Eastern European Group

Committee Introduction

The Eastern European Group is a powerful voting bloc in the United Nations composed of 23 states in the region. However, the rise of populism across Eastern Europe in recent years has, for better or worse, shattered the region’s consensus that it must continue to integrate itself into Europe and the global economy. This consensus has instead been replaced by nationalist politics, frequent diplomatic spats, and, in eastern Ukraine, even open conflict.

Topic A:

The region’s ethnic diversity means some ethnic groups have been left underrepresented in their new home countries largely since the Treaties of Trianon and Saint-Germain. This issue has become increasingly pressing because of Russian disinformation campaigns which exploits ethnic divisions, the refugee crisis, and proposed territory swaps in the Balkans. What role should governments and international bodies should play in protecting the rights of minority groups in other countries? How do we balance national sovereignty with human rights and integration with acculturation?

Topic B:

The rise of populism across Eastern Europe in recent years has had an unlikely victim: non-governmental organizations (NGOs). In the past few years, countries such as Poland, Hungary, and Russia have passed laws which curtail the rights of NGOs to operate independently within their borders. While they claim these laws were necessary to protect their national security and limit foreign influence, critics have argued that they are an attempt to rein in the power of civil society. What rights should NGOs, both foreign and domestic, and their workers enjoy and how far government control over them extend?

If you have any questions about this committee, feel free to reach out to your Under-Secretary General Nikki Vereczkey at nvere@sas.upenn.edu

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