With a network of over 140 partners and supporters, Bringing Europeans Together Association (BETA) France is a national branch of the federal umbrella association BETA Europe. The politically independent, non-profit youth organisation has over 500 members from all over Europe and beyond, in no less than 12 national branches. The network focuses on fostering democratic participation, teaching young people about the benefits of the EU, as well as the importance of voting.
BETA strives to become a leading organisation to promote intercultural exchange among young professionals. It looks forward to the exchange of knowledge and best practices with other partner organisations.
According to the statutes of the association, its objectives read as follows:
The association shall be non-profit and pursue goals exclusively related to charitable and benevolent purposes.
The aims of the association are to foster mutual understanding and cooperation between young Europeans, and to promote European ideas.
The association is thus strictly independent from any political and religious affiliation.
In order to implement its aims, the association cooperates with the EU institutions and other governmental and non-governmental organisations aiming at the promotion of international cooperation. It shall also work closely with BETA e.V. and other branches of BETA. In accordance with its aims and objectives, the association shall work in close collaboration with national and international partners who organise event about EU politics in Europe and beyond.
BETA France came to life in 2015 as an NGO fully dedicated to the support of the organisation of Model European Union Strasbourg (MEUS), born in 2007.
This project is the oldest and most authentic simulation of the EU decision-making process, taking place every Spring in the Louise-Weiss building of the European Parliament in Strasbourg since 2007.
Bringing together around 200 diverse and young people, it is a unique learning platform which focuses on the workings and dynamics of bodies creating EU law.
Participants can fully immerse themselves in their role as an MEP, a Minister, a Journalist, a Lobbyist or an Interpreter, over the course of a week to debate highly contended issues in the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union.
Thanks to 12 years of successful simulations, the flagship project of the association has gathered the interest of more than 15.000 followers on social media platforms. Our team has all the necessary tools, both through its organising capacity and its ever-growing network, to implement more ambitious projects and ensure their high visibility.
In March 2018, BETA France tested its first edition of a “miniMEU” in Berlin. In the frame of the third preparatory meeting of MEU Strasbourg 2018, team members carried out miniMEU Berlin 2018. By bringing our model of EU simulation to a group of German students over the course of an afternoon, they proved our capacity to replicate and adapt our project.
In September 2018, BETA France was able to organise a project similar to MEU Strasbourg in Paris, at the French National Assembly.
For the year 2019, in addition to the organisation of Model European Union Strasbourg 2019, the association wants to expand the scope of its outreach through the organisation of miniMEUs. These events will be based on the replicable model of MEUS, and tailored to new audiences. Each of these events will be the occasion to carry out communication actions in support of the 2019 European elections.
BETA France, whose amount of member has tripled between 2015 and 2018, is part of the umbrella organisation BETA Europe. This network is made of volunteers with experience of MEU simulations. The first key element of our partnerships is the sharing of best practices during and beyond our events such as for example input on educational resources stemming from our simulation or discussions with further NGOs about European political simulation formats. Second, relevant regional and local stakeholders amongst students and universities contribute to the project by being a relay in their countries advertising participation to their peers and disseminating project results. They raise awareness about EU simulations but also, more broadly, about the EU and the importance of voting. Thirdly, our partners are former participants themselves, often involved with one of our partner NGOs at local level. They immensely contribute to the future development of our European education project through their belonging to and commitment within our vast network. The latter enables them to prolong their experience by either organising or attending other simulations or further events to foster European citizenship.
The team of MEUS 2019 is made up of 70 volunteers, all members of BETA France, selected on the basis of their motivation and experience. It entails numerous experienced organisers, with a strong tradition of passing-on the 13 year old knowledge to newest team members. This format ensures that new organisers can bring forth innovations, with guidance from those more experienced, helping to preserve the highest quality of educational and promotional content for projects such as MEUs and miniMEUs.
The MEUS 2019 Organising Team is organised into four functional clusters, each responsible for different areas of the project: simulation, outreach, finances, and logistics. The simulation cluster takes care of all aspects related to the simulation game such as legislative texts, chairing, Rules of Procedure, etc. The outreach cluster deals with all types of external communication of the project, including PR, partnerships and information booklets. The finances cluster is related to both aspects of budget and fundraising, while the logistics cluster takes care of all material aspects related to the organisation of the week in Strasbourg, such as hostel bookings, coordination and the timetable. The structure of the MEUS Organising Team will guarantee that organisers can deliver the best educational experience for participants, enhance public promotion of the EP’s activities, and the European Elections Edition of MEUS 2019 in a goal-driven manner.
The MEUS 2019 Directorate is composed of three young competent persons. They participated in their first MEUS conference in 2015. Since 2016, they have been part of the organising team while studying and starting their professional careers. The collective experience of the Directorate is an important asset to preparation for MEUS 2019 and during the conference itself.
In order to carry out its projects, BETA France is relying on a network made of more than 30 partner organisations in France and in Europe, pursuing similar goals (promotion of a European identity for the youth). All of our partner associations benefit from regular newsletters, delivering progress reports on our project. 5 newsletters have been established in order to follow the 5 most important moments of our project’s life cycle. Partners are invited to raise any remarks, questions or advices, especially those related to potential organisational difficulties we may encounter.
Partners are also encouraged to participate our “Partners’ fair”: this event allows them to increase their visibility while offering participants the possibility to broaden their horizons and pursue their commitment into youth projects after the end of our own event. Finally, our partners can participate in the annual Symposium organised by BETA Europe, gathering together youth organisation focusing on youth public involvement in politics.
Besides partner NGOs, our association relies on a network of private and institutional supporters, made up of experts and professionals able to give guidance to our project, so as to reach the highest level of educational performance. We can already count on the support of the European Parliament Liaison Office in Strasbourg, which has renewed its interest after having previously worked with our organisation. Moreover, we aim for the support of numerous decision-makers. We reach out to stakeholders of the political and economic sphere, in order to raise their awareness about our activities and invite them to express views on the major topics we choose to address: the democratic participation of the youth, climate change and energy consumption, and consumers’ protection law. These private and institutional supporters will be invited to join our event during the “workshops” day, taking place on the first day of our event. In this occasion, participants will be able to engage in dialogue with relevant stakeholders, and get familiar with the topics of the conference in a particularly effective manner.
Financially, BETA France is an NGO that pursues non-profit goals. Some of our team members are primarily working on fundraising opportunities, in order to maintain participation fees as low as possible. Participation fees cover about 1/3rd of our budget. For the remaining 2/3rds, our team answers calls for applications issued by public bodies at EU-level, French national level, and regional level. Besides, our team also reaches out to private entities working in the field of fight against climate change, and consumers’ protection, as topics of MEU Strasbourg 2019. Our budget balance is at 0 at the end of every project cycle.