The European Institute of Peace (EIP) hosted 18 young political leaders from Palestine and Israel to participate in a spirited mediation and negotiation simulation exercise.

The group included political party representatives, civil society actors, journalists and young business leaders. They were invited to Brussels by the EP Mediation Support Unit (EPMS) and Democracy Support and Election Coordination Group (DEG) as part of a regular initiative to encourage dialogue and engage young political leaders at political, economic and community levels.

As part of the three-day programme, the EIP team designed and facilitated a simulation execise which engaged the participants in a complex scenario of negotiations over natural resources. Amid a lasting conflict between government and rebel forces, and unpredictable polarising incidents, they had to take into account concerns voiced by civil society, businesses and international observers and to keep the ongoing peace process alive. While fictional, the discussion was extremely dynamic and at times raised the spirits in the room, allowing later a reflection on the challenges faced by mediators as well as parties in mediation processes. 

The EIP’s exercise was specifically tailored and designed to get the group thinking about political issues from different levels and perspectives. It also served to expose participants to a snapshot of dialogue and mediation techniques on how to prevent and resolve conflict.

This was the third event of its kind. In July 2016, the EIP hosted participants from Libya, Algeria, Mauritania, Tunisia and Morocco for a mediation simulation, as well as a spirited debate on democratisation, good governance, inclusion and political transitions. In April 2015, EIP hosted 12 young political leaders from Sudan to reflect on issues of political pluralism, tolerance of others, peaceful consensus building, reconciliation and conflict resolution as a means to developing a culture of peace.