"Focus Balkan" - A simulation game on the enlargement of the European Union

Holger-Michael Arndt,
Markus W. Behne,
Stefan Rappenglück (2014)

updated version by Holger-Michael Arndt (2018)

The simulation game “Focus Balkans” offers an example of the enlargement policy, dealing with the foundations and basic values of the European Union. It simulates the complex accession process into the EU, which is linked to essential questions: How to get into the EU? Which criteria must be fulfilled? What are the interests of Member States, candidate countries and citizens? And how are the interests in the EU being negotiated?

Following a thematic and methodological introduction, the participants receive a scenario and the timetable and take on their roles - via individual role profiles and in groups that represent the actors and institutions involved: ‘Media’, ‘European Commission’, ‘Council’, ‘European Parliament’ or ‘candidate countries’. The simulation game shows how intensively bodies and groups must negotiate and deal with the fundamental values and goals of the European Union. The focus is on the question of whether the candidate countries can sufficiently respect the political and democratic values and enforce them in their states.

"Focus Balkan" is suitable for pupils from grade 10 of all types of schools and lasts up to eight school hours. It can be used in a group size of at least 12 to a maximum of 80 people. In addition to the scenario, roles and schedule, the simulation game also contains guidelines for the teamer. These are aimed in particular at teachers in both school and non-school education who want to apply the simulation game independently.

The CIVIC Institute for international education supports the implementation and offers experienced instructors for the realization of the scenario game.

The simulation from 2014 is now available in an updated version and can be downloaded in pdf format free of charge via the web shop of the Landeszentrale für politische Bildung at www.lpb-bw.de/shop.