Model EU Christchurch 2020

We are delighted to announce the Christchurch Model EU 2020!

20-21 October at the University of Canterbury


The 2020 event will simulate the workings of the Council of the European Union and thus, you will be representing state secretaries or environment ministers of the EU Member States. You will be responsible for discussing, amending and adopting an EU directive or regulation.

The theme of the Christchurch Model EU 2020 is: United for Climate Action! IS the EU on track?

The Council of the European Union is the EU’s key (though not exclusive) law-making body, and an important forum for political debate, coordination and decision-making at the EU-level. The Council comprises ministers from each of the 27 Member States of the European Union. They are required to both represent their own national interest, and to find ways to formulate common interests and a European perspective.

Delegates will assume the roles of ministers to debate a draft directive focused on freedom of expression and information in the EU. The lifeblood of democracy, freedom of expression is at the heart of the constitutional order and of the architecture of human rights. But freedom of expression is under threat, as illiberal governments around the world seek to entrench their positions by placing limits on speech, and on the freedom and pluralism of the media.

The Model EU event will allow students the opportunity to examine this fundamental right in the context of the European Union, being tasked with negotiating agreements relating to: (i) misinformation, disinformation and free speech; and (ii) media freedom and pluralism.  As a universal right, this subject has direct bearing on students’ own lived experiences, and allows the drawing of lessons and parallels with the New Zealand context. The topic also links with the NCEA Social Studies external standards relating to cultural conflict and ideological responses to issues.

Council of the European Union, 28 January 2020. © European Union

As ministers representing their Member States, delegates will engage in a simulation of high-level political negotiation, seeking to form agreements with like-minded states, and to find the best outcome to address the issues presented. Debate will take place in differing Council configurations and regional break-out sessions, as well as informal side-line negotiations. The event culminates with a full plenary, during which delegates will attempt to adopt the new directive.

We look forward to welcoming you to our event.

Teacher Workshop

Alongside the event for student delegates, teachers are invited to join a one day teacher workshop, facilitated by the Aotearoa Social Studies Educators’ Network (ASSEN). See below for further information


Why attend a Model EU event?

The EU and Europe do not feature prominently in New Zealand media or the school curriculum, despite its strong impact and influence on this part of the world. The ‘EU in Schools’ project encourages incorporation of EU content into the curriculum by engaging secondary students and teachers in EU Studies.

The project has been organising Model EU training and simulations for high school students and Professional Learning Development (PLD) workshops for teachers for 10 years. The Model EU training and simulation events provide students with practical, hands-on experience of the EU’s processes and challenges. Participants are introduced to the EU, its governance and the event subject through interactive and self-directed learning. Themes are relevant to young people and relate to current developments in the EU.

With the help of a grant from the Erasmus+ Jean Monnet Programme of the European Commission and the NCRE, we are pleased to offer Model EU Training and Simulation events as well as Professional Learning Development Workshops for teachers across New Zealand.


What is a Model EU Event?

The NCRE with funding and support from the Erasmus+ Jean Monnet Programme of the European Commission, are pleased to offer Model EU Training and Simulation events to high school students across New Zealand. Students assume the roles of ‘Members of the European Parliament (MEPs)’, representing a political party and a Member State (MS) country. Delegates then work with members of their own party and those with similar interests to form a position on the various issues and find the best outcome to dealing with the crisis. Debate takes place in Committee session over two days and culminates in a Plenary Session at the end of the second day when delegates attempt to accept a new directive.


About the Teacher Workshop

Dr. Maria Perreau, from the Aotearoa Social Studies Educators’ Network, will facilitate a workshop for teachers on ways in which they could use the EU as a context for teaching and learning in their social studies (or integrated learning) programmes. In a collaborative process, teachers will be guided to explore and identify key social studies concepts that students could show an understanding of through examining Freedom of Expression and Information in the EU. Teachers will be guided through a decision making process that identifies ways to plan teaching and learning that affects students’ in their own communities and lives as well as that of the lives of people living in the EU. The workshop will also focus on how this comparative aspect aligns with the draft social sciences learning area.

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