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PSIA Students Hold Model European Union

YEREVAN – On May 11, 2015, first and second year students from the American University of Armenia (AUA)’s Political Science and International Affairs (PSIA) program participated in an on-campus Model European Union (European Council). The simulation was organized by Dr. Syuzanna Vasilyan, Jean Monnet Chair of European Studies and Assistant Professor in AUA’s PSIA program, within the framework of the “European Union and the World” and “European Integration” courses.

Throughout the course, students gained knowledge of the European Union (EU)’s history, institutions, policies, and global role (relations with different regional blocs around the world, including its political neighborhood through the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP), as well as the specific initiatives such as the Union for the Mediterranean for the southern partners and the Eastern Partnership for the eastern ones). Prior to holding the Model EU, Dr. Vasilyan delivered a training session on the diplomatic protocol, expanded on the agenda and conclusions of the previous European Council held in March 2015, and provided tips for finding relevant information and speeches. During the Model EU, the students, representing heads of state or government or major EU institutions, presented their positions on the current state of affairs with the European Neighborhood Policy, and then conducted a vibrant discussion on the review of the policy.

Dr. Vasilyan stated, “The ENP has been undergoing a review to be more adjusted to the recent choices made by specific partners in the east and the situation in the south. It was selected as a contemporary issue for political discussion because of luring media, political and academic interest. Taking up a top level position comes with the responsibility of formulating positions along a party line, constituency demands and national interests. The participants had been advised to explore these in the process of preparation for the Model EU. Overall, the Model EU was a valuable exercise for our students to become familiarized with diplomatic language and political debate challenging any uniform understanding about the EU as a bloc and making them ponder possible policy solutions as evinced in the European Council.”

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia and affiliated with the University of California. AUA provides a global education in Armenia and the region, offering high-quality, graduate and undergraduate studies, encouraging civic engagement, and promoting public service and democratic values.

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