Reimagining the Eurozone


A simulation of a meeting of the Eurozone Finance Ministers

Those interested in going beyond the classic academic setting are invited to participate in the “Reimagining the Eurozone” Experiment - a simulation of a meeting of the Eurozone Finance Ministers to be held at the Trento Festival of Economics 2019.

Participants: 15(min)-30(max) Ph.D. and Master’s students (from diverse economic and regional backgrounds).

Requirements for participation: open mind; basic knowledge about Eurozone crises and governance.

Required reading: Short report by Transparency International on the accountability and the flawed governance setup of the Eurogroup.

Timetable:

· Session 1: 1h introductory online meeting before Trento.

· Session 2: 2h live session for theory and preparation in Trento.

· Session 3: 2.5h live session for experiment and evaluation in Trento.

Concept: Earlier this year Transparency International issued a highly acclaimed report on the governance failures and the anti-democratic structure of the Eurogroup (i.e. the meeting of the Eurozone nations’ finance ministers, the body that runs the Eurozone). The idea of Reimagining the Eurozone is that students familiarize themselves with the issues discussed in the report first by reading the report and secondly by performing a chosen or assigned role during a simulation of a meeting of the Eurozone Finance Ministers in Brussels (Eurogroup meeting). Interacting with each other live during the simulation, which will be set up to also have comical, tragical, and cynical elements, participants will be incentivized to critically reflect on the governance structure and better understand the (conflicting) interest that meet at the Eurogroup level.

Work product: Live simulation/performance of a meeting of the Eurozone Finance Ministers in Brussels.

Class outline:

· Session 1: Online meeting with introduction of participants and brief initial summary of goals of the Experiment and course of action. Participants will also receive recommendations on how to read the report and (if required) additional materials. Homework: In preparation for Trento, participants will read the report.

· Session 2: Introduction; very high level summary of the report; brief discussion of key issues; participants share their reading experience (participants are expected to have read the report). Participants are briefed on how the simulation will be run the next day. Each participant may choose or be randomly assigned their role. Once the roles are assigned, every participant will receive a sheet with information on who they are, which interests they represent and what their goals are in the meeting. Homework: Participants will be asked to think about how they will impersonate their role during the simulation in the following session.

· Session 3: Warm-up with participants. Participants will be provided with some additional instructions on their roles. Participants will be given additional time to prepare for the simulation. 45-60min simulation of a Eurogroup meeting possibly with further YSI members as audience. 30min evaluation and sharing of experiences.

What will participants take away: Basics of Eurozone governance; political economy issues around Eurogroup; heightened understanding of complex negotiation dynamics; refined communication skills.