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Dear friends, 

A little more than halfway through the yearly mandate, the BETA Europe team is currently focusing on executing and implementing projects and activities planned for the year. Since the organization of any physical events is still unpredictable, we are focusing on other activities, including webinars, negotiating and consolidating partnerships, and other online activities and organizational and conceptual work to provide a solid foundation for future projects.

I am immensely grateful and proud of everyone in the team - we could not function or deliver without so many volunteers supporting us. Two years after BETA's transition to a European federal NGO, we are finally shaping BETA Europe's role as a coordinating organization for the entire MEU and BETA network.

The majority of our activities will still be centred around MEUs. Nevertheless, we see the potential for much more than that - and with the support of our fantastic team, I do not doubt that there are great successes on the horizon!

Kind wishes, 
Kristin Aldag
President of the European Management Board of BETA Europe

Do you miss MEU Symposium? Are you curious to learn something new, or you can’t remember some of the best tips and tricks MEU experts and practitioners presented at MEU Symposium 2020? Check out the BETA Europe channel on YouTube! You can find the recordings of the best workshops and panels we organized at MEU Symposium 2020! 

BETA Europe organized an interview with Juan Fernando López Aguilar, Member of the European Parliament and Chair of the LIBE Committee (Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs).

As the interviewer, I believe we got many interesting conclusions: Mr López shared that he is deeply worried about what the current context means to Youth as it fell on our generation to overcome two significant crises (2008 and 2020), yet looking at his own children he feels nothing but empathy and hope: as someone who lost his parents early in life and faced countless troubles, we will also persevere. Nonetheless, he stated that it is the mission of youth to connect with fellow Europeans and lead "the fight against Europhobes and Eurosceptics" by the means of programmes like Erasmus. He pointed out the importance of youth NGOs and associations for continuing the European project and highlighted how relevant the Conference of the Future of Europe will be for associations and NGOs to have a say on European public policies. On the European Parliament activities, he said that one of the main challenges that the LIBE committee has is fighting protesters against the measures for the Covid-19, as well as the governments that are taking authoritarian measures without democratic guarantees. He also stated that the European Union hasn't entered into a period of solidarity, but just the opposite, as many governments are taking protective measures. His last message to our young audience was "perseverance!".

Our generation has a challenging path to success. Hopefully, this inspiring message from someone who also had a difficult time and reached success may help the youth.

Carlos Gomez Arnemann
Vice President of BETA Europe

Interview with Soma Mayel, MEU Alumna and future MEP candidate 

1. Tell us a bit about yourself – your background and interest in politics.

I would describe myself as an ambitious, social and passionate person. I am 27 years old and live in a city close to Copenhagen, Denmark. I am originally from Afghanistan, where I was born but was family was reunited in Denmark in 2001. Personally, I am very committed and trustworthy and these are values that I bring into my professional life also. I am a lawyer and I have been working for the Danish Government since 2015. I am employed by the Danish Immigration and Integration Ministry, at an asylum office, where my duties consist of handling duplicate requests to EU Member States of refugees according to EU law (Dublin Regulation III).

2. What attracted you to MEU and how has this experience influenced you?
The MEU experience was a great, fun, social opportunity for me to learn even more about the EU, member states and my fellow EU citizens. I love working, collaborating and interacting with people in multilingual and multicultural environments: I guess this is the reason why attending only one MEU was never enough for me. I attended MEU Strasbourg 2018 as a minister and MEU Sofia 2019 as faction leader of ALDE. Furthermore, I attended Model of European Union Lisbon, and last but not least, I spent some lovely days in Romania in 2019 at MEU Iasi. These experiences have shown me the power of exchange between the Member States. I think THIS (MEU) is fundamental for the future of European Integration.

3. You are actively engaged in politics at home: how challenging is it for youth to go from Model to Real Politics?
In the summer of 2020, I was elected by the Danish social liberal party, Radikale Venstre, to run as a candidate for Member of the European Parliament. Also, I am running as a candidate for the City Council in my municipality. This is a great honour and I believe we need more young people to get involved in politics. I honestly believe that this movement of youngsters “grabbing the mic” is a growing tendency all across Europe. Let the youth be heard!

4. Any advice for MEU participants?
Do not hold yourselves back and just apply and get out there! Join as many simulations as possible, get all the experience that you want and need and most importantly, create some beautiful bonds and memories while you’re “out there”!! One day it will become a sweet memory and you will miss all the amazing people that you met on the journey (Jeez, I sound old, don’t I?)
Interviewed by Andreea Serban
Director of BETA Europe Think Tank
The question we always ask ourselves: Why is MEU important? 
Everybody should know what MEU is and attend at least one of these amazing simulations. 
A Model European Union event can be an extraordinary experience for students, having the opportunity of putting themselves in the shoes of the leaders around the European Union, debating issues of interest, raising their confidence, and setting themselves up to succeed not only in Model EU environment but beyond, in the real EU. Here are 5 big reasons that make the Model European Union the coolest experience ever:

1. Educational experience 
Students in Model EU gain a wide range of skills and information critical to their success in high school, college, and beyond. Students learn public speaking and deliver their speeches in front of an audience. They improve their research skills and their ability to synthesize information. 

2. International Experience 
In MEU, not only do students learn how to write policies, but they also get in touch with new cultures. These will help them to socialize even with unknown people, improving their social and cultural skills.

3. Touching with their hands the big big big difference between Reality vs Theory 
Let’s talk clearly. Reading about it in books is cool, but making it happen is a real challenge. A success in MEU will create the path to develop self-confidence even for future events while learning the practical aspects behind the European legislative procedure.

4. Finding their voice
 However, just as importantly, students will learn critical social skills that will help them throughout life. Whether it’s learning to discuss complex issues and compromise, or learning how to be a leader for the first time, many students will “find their voice” through Model EU, and realize their leadership potential and social ability, getting the necessary to succeed.

5. College and Career
It is such a great experience and opportunity that students will have great chances at college and work. During a MEU a student develops skills that will be useful even at work, like flexibility, time management, communication ability and of course teamwork. It is important not to forget the great people students will have the chance to meet and the cool friendship that can be a forever life gift.
Gabriella Catalano
BETA Europe PR Team
Abandoned behind the frontline: European students in the post-Brexit UK

If you’ve lived, worked and travelled predominantly in the European Union for a long time, it might seem jarring to need to utilise roaming services, passports or visas. The Union provides such comfort from this point of view that it looks like limitations on our freedom have fled our collective memory. Compared with our parents, who had limited study and work options, Gen Z has an unprecedented level of freedom. Many of us have used that freedom to study and work abroad. But what happens when you get stranded abroad? Not stranded as in shipwreck, but stranded as in ‘Hello? I’m still here. Did everyone forget?’

That is exactly what the past year has been for many European students. When I left to study in the UK in 2017, Brexit was a significant political mess. The entire Internet seemed to agree that it wouldn’t get cleaned up for years, so my four-year degree seemed like a safe bet. And for a while after that, it was, as extension after extension was requested and granted. Ultimately, the Deal was signed and placed under Brexiteers’ Christmas trees, and all was well.

And yet, for hundreds of thousands of European students in the UK, it was not at all well. Those who were already in the UK were granted pre-settled status and allowed to stay; yet that was the only good news in an avalanche of bad news. In the midst of a global pandemic, we were left in the dark, wondering whether to remain in the UK and arrange for bed and board in one of the most expensive countries on the continent, with a government whose indecisiveness allowed for Covid-19 cases to skyrocket. For people who appreciate the European Union, the ignorance felt like a betrayal; for those who don’t, it was no surprise. However, nobody was surprised that universities did nothing to accommodate students. We continued to pay the same fees, even though many have not set foot on campus since the first national lockdown.

So, what now? The emergence of the vaccines brings hope and a feeling that we should now look at the future. But it’s impossible not to think of the lost time, of the wasted money, of the feeling of injustice and abandonment. And we can’t even have a pint to cheer up.
Ariadna Lungulescu
Director General of London Model European Union 
Politico's EU Studies and Career Fair 2021 
This year, Politico's EU Studies and Career Fair 2021 took place online due to the restrictions caused by the pandemic. On the 4th and 5th of February 2021, students and young professionals across Europe were invited to participate in a virtual fair using a dynamic platform. 

The platform allowed the users to visit the stands of more than 50 universities and companies, to watch webinars with top lecturers and experts on various topics, to ask questions, to engage in informal conversations with the speakers in the chat rooms, to share their CVs with the companies, to analyse the offers of the exhibitors. 

The online platform's navigation menu was designed to make participants feel like in an accelerator: the schedule was tight but intense. Each webinar had an average of 25 minutes. The speakers came from all the corners of Europe and even from the United States of America. In a short period, the participants encountered multiple nationalities, cultural backgrounds and systems of thinking. In just a few hours, the participants were exposed to a world of possibilities, of course, each option carrying its requirements. There was also a feedback booth where the students and the young professionals gave their feedback on the virtual fair. 

Politico's EU Studies and Career Fair 2021 might have been virtual, but in reality, it sure tested the real digital skills of the participants, their ability to interact with the experts and their passion for multiculturalism, for being global while preserving their dreams. It couldn't get more real than this! 

In one place, you can meet with the giants of the academic world and the markets. And next year, in 2022, things will get even more significant, so don't miss the chance to participate and change your life! 
Laura Baciu
BETA Europe HR Team
Traineeship at the General Secretariat of the Council. Become one of the 100 paid trainees and get first-hand experience of the work of GSC.
Apply before 15 March. More information here
The European Centre for Modern Languages of the Council of Europe offers traineeships, lasting 6 months,  aimed at students that have recently graduated. The application deadlines are 28 February for the period July-December, and 31 august for the period January-June. More information here.
The Leadership Summer School is a global, annual training event for inspired youth leaders. If interested, submit your application before February 28, 2021. More information here.
YTILI Fellowship: Empowering European Entrepreneurs will run from October 2021 to September 2022, with U.S. travel elements scheduled for March 22, 2022 – April 27, 2022. Deadline for submitting the application: 1 March. More information here.
EU-LISA Security Unit paid Internship for recent graduates. Deadline for submitting the application: 8 March.
More information here.
The European Personnel Selection Office is looking for students to promote EU careers on their university campus to apply and become EU Career Student Ambassadors. Interested? Submit your application before 19 March. More information here.
The North-South Centre of the Council of Europe organises traineeships for a period of three to five months, between 7 September - 31 January 2021. Deadline for application: 19 March 2021. More information here.
Model European Union Iasi 2021 is looking for Ministers, Members of the European Parliament and Commissioners. Don't miss it! Deadline for application: 28 February 2021. More information here
Interested in becoming a head of state at the European Council? The 1st edition of Model European Union Turkey has opened the call for applications. Join it!
Model European Union Blagoevgrad 2021 has opened the call for participants. Deadline for application: 8 March. Apply as Minister or MEP, Journalist or Lobbyist. 
Are you up for a linguistic challenge? Model European Union Coimbra has gone digital! Join BETA Portugal's MEU Digital and become a Minister, MEP or Journalist in Portuguese. Submit your application before 1 March here
 Model European Union Athens is looking for members of their content team. Deadline for applications: 15 March. More information here. 
Interested in making a difference? Become a member, a partner, or start your own project today! We are here for you!  
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