PAST EUROsimAs AND THE PROGRESS OF EUROsimA
1. EUROsimA 2005
EUROsimA 2005 conference, which took place mainly with the support of TOBB University, was the conference that started the traditional EUROsimA experience at METU. Being the first year of the conference, the participation was limited to only within METU, and the decision to make the event a traditional and international organization was taken at end of the conference.
2. EUROsimA 2006
EUROsimA 2006 was the first conference to accept foreign participants. The ideas and different points of view that was contributed by the foreign participants that consisted of Erasmus students studying in METU and other foreign students was taken into account by the organization team and the foreign participation quota was increased accordingly.
3. EUROsimA 2007
In EUROsimA 2007, with the start of the sponsorship process of ABİG, organization team turned the conference into an international youth simulation by all means and organized a successful simulation on the theme of “communication”, which is the institutional aim of AGIB. In addition to AGİB, partners such as Agorada and AEGEE also attended the conference. The conference was mentioned in two newspapers and the participation to the conference had increased.
4. EUROsimA 2008
EUROsimA 2008 event, through the increasing support of AGİB, was the EUROsimA conference to host the highest number of participants until 2008. Participants from Anatolian universities and high schools was accepted for the first time to the conference in which more than 160 participants attended. The increase in the number of foreign participants and the diversity of countries shows how successful the conference became over the years. EUROsimA 2008 event has also conduced to the recognition of AGİB and FPIRC. The news about the conference was published in Hürriyet Ankara.
5. EUROsimA 2009
EUROsimA 2009 organization, being the 5th session of our Project, was more elaborate in every aspect of the conference, increasing both the academic success and the participation to the conference, and it became more well-known both in the professional arena and the media. 250 Turkish and foreign high school and college students attended the conference and for the first time in the 2009 session, graduate students especially ones studying the EU have shown high interest in participation. 25 foreign students from 10 different countries attended the conference, while the diversity of native participants was also increased. The EU Information Center under the Turkish Delegation to the European Union was the main supporter of the conference. TRT took responsibility for the communications sponsorship through broadcasted the conference. Member of the European Parliament Vural ÖGER, President of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the European Parliament Thomas-Carl GRUNERT, President of the Turkish Delegation of Political Affairs, Media and Informatics to the European Union Diego Pascua MELLADO and Ankara Ambassador of Sweden his Excellency Christer ASP who was holding the EU Term Presidency at that time opened the conference. Our participants of the conference had the chance to meet people who have important roles to this extent in the decision making processes of the EU and understand the EU bodies and its capacity in a better way. The conference was covered by both local and national media.
6. EUROsimA 2010
There was important participation to the conference from both Turkey and abroad which reached its 6th year with EUROsimA 2010. The most important difference that distinguished EUROsimA 2010 from the previous conferences was the increase in the number of foreign participants. EUROsimA which grew and developed rapidly through the contributions of 92 foreign and 108 Turkish participants has also continued to develop with its keynote speakers. Term President Ambassador of Spain and the EU Secretariat General Representative of the Secretary General, Ambassador Haluk Ilıcak emphasized on the important points of Turkey’s negotiation process with the EU. One of the most important innovations of EUROsimA 2010 was to bring the foreign students together with the European Capital of 2010, Istanbul. In this way foreign students learned Turkish culture in a better way and contributed to Turkey’s changing image in the West. In this period The European Union Secretariat General, Municipality of Sarıyer and METU Center for European Studies supported EUROsimA 2010. EUROsimA 2010 made the news in the national and foreign media.
7. EUROsimA 2011
The conference, which gained a truly international identity now and organized for the 7th time with EUROsimA 2011, was shaped around the sponsorship of its main sponsor, The Secretariat General of the European Union (SGEU) and continued by building up on the previous years. SGEU also hosted the cocktail of EUROsimA 2011 on the first night of the event and provided the participants with the opportunity of learning the details of EU – Turkey relations. Ambassador of Hungary in Ankara his Excellency István Szabóve, who held the position of the EU Term Presidency, Minister of State and chief negotiator Foreign Affairs Special Advisor esteemed Faruk Kaymakçı honored us with their presence in the opening ceremony of the conference. In this context about 250 native and foreign participants had the chance to discuss the main problems of Europe and propose solutions for them in especially Economic and Financial Affairs Council which was simulated for the first time that year and in other committees. The Cappadocia trip we organized after the conference provided a ground for different cultures to blend with each other and in this way EUROsimA 2011 became somewhat of a bridge in the merging of the Turkish culture with other cultures. In this period The Secretariat General of the European Union, Municipality of Çankaya, Municipality of Avonos and many institutions supported EUROsimA 2011 at the same time the promotion of the conference in every area was ensured through its appearance mainly on EU – Ads on national and international media.
8. EUROsimA 2012
EUROsimA 2012 conference, was held at METU between 24-29th April, was organized by the students of the department of International Relations of METU. From all over the world, more than 250 participants took part at EUROsimA 2012. EUROsimA 2012 was different from its previous examples as it had a different academic and organizational content. Consisting of 6 different committees, each committee of EUROsimA 2012 had two topics of which one was selected from the past. In this context, EUROsimA 2012 gave opportunity to question the previous decisions of EU. As a result, participants had not only an opportunity to benefit from recent topics; but they also had the opportunity to evaluate the positive and negative decisions taken by the EU. It gave also an opportunity to the participants to gain experience and knowledge which they can use at following conferences. It can be said that EUROsimA 2012 was an academic bridge between the past, today and the future. EUROsimA 2012 differed from its previous examples also in organizational respect. An implication of that difference was the high number of foreign participants. Having more than 85 foreign participants, EUROsimA 2012 had %40 more participants than the average foreign participants number since 2005.In addition to this, it had participants from over 25 different high schools and universities from Turkey.
One of the features giving to EUROsimA 2012 its importance is the cultural trip made for the foreign participants before the conference to Istanbul. As the number of foreign participants was high and the countries of foreign participants varied, the trip to Istanbul was a real cultural celebration. In such an environment, the participants had the opportunity to see the beauty of Istanbul and to meet new cultures while introducing the cultures of their countries. In this context, EUROsimA 2012 fulfilled its mission of being a cultural embassy. At the end of the conference, participants gave the signal that they will also take part at EUROsimA 2013 which proves that EUROsimA 2012 has fulfilled its goals. EUROsimA will also continue to fulfill its goals in 2013 and improve its quality in all aspects.
9. EUROsimA 2013
EUROsimA 2013 was the 9th annual session of the conference held in METU between 23rd and 28th of April. Comparing with previous years, the increase in number of delegates to 300 and further academic succession highlighted the excellence of EUROsimA 2013. Organizational and Academic Teams worked hard to keep the quality of EUROsimA at the highest level once again. Theme of the conference set by the Academic Team: ‘Europe 2020’ gave opportunity to make predictions for future of Europe and to tie present and future. Discussions were held at 7 different committees: the European Council, Justice and Home Affairs Council, General Affairs Council, Foreign Affairs Council, Education, Sport and Culture, Future EU-NATO. As one of the traditions of EUROsimA, we had an unforgettable cultural trip to İstanbul, the city where the continents and cultures meet. The İstanbul Trip helped us demonstrating our foreign participants that Turkey is the homeland of numerous cultures. 2 days trip before the conference made delegates to socialize and to get to know each other better while sightseeing the most magnificence city of the world. During the sessions, the Organization Team did their best to make EUROsimA 2013 as excellent as possible for each participant. Furthermore, the social events created unforgettable memories both for the participants, and the Organizational and Academic Teams.
10. EUROsimA 2014
EUROsimA 2014 was the tenth annual session of Turkey’s first European Union simulation conference, and it was held by the help of its main sponsor, Halkbank. The conference welcomed foreign participants even from overseas, such as Indonesia, and the total number of participants was over 300. As a tradition, EUROsimA was held in METU campus between April 30 – May 4 and had an amazing trip for its foreign participants to Istanbul. The theme of the conference was “Peace and Harmony through Diplomacy” since 2014 marked the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I. As the theme directs, with the hard work of academic team, we successfully simulated 7 committees; Council of Europe, European Council, Justice and Home Affairs Council, G-20, North Atlantic Committee, Union for Mediterranean and Geneva II: Peace Conference on Syria.
The opening ceremony and the formal cocktail took place at Swissotel with the support of Turkish National Agency. At the formal cocktail, young participants had the chance to meet with the representatives of the Ministry of European Union, diplomats and prominent academicians face to face. Different from the previous EUROsimA conferences, we welcomed special key-note speakers. The Associate Director of Asylum and Migration Studies Society, Metin ÇORABATIR; METU International Relations Department Academic Members Prof. Dr. Mustafa TURKES and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Fatih TAYFUR gave their speeches related with the committees and answered participants’ questions. Overall, the participants had the opportunity to broaden their horizons both in academic and cultural way as usual.
11. EUROsimA 2015
In its 11th annual session, EUROsimA 2015 did not cease its tradition to welcome participants from all around the world. With its committees it proved that although EUROsimA is an EU simulation it also cares for global problems which the international community must find immediate solutions. UNGA simulation was the main indicator of such an effort. Moreover, many foreign participants significantly increased the variability of solutions that have been proposed for the crucial academic issues of the date. EUROsimA 2015 discussed topics that ranges from Ukrainian conflict to EU’s border security and from a historical review of a new economic order of the 1970’s to Greenpeace and its solutions for environmental problems.
2015’s conference was made possible thanks to the help of Ministry for EU Affairs. Other than that Yenimahalle Municipality did not hesitate to support out conference. In organizational means, within the four days of the conference without doubt everyone was satisfied with the perfect conditions that have been provided. On the opening ceremony Under-Secretary of Ministry for EU Affairs Ambassador Mr. Rauf Engin Soysal delivered a speech that broadened the knowledge of every participant. In addition, a cultural trip was once again organized which showed that the enlightenment and vision the conference provided is not limited to academic endeavor but to also social and cultural values of our country and the world.
12. EUROsimA 2016
EUROsimA 2016 was confident enough to try many new things in academic means since it had become a conference that lasted more than a decade. Alongside its United Nations Security Council committee, European Court of Human Rights simulation and an UEFA Executive Board Committee just created opportunities for delegates to investigate many new areas of expertise and find solutions to the issues regarding them. Other than these three committees, there were the European Council, the Foreign Affairs Council, the European Parliament, Transportation, Telecommunication and Energy Council committees were present. All committees resulted with efficient outcomes varying from conclusions and resolutions to press releases.
The organization team was consisted of the utmost talents in their respective fields and this consequently led to a conference which not only academically developed every delegate and committee director, but also to a conference where everyone had many joyful moments. We believe that the social events of EUROsimA 2016 have made everyone return home with lots of great and unforgettable memories.