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European Council

Lili Popova

Lili Popova

President of the European Commission

A Bulgarian raised in Washington D.C., Lili is currently studying at Bocconi University, where she is also an active Member of the Bocconi MUN Club. Lili has participated in UN simulation sessions since high school, having attended Conferences at Georgetown University, University of Pennsylvania, and the College of William and Mary. Although her studies specialize in Economics and Finance, she has always been interested in International Affairs while working towards her International Baccalaureate Bilingual Diploma. She has had experience at Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse as well as teaching history classes at her local Bulgarian School.

 

 

 

Léo WilkinLéo Wilkinsonson

President of the European Council

In addition to being bilingual in English and French, Léo is presently in the process of enhancing his German language skills by attending an annual Political Science Study Abroad Program at the Free University of Berlin. Currently, he is a Political Science and International Relations with German Major at the University of Kent, where he received Silver and Gold Student Volunteering Certificates both in 2011 and 2012. In terms of MUN experience, Léo has received ’’Honorable Mention’’ and ’’Best Delegate’’ Awards for his participation in U.K. Conferences such as the London and Oxford International Model United Nations. His dedication to European Union simulations is evident from his presence in the Model European Union simulations as a participant and Organizer since 2011. More specifically, this year, Léo is working with the BETA e.V. (Bringing Europeans Together Association) as Head of Content for the Model European Union Conference in Strasbourg.

  • Topic Area A: The role of the IMF, World Bank and financial institutions in EU external debt sustainability

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The Global Financial crisis of 2007-2008 and the Global Recession of 2009 not only revealed the tremendous dangers of poorly regulated financial markets, international trade imbalances, and property bubbles, but also in Europe’s case: the consequences of irresponsible fiscal policy choices when it comes to Government expenditure and revenues. From early 2010 onwards began the European sovereign-debt crisis (also known as the ‘Eurozone crisis’), which was triggered by the financial markets downgrading the government debt of several European states, as well as rising concerns about excessive government debt of countries such as Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Italy. This crisis is considered to be the most important challenge which the EU has had to respond to over the past decade. However, the EU even as a whole cannot solve the debt crisis alone, and as the events over the past 2 years have shown, international financial institutions such as the World Bank and especially the International Monetary Fund have had to step in on several occasions during the EU negotiations. More specifically, one of the IMF’s principle conditions for providing Governments rescue loans (i.e. ‘bailing them out’) is that in the short and medium term, they have to implement a series of severe austerity measures. The IMF has therefore become increasingly unpopular among the populations of the countries it has bailed out, primarily because these austerity measures entail significant cuts on public spending and increasing taxes, resulting in economic turmoil.

The nature of the relationship between these international institutions and Europe therefore needs to be discussed and re-defined. What steps can be taken to solve the crisis for good, and how can the EU prevent such a crisis from happening again? Should the Eurozone enforce tighter fiscal discipline, and, if so, how could it do this? More generally, should the Council also focus on what many describe as the underlying cause behind the sovereign-debt crisis: the monetary union having now been in existence for over a decade. does the EU need a fiscal union?

  • Topic Area B: EU foreign relations with Arab Spring countries

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Two years have passed since the outbreak of the Arab Spring that led many countries in North Africa to a democratic transition. The unrest, revolution and war that followed have forced the EU to radically re-think its foreign relations with those countries. Migration and mobility became key components of the European Union High Representative’s new framework for cooperation with the region. This approach has the potential to establish “mutually beneficial” partnerships that will support smooth economic and political transformation. However working arrangements and institutional configurations need to be established to shape the renewed Global Approach to Migration and Mobility (GAMM) at EU level, which has long been marked by internal fragmentation, a lack of transparency and a predominance of home affairs and security actors.

Significant funds were given by the European Investment Bank to kindle off various economic and social reforms in order to help the most impoverished regions, and stimulate employment. The European Council President, Herman Van Rompuy, stated that the success of the democratic transition in these countries has “fully justified the EU’s support”, thereby announcing an increase of financial aid – thus demonstrating the EU’s long-term support. Mr. Van Rompuy pointed out that the most serious threat to the economic development of the Arab Spring countries is high youth unemployment, which he defined as a “social time bomb”. Scarce job opportunities and societies struggling with reconstruction after decades of autocracy give rise to renewed social tensions. Van Rompuy, concerned about the political and social tensions, also offered to send an EU election monitoring mission to Tunisia during the June presidential and parliamentary elections.

The European Council is ready to strengthen and expand its foreign relations with the Arab Spring countries to pursue further democratization relating to judicial independence, strengthening the role of civil society and women, media independence and the consolidation of freedoms and, lastly, prudent security reforms.

EUROPEAN COUNCIL

 Positions:

Austria Belgium Bulgaria
Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark
Estonia Finland France*
Germany* Greece* Hungary
Ireland* Italy* Latvia
Lithuania Luxembourg Malta
Netherlands Poland Portugal*
Romania Slovakia Slovenia
Spain* Sweden United Kingdom*
High Representative for Foreign Affairs*
positions marked with an asterisk (*) require 1+ MUN experience
positions marked in green are AVAILABLE
positions marked in red are TAKEN

Permanent link to this article: http://www.milmun.org/the-association/past-editions/council-of-the-european-union/


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