European Parliament

Subject: Social studies
Summary: Students learn about European Parliament by taking part in a mini-simulation.
Activity length: Duration is approximately 45x2 minutes.
  • Students will know the main characteristics of the European Parliament. Students have to defend the views of the country they represent. Students learn personally about the role of a country’s representative.
  • Students develop skills in public speaking and argument creation from fixed standpoint.
  • Teacher prepares a presentation about European Parliament.
  • Teacher gives (if necessary) an overview of the buildup of an argument.
  • Teacher prepares a topic for the simulation.
  • Teacher prepares views of 10 different countries about the topic of the simulation (differences but also areas to agree on by everyone).

Parts 1: Teacher gives an overview on European Parliament. Teacher presents the topic of the simulation (e.g. which direction should the European Union take with the sanctions against Russia?).

Part 2: Students are given a country and divided into groups of 2 or 3, which is followed by a preparation phase of 15 minutes to build arguments based upon the view of that particular country. Simulation does not follow the rule of political parties, rather the rule of country-representatives.

Part 3: Teacher moderates (as the president of the European Parliament) an open debate on the topic. It is followed by a 5-minute lobby in a non-formal environment where students can try to make other students follow their views.

Part 4: Open-debate II for 10 minutes after the lobby session. It is followed by the formalization of operative clauses (resolution of the parliament) that the countries can agree upon inside the groups. After that every groups’ operative clause is put to a simple-majority vote.

Part 5: Voting on the whole resolution.


Teacher gives feedback on the general course of the European Parliament simulation and points out the differences between real parliament and the simulated parliament.