Sunday, December 4, 2016

European Parliament Role Play

>>> Hello European Parliament <<<

Strasbourg never loses its appeal to me. Being home to so many EU institutions is definitely a huge part of that.

Know how exciting it is to watch the Michigan/OSU game on a laptop? 

Yeah. When it's the week of Thanksgiving and you've been missing America a lot... It's really exciting. My family's Time Warner online account only works in Europe if you buy an American VPN because it's super geo-blocked. Yay. Go blue. Looks like listening online is the best option. 

Luckily free trials are a thing, so that's how we pulled it off to watch the game using an American VPN in Strasbourg... Until overtime when the VPN stopped working. 

Then we watched double overtime through Skype with multiple people's family and friends. A special thanks to Troy's uncle who understood that the game was more important to us than meeting every single one of his family members. Also, a special thanks to Ellie who streamed the game to me even though her family didn't want her to since I'm a Michigan fan. Oh, and thanks to my sis for skyping during the first quarter while WatchESPN took forever to load. Anyway, geo-blocking is what prevents us from streaming media across the pond. It blocks online shopping, Netflix, business deals, etc.

The European Union is currently working to end practices like geo-blocking that keep Member States (different European countries) from participating in one single digital market... Think denied deliveries from France to Italy, increased cross-border charges on purchases, and refusal of services that you've paid for in a different Member State (music, movies, other audiovisuals)... It wouldn't solve the whole "I can't watch ESPN in France" issue since the US is obviously outside the EU, but that was the best illustration I could use to explain the daily frustrations people experience.

Here are all of the BEM students and the other students who participated in the European Parliament Role Play.
My Introduction to European Economic Policy course spent the semester learning about the composition of the European Union and its functions. As a final project, we worked for weeks preparing positions and reactions to a proposal that is currently being considered by European Parliament to end geo-blocking. We each had specific roles, and as a member of the European Commission, it was my group's job to present the proposal to parliament. The whole exercise really put what we learned this semester into practice.  

This is probably the first time all of team BG has been in the same place since orientation activities in Strasbourg.

We spent a day at parliament, Thanksgiving Day to be exact, and we had the opportunity to hear from two different members of Parliament, and see the voting session that day. After lunch, we broke off into a conference room where we performed our role play. In the end, (our) European Parliament voted to accept the proposal to "on addressing geo-blocking and other forms of discrimination based on customers' nationality..."with a number of amendments proposed by each of the relevant parties within the parliament. For my group representing the European Commission, this was a big success because it meant we created a proposal which satisfied parliament, and none of the amendments altered it too far from our original intent. 

This was just one of many special experiences I've had here at EM Strasbourg as a part of the Bachelor in European Management program. While this exercise was far from reality in terms of the legal implications of our amendments, I did feel it was extremely effective in teaching us how the European Union adopts new policies, and it was a very exciting day. Thanks to Dr. Menu and the international office at EM for making this opportunity possible, and as always I'm also thankful for the College of Business at BGSU for maintaining the partnership with EM that has landed me here!

Love, Julie

"Wander with wonder and the whole world becomes home." -Tyler Knott Gregson

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