Objectives and introduction


  • Help students to listen, understand and work with people who have a different point of view and be able to reach a workable compromise through negotiation.
  • Learn by role play how to apply those skills to the process of making new laws in Europe.

General instructions

Set up

The room can be set up for a formal committee meeting with chairs and tables in an open square. It may be a committee of the European Commission, the European Parliament or the Council of Ministers.

Students will work in pairs using a briefing note that will give some hints on their role.    They will need a few minutes to read and discuss tactics.

Each committee will need a chairman and rapporteur (someone to take notes).

The role play could be the proceedings of just one committee, occupying one lesson period. If more time is available, all three stages in the law-making process could take place with either the same or different students filling the roles.

Consider giving students notice of the debate so they can do some research in advance.

There are some suggested subjects for new European laws or get the students to suggest one. It needs to be a law that could be applied in all member states though how it is applied may vary.

  • New rules to make Europe’s beaches safer for swimming .
  • Common speed limits on Europe’s roads to save energy, reduce road accidents, reduce vehicle emissions.

Getting started

Two minute discussion, in pairs

  • explain what your favourite beach is and why or say what makes a good beach, or ....
  • make the case for reduced speed limits on our roads.

Did you manage to change the mind of the other person without resorting to bullying, violence or bribes?