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Are you a European citizen?

Croatia is now as European as it can be. It has it all: membership in the Union, in the Schengen area, and three months ago it adopted the Euro as its currency. But how much do Croatians know about the European Union? I was recently reading some articles about youth in Croatia and their relation with politics. It seems that there is a problem of political illiteracy: that is, young people are unaware of their representatives, how politics works in general, and how they can contribute to it. This is a big issue. It means that young Croatians do not know how to be citizens of their own country and of Europe.

Origin of the word citizen

The word citizen comes from the Roman civitas. Maybe we are used to thinking of citizen as someone belonging to a nation or to a country; for the Romans, however, it was a whole different story: being a civis romanus, a citizen of Rome, meant to be a free man, to have legal rights, and to actively participate in the city’s political life. Much like the citizens of a Greek polis. Being a citizen was a privilege that many did not have. And in Greece, if you disregarded your status as citizen, you were an idiotes (idiot). It is someone that does not talk and keeps to their own private matters instead of taking part in public discussions and in the administration of the polis.

Are you a full European citizen?

Here you can check how much you know about the EU.

If you scored 6 or more, I have good news for you.
If you scored less than 6, I also have good news for you.

The good news is… the European Union is soon coming to Zagreb! Can you believe it? Whether you are already an expert or you want to know more, you can now join the Model European Union Zagreb.

What is Model European Union?

The Model European Union (MEU in short) is a simulation of the main EU institutions and other actors. The Council of the EU, the European Parliament, and the Press. If you decide to take part in it (at the end of this article you can find out how to apply), you will be spending three days engaging in intense discussions and learning about real-life laws and policymaking processes. You will be guided step by step in different forms of debate that actually take place in the EU, with a pinch of laughter and space for sarcasm: the aim of the MEU is to make political processes a fun and interesting learning experience led by youth😊

I, Nadia, have been participating in and organizing MEUs for a while now, and I’ve seen it all (or so I think). Let me tell you some of my best MEU moments:

  1. The French delegation showed up with a baguette

In the European Parliament, politicians do not need names. Marine LePen, the representative of the French right-wing party Rassemblement National, decided to answer every question by raising her baguette.

  1. Love was born in the Presidency

After collaborating on many MEUs together, my friends Cami and Bert fell in love and are now together, with the dream of working in the same European institution. Every MEU is made with love and diplomacy!

  1. From a simulation to reality: Brussels edition

Many MEU participants and organizers have a strong interest in European politics and wish to work in Brussels one day. Guess what? Many of them have now made it and are trainees in the Parliament, happy and satisfied!

To live the same experience, you can now apply to MEU Zagreb: just follow this link, and be quick: the deadline is approaching!

Here is how the Venice MEU looked back in 2019.

Nadia