In May 2013 Young European Leadership and its partner organisation Youth Diplomacy jointly organised a simulation of the Council of Europe. Students and Young Professionals from all over Europe participated in this event to discuss pressing issues in the areas of culture and education, employment and social affairs, the environment, development, justice, economics and politics. Insights into the European decision-making processes were conveyed to the participants. The simulation and a public speaking workshop led by YEL’s Vice President Flóra Rétfalvi gave the participants a the chance to develop their negotiation, presentation, and diplomatic skills.

More insights on YEL’s events are provided at our Flickr account, on our facebook page, and on youtube! There you also find YEL’s interviews with global and european policy makers and important stakeholders, who provided their view on the role of young people in global politics and gave advice for aspiring Young (European) Leaders.


  • European Council: Application of Article 7 procedure on Hungary: How to deal with a Member State which refuses to bent its constitutional reforms to reflect EU values? Article 7 procedure was never used in the history of the EU, will the Heads of State be brave enough to push for restrictive measures against another fellow member?
  • General Affairs Council: Negotiations on the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020: How to design a budget for the EU that fits into a Europe-wide state of economic desolation, pleasing the heralds of austerity, while at the same time satisfying growing needs in the fields of education, social and cohesion funds, and so many other policies; also reflecting the growing competencies of the EU as a whole?
  • Foreign Affairs Council: Redesigning the Euro-Mediterranean Union: How can the EU act in favour of a better integration of its southern neighborhood, while the political situation is still not stable in “Arab Spring” countries? Should we fear the “Islamic Winter” in countries of our direct vicinity?
  • CSDP Council: Preparation for a military intervention in Syria: When a handful of European countries declare that they will engage militarily in Syria, after Assad’s regime crossed the red line by using chemical weapons against rebels, how the EU will act? United or divided again?
  • Economic Affairs CouncilCouncil: European Bank Supervision Mechanism: While all EU governments agree that something has to be done to prevent the catastrophic chain of events that lead to the worst economic crisis since the 20’s, will they also agree on the method? Will countries that signed up for this project still agree to leave their banks under direct ECB supervision?
  • Eurogroup meeting: Reaction to a Slovenian bailout: The Slovenian government just declared in an official communiqué that it will need a help from the European Financial Stability Facility to cope with a difficult refinancing of their banks. Although Slovene economy is not massive, some Member States are wary of further solidarity payments. Moreover, neither the Greek, or Cypriot or Irish method cannot be simply transposed on the case of this small Alpine Republic!
  • Justice and Home Affairs Council: Proposal for a European same-sex marriage and adoption directive: When the Commission registers a European Citizens’ Initiative on the recognition of gay marriage in Europe led by a large number of equal rights activists and supporters throughout the EU, no consensus can be found at the Council, and a majority of Member States refuse this major break from traditional values. How will the Council deal with such Directive proposal?
  • Development Council: EU aid to earthquake-stricken Iran: Europe is the biggest donor of development and humanitarian aid in the world, and proud of it. What happens when pure humanist concerns clash with hard-core politics, where Iran, and its Bushehr nuclear plant is a major security threat that deserves no gifts?
  • Environment Council: Shale gas exploitation in Europe: How can an EU position be forged on the permission to exploit shale gas on the territory of Member States when some are decisively lobbying against the ecological pollution this method brings, while other countries see here a fantastic way to get rich, and to become energetically independent from Russian gas?
  • Employment and Social Affairs Council: Implementation of the Youth Guarantee: With an overwhelming majority, the European Parliament enacted support to this initiative, aiming at bringing education, job or training to many young people in Europe. The Council, on the other hand, hesitates to allocate the necessary money for it, due to austerity requirements, as well as open questions on the effectiveness of such measure and the quality of the proposed jobs for the youth.
  • Culture and Education Council: Erasmus: Although seen by many as the most successful of EU policies, the “Erasmus” programme legally finishes in 2013. Discussions are underway for the new and broader “Erasmus for All” programme, that will require almost 2% of the total EU budget. This is something many Member States are reluctant to afford, unless the share is taken from the “Youth in Action” fund. Moreover, few governments agree on the branding issue, or whether the program should go beyond its current scope.


  • 09:00 – 09:30 : WELCOME OF PARTICIPANTS
  • 09:30 – 10:40 : OPENING CONFERENCE
  • 09:30 – 09:40 : Welcoming words
  • 09:40 – 10:30 : Keynote speeches
  • 10:30 – 10:50 : Presentation of the Council simulation
  • 11:00 – 13:00 : NEGOTIATIONS, FIRST ROUND
  • 11:00 – 13:00 : Negotiations
  • 13:00 – 14:00 : Lunch offered by Youth Diplomacy & Young European Leadership
  • 14:00 – 14:30 : Workshop Cultural differences; First impressions
  • 14:30 – 18:30 : NEGOTIATIONS, SECOND ROUND
  • 14:30 – 17:30 : Negotiations
  • 17:30 – 18:30 : Evening Workshop : Diplomatic skills, Art of compromise
  • 19:00 : Afterwork and meeting the Team: Staff of Young European Leadership and its partners will be delighted to answer questions, present projects, as at any other moment during the week-end!

Sunday 19th of May : Council Conclusions

  • 09:00 – 13:00 : NEGOTIATIONS, THIRD ROUND
  • 08:30 – 09:00 : Welcoming participants
  • 09:00 – 12:30 : Resuming of the Negotiations, writing of the Council Conclusions
  • 12:30 – 13:30 : Lunch
  • 13:30 – 14:30 : Finalization of Council Conclusions
  • 15:00 – 18:00 : CONCLUSION
  • 15:00 – 15:30 : Presentation of all Council Conclusions
  • 15:30 – 17:00 : Closing Conference « Where is the voice of the European Youth ? »
  • 17:00 – 18:00 : Concluding words from Youth Diplomacy & Young European Leadership
  • 18:00 : Afterwork