The Brussels European Forum offers students from across the world the chance to bridge the divide between spectator and actor and take an active role in understanding the institutions which help shape our lives. Through simulating the roles of politicians, foreign ministers and world leaders and by meeting decision-makers and experts in Brussels, participants are offered a unique opportunity to deepen their knowledge of how the Council of the European Union, NATO and the G-20 operate.
The global challenges that are faced at the beginning of the new decade are both physical and financial and there exists a clear need for institutions to react in order to confront these growing threats. Whilst the focus of the Council of the European Union will focus on EU Foreign Affairs and defence, the G20 will discuss matters of migration and energy and the North Atlantic Council will be split between typical security concerns and emerging, less traditional challenges.
Through the media committee and the Advocacy Group at the conference, a degree of realism to the challenges faced will be added. The unique opportunity that the Brussels European Forum offers is one not to be missed!
What do our alumni say?
"I never thought that within the span of a week, my perspective on the world and my role within it could change so drastically. BEF is a unique and incredibly special place where passionate, bright people converge and explore the very real challenges that affect the world. I was amazed at the creativity and depth of knowledge participants came to the table with. After my BEF experience, I feel more confident in my own capabilities, excited for my future career, and connected to a wonderful network of politically active peers. BEF has my humblest respect and deepest thanks."
"It is very difficult to succinctly summarize what the Munich European Forum and BEF has given me during these past six years. From a personal standpoint it has taught me critical thinking and helped me develop on the spot decision making, which are key elements of any career. But above all it has given me a number of new lifelong friends with whom I can discuss politics and share a beer every once in a while."
"BEF was for sure a life lived during my own life. During one week I had giving nutrients to a new shape of my holistic being. I have been at a key point in my life when I decided to apply for BEF. I studied International Politics before and now I am in second year at Medical School. Coming back to my “old-passion” for world politics, and this time so close to the disaster and terror that is happening, I did understand that I can make a change if I pursue the path I decided to take. The current world crisis that we held discussions and negotiations upon made me understand that there is no time to lose and that I can make a tremendous change. I don’t have any foreboding to say that BEF for me was a source of reinforcement, re-encouragement, an inspiration. I met people with whom I shared common perception; I met beautiful souls that care as much as I do."
"Brussels European Forum 2016 is, indisputably, a life-changing, indelible and enriching one. Casting back my mind, the week spent at La Foresta superseded my daily routine with a newly acquired identity, enabling me to embody a highly respected political figure, a genuine diplomat whose credentials and responsibilities I eagerly embraced. The simulations were intensive, proactive and particularly engaging, generating the propitious environment for garnering knowledge, honing skills and building sincere friendships. With hindsight, I would definitely partake future suchlike ambitious projects, the prospective BEF 2017 edition being already a highlight of my agenda. "
"I learnt so much more in one week than in my first year of master studies. Not only on the topics that were dealt with, or on the negotiation process. I also learnt about myself, my capabilities, my interests, and it made me realize I should not give up on a potential diplomatic career. It is incredible what a group of young, very diverse, yet united people (European millennials!) can achieve. The Brussels European Forum is the perfect combination of fun, expertise coming from the MEF team, diversity of cultures and backgrounds, and seriousness in tackling the biggest stakes of the decade. Unfortunately I cannot attend the forum again next year, but I will be a BEF ambassador for sure!"
"I believe that being a part of MEF besides networking, will present a chance to contribute my debate skills and diplomatic capabilities by providing an environment for members to meet each other and discuss the global contemporary issues."
"BEF 2016 was a great experience, that will escort my whole life. BEF is not only a simulation of a political institution. By connecting several committees, including political institutions as well as media and activists, it generates an extremely complex and challenging environment. During the week we were always confronted with new problems or critical situations, created by reality, staff or other participants. What I appreciated most about BEF was the feeling, to be part of a big family. I get connected with people from all over the world and get to know some very good friends."
The Brussels European Forum will take place at the conference facilities of the European Center La Foresta in Vaalbeek. A medieval monastery picturesquely situated in the landscape close to Leuven and Brussels, the Center offers an ideal setting for both the intensive committee work of the forum and the intercultural dialogue between participants from diverse countries.
As part of your preparation, you will prepare and submit three written assignments prior to the conference. They are meant to prepare you for drafting various types of documents necessary during a simulation conference (press releases, policy memos, briefs etc.) and will focus on the topics from your committee’s agenda. You will receive feedback on these assignments from your committee chairs, which will guide you throughout the entire preparation period.