on SMEs, which represent 99% of European companies and that give work to 22 million people among the Member States. The aim of the Programme is “to facilitate access to finance through financial means: such means include both direct ones, like funds, investments and grants, and indirect means, like co-investments with financial intermediaries.” Furthermore, we discussed Italian SMEs and the issues they are confronted with respect to financial instruments. The seminar was concluded by a small presentation on the drafts of resolution given by our representatives of all the delegations that had been formed during the simulation. It was an honour to have Armando as a speaker; he delivered a fascinating explanation of the COSME Programme and its international application and he provided excellent feedback on the drafts presented by our delegations. The overall opinion on the seminar is positive; we cannot stress enough the importance of each component of this meeting at the European Commission. For us, having had the possibility of networking with such professional individuals was extremely brilliant and inspiring for the future

Beatrice Miano and Giuliano Formisano


The EU migration Policy

With Magnus Ovilius DG Home

The European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) is the recruitment office of the Institutions and agencies of the European Union. The professional profiles demanded are many and they are open to both graduate and non-graduate. The essential characteristics the candidate should possess are the European citizenship and the ability to speak at least 2 EU languages. Mrs. Anne Claire stressed that they are specifically looking for highly skilled people endowed with a leadership capacity. As around 80 % of the seats are in Brussels or Luxembourg, the candidate has to be ready to move there. Working for EU offers many privileges: the possibility to travel and to enjoy a multicultural environment, training courses for free, generous social benefits, work-life balance and job mobility. Most importantly workers will affect a legislation impacting millions of people.EPSO - a Career at the European Institutions, con Mrs. Anne Claire Gathoye

Before applying, there are two non-eliminatory tests: self-selection and self-evaluation. These tests help you to figure out if you have a keen interest in working for the European institutions and if you are ready to take the following three steps to apply for the job. Candidates are evaluated on three-stages base: the first stage is the pre-selection test, then there is the e-tray exercise, similar to a work situation, and finally the interview. So, in the first test, candidates are tested in verbal, numerical and abstract reasoning and they can choose their favorite language. Then, in the second step, there are about seventeen questions and the choice of the language is between English and French. If you do not perform well in one part, they evaluate you in the others. Finally, the third stage takes place in Brussels and it is divided into interviews, oral evaluations, and group exercises. The aim is to test eight competences: highly skilled resilient and able to prioritize, communicate, motivated, result driven and analytical, potential to lead, eager to learn and develop professionally, enjoying working in multicultural teams, ready to move.   The applications for general jobs open in spring, in summer for translators and in winter for assistants. Then, there are job opportunities for specialists when needed. In addition, there are also non-permanent positions to which you can apply such as contract agent, temporary agent, interim staff, freelance and seconded national expert. Finally, there are opportunities for graduate trainees: these paid internships last five month, from October to February and from March to July. Everybody can apply, even the non Europeans. There is no age limits, no prior experience, but the knowledge of two languages is required.

Anita Bonollo, Sara Maragno

The role of the Committee of Regions (CoR)

During the first session, from 9pm  until 10pm, Mirea Cartabbia and Katja Turck gave us a general presentation about it. The Committee was founded with the Maastricht Treaty, and it gives voice to local and regional authorities, trying to create a connection between the citizens and Europe. It is composed by 350 members, plus 350 alternates the Italian members are 24:  8 are representing the regions, 8 the provinces and 8 the cities).

The Committee has a consultative role: that means that it can only give its opinion to the European Parliament, trying to persuade and orient it on certain issue. In other words, the work of the Committee is also a lobbying activity. That is why they have to be quick and efficient in write an opinion, in order to be ready to show it at the Parliament. The Committee works on every sector related to the regional responsibilities: from youth policies to transport, culture, environment, energy, tourism etc., that are divided in 5 different Commissions. 70% of the European legislation is implemented on a local level: this is a clear sign that underlines the importance of this institution, although its role ''only'' consultative.

The aim of the Committee is to establish a dialogue with the citizens, giving them voice in Brussels. It gives an upward push that tries to orient the European Parliament in one direction rather than another one. A successful example is the contribution to the design of the Youth Guarantee. After the speech, between the various questions it was asked to Mirea and Katja which position did the Committee of the Region take on the Catalonia affair. The answer was that the Committee tried to create a platform on which it was possible to establish dialogue. Indeed the Spanish members got the chance to give their opinion and discuss with each other. Moreover, the president of Catalonia was invited to the plenary session of the Committee (where the president of the European Council Donald Tusk was also present). In conclusion, I really liked the speech of Mirea and Katja: it gave me a clear overview on the Committee of the Regions and how it works.

Giulia di Fonzo


Workshop: The EU Development Policy

with Giuseppe Balducci DG DEVCO. The European Union Development Policy was established  in 2007 by the Treaty of Lisbon and follows the guidelines of the Official Development Assistance (ODA). The Development Policy provided by the Union distinguishes itself from the classic Western model as it has limited funding and it rests in the EU control. 

However, the development model is inherently similar to the Western prototype of its member states, and therefore, may be readily criticized for the politicization that often accompanies the aid in the recipient State. This EU program for development was born in the 21st century and thus inherited all the political principles and underlying ideas of existing developmental models, more specifically, the set of criteria to be met by the recipient State in exchange for funding. The terms and conditions attached to development aid are relatively new, originating from the end of the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s. The primary objective of these terms and conditions is to promote the values of the European Union such as respect for human rights, democratisation, and other aspects of good governance.  The seminar with Giuseppe Balducci proved interesting as he eloquently illustrated the complexity of the framework behind the development policy apparatus. The students constructively approached the discussion by enquiring on the decision-making system of the system, characterized by questions aimed at achieving a better understanding of how developing countries were chosen by the program and why. Overall, the course provided a well-constructed introduction of what the European Union Development Policy is and how it’s implemented in developing countries. 

Thomas Gruden

The Experience of a Young Official at the European Union

We share the experiences of an inspiring young man, Pedro Espirito Santo, 26 years old, who’s Policy Assistant to the Director of Asia, Central Asia, Middle East/Gulf and Pacific as directorate-general for International Cooperation and Development. He explained his day-to-day job and the intriguing challenges it asks to solve. Pedro is responsible for 22 delegations, which count more than 500 people, but he still quite new at this job. Pedro graduated in Lisbon in law and during his studies he carried out several internships, among those, one in a law firm and another in a NGO in Geneva. After his degree in Portugal he decided to continue his studies abroad, and went to Cambridge University for a master in International European Law that led him to a traineeship at the UN in New York City in the Office of Legal affairs, followed by another internship, but this time in Brussels for the European Commission. He was then offered his current job which he described as challenging and intense. Pedro share his tips related to professional career:

You’ll always have the feeling that you’re not prepared for what you’re doing, but this should not stop you from doing it, improvisation is a skill as important as problem solving. Being able to connect the dots, linking everything you learnt in your life is what will help you find efficient solutions in difficult situations.

Be curious beyond your daily interests framework. Social pressure will ask you to collect degree after degree and academic certificates, but what you study has to have a personal importance. It will affect how you are and how you approach in a broad and international work environment. What really matters in a CV for a similar position is the experience gained through the years.

Therefore, take the time to create, build and personalise your own luggage to show with humility but fierce to world.

Pedro revealed to be inspirational and able to move everyone’s heart and ambitions thanks to his enthusiasm and self-confidence gained with this job and all the experiences that made him what he is now.

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