Simulation Game: EU International Crisis Response

Compulsory Course (Alejandro RIBO LABASTIDA and Quentin WEILER)

The simulation game immerses the students of the EU International Relations and Diplomacy Studies Department in a high-pace one-week exercise which explores how the European Union might react to substantial threats to stability in its broader neighbourhood. Students are asked to design a response to a complex and realistic crisis scenario (e.g. Ukraine and South Sudan in 2020) by playing the roles of the 27 Member States and the EU institutional bodies involved in foreign policy and crisis management: the High Representative, the European External Action Service, the European Commission and the Council Legal Service. The role of journalists is also central in the dynamics of the exercise.

As the crisis evolves, the Political and Security Committee must discuss an Options Paper prepared by the EU institutions to consider the appropriate EU response to the crisis. Journalists report on the evolution of the crisis and attend some of the institutional meetings. Subsequently, the Political and Security Committee must agree on draft Council Conclusions and a draft Decision, also prepared by the EU institutions, to set out the EU's response. Finally, the Foreign Affairs Council meets to attempt to reach a consensus at the political level on the Council Conclusions and the Decision.

The simulation game allows students to apply their knowledge about EU foreign policy and crisis management, to use and develop their negotiation skills, and to experience the difficulties of reaching political agreements at the EU level. Whether in a formal or informal meeting, a hushed conversation in the corridor, or over a cup of coffee or a meal, the delegates must work hard to agree on complex legal and political texts and pave the way for a common response to the crisis. Throughout the negotiations, the Ambassadors in the Political and Security Committee must coordinate with their Foreign Ministers, who will have to defend the outcome of the Council negotiations before the press and electorates at home. Meanwhile, the team of high-level EU officials must work tirelessly to draft potential EU positions, chair meetings and provide expert advice to the Member States in the face of an escalating crisis, the ambiguous positions of third actors, and diverging national interests

In 2012 the professors behind the simulation game were awarded the 2012 LISBOAN Teaching Award which recognizes innovative means of teaching the Treaty of Lisbon.

These pictures and short videos provide an impression of the simulation games:

Impressions of the simulation game 2022-23

IRD Simulation Game - February 2023

Impressions of the simulation game 2021-22

IRD Simulation Game.7 February-11 February 2022

Impressions of the simulation game 2020-21

IRD Simulation Game.February 2021

Impressions of the simulation game 2019-20

IRD Simulation Game.February 2020

Impressions of the simulation game 2018-19

IRD Simulation Game.February 2019

Impressions of the simulation game 2017-18

Simulation games IRD.February 2018

Impressions of the simulation game 2016-17

IRD Simulation Game.6-10 February 2017

Impressions of the simulation game 2015-16