This year, an ULB delegation will participate in the 22nd edition of the Specque will take place in France, in Toulouse and Bordeaux. Four students from our Institute included!

The Simulation of the European Parliament Canada-Québec-Europe, more commonly known by its acronym SPECQUE, is an international French-speaking simulation of the European Parliament. Created in 1998 by students from Laval University (Quebec, Canada), in order to better understand the functioning of the European institutions and the major challenges of the European Union.

Presentation of the delegates

On that occasion, the ULB delegation is pleased to introduce its delegates and the activities in which they have participated in order to prepare themselves for this great event.

Oriana Henry, head of the delegation, is preparing for her second participation in the simulation and will take on the role of European deputy for the S&D. After a bachelor’s degree in European Studies and a master’s degree in Communication and European Politics, she is now completing her studies with a master’s degree in European Studies at the ULB’s Institute of European Studies (IEE).

Sami Chauvet is on his second participation, this time as a lobbyist for the European Office of Consumer Unions. Graduated from the University of Montréal (UdeM) in Political Sciences, he then came to Belgium to complete his studies with a master’s degree in European Studies at the IEE. Used to simulations of all kinds, Sami was in charge this year of training the new delegates alongside Oriana.

Paula Dorado is about to experience her first Specque in the role of European deputy for the S&D. After a bachelor’s degree in international relations in Madrid, Paula arrived in Belgium to do an internship at the Permanent Representation of Spain to the European Union. An experience that made her want to start a master’s degree in European Studies at the IEE.

Nicola Ghedin has several simulations to his credit, such as those of the United Nations and NATO, but the Specque will also be a first for him. Graduated in Diplomatic Sciences at the University of Trieste in Italy, Nicola then wanted to start a double degree between the University LUISS in Rome and the ULB for a Master in International Relations.

Fanie Donnay is also embarking on her first simulation experiment in the role of lobbyist and will represent the United States mission to the European Union on a text on Iranian nuclear agreements. After a bachelor’s degree in information and communication, she started a master’s degree in political communication and lobbying and is preparing to go to Erasmus in Montreal.

Maxime Cayrou is heading this year for a second experience in the role of rapporteur. After a law degree from the University of Toulouse and training in conflict analysis, Maxime joined the IEE this year where he is involved in the study of nationalism and its relationship to the European Union.

Quentin Stievennart, after having been successively a Member of the European Parliament and European Commissioner, is leaving for a new Specque and this time it will be as Chairman of the AFCO Parliamentary Committee! New challenges to be taken up by this regular Simulation expert from the French-speaking European Parliament.

the themes of this year

It is with this great team that the ULB delegation prepared for the extremely enriching experience that SPECQUE represents. This year, four texts will be debated:

  • The introduction of a European carbon tax on airline tickets
  • The establishment of a European minimum wage
  • Safeguarding the 2015 Joint Global Action Plan and strengthening relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran
  • The statute and financing of European political parties and European political foundations

In order to better understand these texts and the way in which the European institutions operate, the delegates organised several meetings with professionals in the field.

A visit to the French Permanent Representation to Mr. Bondiguel, Head of the Department for Relations with Parliament, gave the delegates an opportunity to understand how each country in the Union maintained relations with the European Parliament.

Side events of the delegation

Subsequently, the delegation prepared for two major events. Delegates were trained both on the content of the topics they will cover during the simulation, but also on the form, notably through training on public speaking with Professor Brousteau (ULB) and also alumni of the Specque!

Firstly, the organisation of a mini simulation at the College of Europe in Bruges set up by all the Belgian delegations to allow everyone to meet the other participants but also to prepare themselves as well as possible for the real simulation.

Secondly, a conference with Mr Yanis Varoufakis, former Greek Finance Minister, and candidate for the Presidency of the European Commission in the May 2019 European elections. This event was a success thanks in particular to the co-organisation with the Institute of European Studies and its student associations.

Finally, the delegation held a series of meetings:

  • An interview with Mr. Andrew Murphy, “aviation manager” at Transport and Environment to get an insight into the text on air ticket taxation.
  • A visit from the European External Action Service (EEAS) to discuss the text on Iranian nuclear energy.
  • An interview with Saskia Bricmont, candidate and now Ecolo MEP and IEE alumni to discuss air ticket taxation, the European minimum wage and party funding.
  • An interview with Mr. Goldstein, retired from EEAS, who helped us to better understand the text on Iranian nuclear power.

It is therefore thanks to these amazing encounters and experiences that the delegates were able to evolve together and prepare themselves as well as possible for the Specque.

The ULB delegation would like to thank the Institute of European Studies once again for its valuable support, which allows delegates to participate for the second consecutive year.