< SWITCH ME >

Topic switching at MEU Strasbourg on the third day: after the Council of the European Union has passed a favourable resolution on the accession of Croatia, it now rests on the Parliament to deal with the issue. At the same time, to keep everyone busy, the heavily amended music copyright proposal now passes from the European Parliament to the Council. Their cooperation is what is referred to as the ordinary legislative procedure, or "co-decision procedure" within the EU.

In any case there, as the conference reaches its final stages, it is reason enough for Ivana Dimitrova, Commissioner for Enlargement, to be content with the preliminary result of the voting. And the MEPs are quite happy with the desserts served in the cafeteria of the Louise Weiss building in Strasbourg. In German, "to dine like God in France" is a phrase for living in luxury - maybe that should be updated to "dining like an MEP in France"...

Day two has just started – "There is no consensus yet," says Morten Munch, UK delegate at the Council of the European Union. However, Maros Demovic, Bulgaria, feels he expresses the opinion of the majority of the Council members in saying that Croatia is a great challenge, but also a great opportunity for the European Union, also with regard to further possible enlargement. Finally, Claire Nevin for Greece is confident that "we'll pass it." But even so, an eventually favourable vote will still depend on the agreement of the European Parliament. Not forgetting the lobbyists who are constantly at work…

The Parliament in the meantime has been busy with the music copyright proposal. The devil is in the detail (at least as the Germans used to say), and the devil materialises in 40 amendments… learn more by watching the second newscast of the Strasbourg Insider!

Simulating the EU is not exactly an easy task. Thus one week ago, MEU Strasbourg started with a preparatory day, during which the future MEPs and delegates were briefed once more on the topics to be discussed in the following days, had the chance to consolidate the rules of procedure, and could exercise their debating skills.

From Monday on, things got serious and suits became mandatory. The day also brought another exciting feature: daily video newscasts put together by MEU’s video journalists Anke Harthoorn, Mitch Weaver, and Jan Zelina. It is thanks to the so-called Strasbourg Insider that MEU outsiders can nevertheless glimpse the inner workings of the simulation experience. This is why we decided that the videos should not be withheld from all the E&M Insiders out there.

Let Croatian Ambassador Marina Carre-Moliva explain the challenges and fears the Croatian people associate with becoming the 28th member state of the European Union. Listen to Commissioner Martin Dederke, when he envisions how the Music Copyright Proposal of the European Commission will bring the single market to the digital age. And let Magda Nemkyova from the European Greens explain how the Parliament in Strasbourg can help MEPs reduce their carbon footprint.

I put off writing about the last day of the ETC Spring Tour because I didn't want to do it. I knew it was going to be nostalgic and mushy, and it was going to confirm what has already happened – the tour is over and so is our time together in the Driving Jail. Until reaching that point of sobbing though, I'm going to take the Eastern European dignified-and-unmovable position and write about the full, productive day we had on the way to and in sunny Zagreb.

While on the bus, we gathered as we had gotten used to in the previous days, to discuss our future projects. As you might remember, a large part of the group decided to work together on an artistic project after being inspired by what we saw and talked about during our travels. Also, we had reached a point of frustration because of the packed, fast schedule that didn't fully allow us to absorb what we were going through and give something back to our wonderful hosts in the eight cities we visited. Therefore, we wrote a manifesto with the massive help of Ivor and agreed to think about concrete steps towards our goal.

NEXT ISSUE 01.10.2014

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