BEF Forum

The Brussels European Forum offers students from across the world the chance to bridge the divide between spectator and actor and take an active role in understanding the institutions which help shape our lives.

Through simulating the roles of politicians, foreign ministers and world leaders and by meeting decision-makers and experts in Brussels, participants are offered a unique opportunity to deepen their knowledge of how the Council of the European Union, NATO and the G20 operate.

The global challenges that are faced at the beginning of the new decade are both physical and financial and there exists a clear need for institutions to react in order to confront these growing threats.

Whilst the focus of the Council of the European Union will focus on EU Foreign Affairs and defence, the G20 will discuss the recovery of global economies and future pandemic risk mitigation and the North Atlantic Council will be split between typical security concerns and emerging, less traditional challenges.

Through the media committee and the Advocacy Group at the conference, a degree of realism to the challenges faced will be added. The unique opportunity that the Brussels European Forum offers is one not to be missed!

The IMSISS Programme has been actively involved with the BEF forum, with multiple students attending the simulation to develop their skill sets. This is a great opportunity to bolster your diplomacy skills, network with young professionals and deepen your understanding of international institutions.

For more information please visit the BEF Website.

Student Profiles

Alketa Hotaj

Being part of BEF 2022 and taking the role as the minister for National Defence of the Hellenic Republic has not only given me an eye-opening experience what it is like to be a minister of defence but also to the world of NATO, international relations, Greek-Turkish relations, Military strategies, cyber security and so much more. One of my biggest challenges was getting interviewed by journalists which surprisingly I really enjoyed and was pretty good at. With different guest speakers, NATO HQ visit and different events, I have learnt so much and exposed myself to many more realms and truths of IR.

I have met so many amazing people throughout the program, all of whom I have learned so much from and keep in contact with. What’s funny is that I had a chance to get to know many amazing people from my cohort with whom I have never talked before or that I would never have if I did not join this forum. Now I am very close to many of them. This was truly a one-of-a-kind experience.

Jacopo Maria Boscia

BEF is an incomparable platform for multilateralism, as it brings together three decision-making realities (EU, NATO and G20) which, on a surface level, seem to run on parallel tracks. Throughout the week-long simulation, I have experienced the life of a full-time negotiator who, while presenting himself along country/party lines, eventually works out solutions for the common good alongside my fellow delegates through critical debate and the art of compromise. Moreover, I succeeded in coping with the intensity of the schedule by never losing my temper and remaining steadfast in drifting the debate in the right direction.

Compared to the simulations I had participated in the past (MEU and MUNFCCC), I had the opportunity to liaise with two unusual actors, i.e. the advocacy and the media groups. The former, thanks to their first-hand expertise on the matters discussed, illustrated valid courses of action which helped my committee overcome deadlock. As for the journalists, they contributed to make the atmosphere more relaxed by making caricatures of some delegates and emphasizing controversial episodes without being disrespectful and sarcastic.