Things become more formal during the simulation. Each student should read the rules of procedure before simulation day. They are sort of boring to read, which you will discover for yourself. However, following the rules will of course help things flow better and can in practice make the simulation more game-like. For example, it is possible for teams to vote the presidency out of the room for a specified time if it is agreed it is being unfair. Because they are boring to read, but it is important that all teams know the rules, it is recommended that you review them together sometime before the simulation.
Though it is not necessary to dress up, students seem to enjoy doing so and tend to act as formal as they dress. You might encourage at the least the spokespersons to dress the part.
If possible, the room should be arranged before students arrive if possible. Use desks or tables to approximately replicate the arrangement shown below. Place a country placards in front of each team spokesperson’s chair.
The role of the presidency
The team that holds the presidency has a big job in managing the simulation proceedings. They should open by welcoming the other delegates and providing a brief review of the topic at hand, including the goal for the session: to draft a new Chocolate Directive. They should remind delegates that they may not speak without first raising their placards. The presidency will choose who will speak when. The presidency should also remind delegates to use proper language, such as “The Irish delegation would like the French delegation to please clarify its position on…” or “The Belgian delegation proposes…”
Tour de table
The presidency then instructs each team to briefly (two minutes or less) summarize its current position. This goes much better if teams have prepared a statement ahead of time. It is up to the presidency to watch the clock and cut off any long-winded delegates. One member of the presidency team should be designated the time keeper and have a watch with a second hand.
After the tour de table, the presidency lets the debate begin. Its role is to steer the session so that the main issues are addressed and hopefully settled. The presidency has the power to redirect the discussion at any time. If things get too heated or there is an impasse, a short break may be called (if time allows).
The goal for the presidency is to end the session with a solid directive. This might require taking a vote on the main points, using the proposals put forth by the various teams. One member of the presidency team should take notes throughout the debate so that these proposals can be easily referred to.
Country votes are weighted according to population. This simulation is arranged as if the EU still had only 15 members, as it did when the actual Chocolate Directive was passed in the year 2000. If all 15 countries are represented in the simulation, the vote weights are distributed as follows:
The Netherlands: 4.24%
The United Kingdom: 16.07%
Ideally, you will just sit back and enjoy the process as it unfolds with little or no intervention on your part. How much you will need to intervene depends mostly on how prepared the students are – especially the presidency team. Students seem to enjoy having control of the process and most often only look to the instructor for help with a technical detail. You may also need to keep an eye on the clock and encourage the presidency to wrap things up in time. Your official role is that of the ‘Secretariat’ – or as the rules of procedure state:
In the event of problems, conflicts, or questions over procedure, the Chair may call for arbitration by a member of the Secretariat (your teacher), whose decision will be final. A member of the Secretariat may – having given due notice to the Chair – briefly interrupt any meeting on a Point of Order or a Point of Information.