Twelve students participated in the 20th annual Mid-Atlantic European Union Simulation in Washington, D.C. in November led by Dr. Marek Payerhin, associate professor of international relations and political science. The delegation represented Bulgaria among 13 college and university teams (and some 160 students).
In several days of heated negotiations, the delegations debated and amended a resolution addressing a future accession of Macedonia and Serbia into the EU. LC students also visited the Bulgarian Embassy for a diplomatic briefing by its political officers.
“To make things interesting, Bulgaria is generally supportive of Macedonia’s bid while at the same time it has denied the existence of a separate Macedonian language and nation, seen as a subset of Bulgarians,” Dr. Payerhin said. “Also, EU member Greece continues to block Macedonia’s bid until that country stops calling itself Macedonia, rather than “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.”
LC’s members of the European Parliament joined the three largest party groups (conservatives/Christian Democrats, socialists, and liberal-democrats) and were quickly elected chairs of each of them (Elizabeth O’Hara ’15, David Alyanakian ’14, and Kenzie McDermott ’13, respectively). The final legislation had a strong imprint of those parties’ efforts to amend and reshape policy directions of the EU, to which all our students contributed, Dr. Payerhin said.
The Bulgarian government was represented by prime minister, Kyle Ewald ’13, and ministers Madison Padrick ’13 and Alex Ricker ’14. The legislative draft was prepared by the European Commission, including LC’s commissioner, Maggie Pearce ’13.
Other students who participated were Daniel Conlin ’13, Orry Hatcher ’13, Jordan Kristoff ’13, Amanda Meador ’13, and Stuart Orfuss ’14. O’Hara, Pearce, and Hatcher are members of the Westover Honors Program.