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Pitt-Bradford to Host Collegiate Model EU

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The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford will hold a Model European Union conference on campus this weekend for students from six universities.

The international affairs and history/political science program at Pitt-Bradford worked with the University of Pittsburgh European Studies Center and Jean Monnet European Union Center of Excellence to organize the event.

The Model European Union simulation will enable students to learn about international affairs by acting as representatives of the 28 member states of the European Union. Students will debate topics related to migration and terrorism, with the objective of working cooperatively to reach joint resolutions.

Issues that will be addressed include managing the ongoing refugee crisis and resettlement, combating irregular migration, protecting the external borders, addressing rising nationalism, responding to potential terrorist threats, countering jihadist radicalization, combating returning foreign fighters, and reinforcing EU principles and social trust.

“The Model European Union Conference is a valuable opportunity for students to learn about diplomacy while refining their civic engagement, public speaking, leadership, and negotiation skills,” said Dr. Helma de Vries-Jordan, director of the international affairs and history/political science programs at Pitt-Bradford.

In addition to Pitt-Bradford, participating institutions include Bowling Green (Ohio) State University, Susquehanna University, University at Buffalo (N.Y.), University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, and University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.

Students prepare for the conference by researching each country’s strategic concerns, political context, economic interests and cultural values. They then prepare position papers outlining the country’s standpoints on these important regional and global policy issues.

The public is invited attend the Model EU’s opening ceremony and to observe the simulation proceedings and keynote address. The opening ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. Friday in the Mukaiyama University Room of Frame-Westerberg Commons, and will include the Tour de Table in which delegates introduce their countries and set the agenda for the following day.

Proceedings continue from 9 to 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday in the same location.

At 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Dr. Nick Clark, assistant professor of political science at Susquehanna University, will give the keynote address on “Nationalism and Support for Democracy in the European Union” in the Harriett B. Wick Chapel.

Clark’s talk will identify both the causes of the nationalist attitudes within Europe and the effects of such attitudes on public opinion, drawing on 15 years of data documenting changes in nationalist attitudes across several crises in the European Union. The types of individuals who hold nationalist attitudes will be discussed, with the research documenting that nationalism has grown in influence across all parts of the ideological spectrum.

The Model European Union Conference is sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh European Studies Center and the Pitt-Bradford Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences, international affairs program, history/political science program, and the International Relations/Model United Nations Club. All the events are free.

Event-related questions can be addressed to Dr. Helma de Vries-Jordan, Director of the International Affairs Program and History/Political Science Program: hdevries@pitt.edu.

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