For 25 years, Napoleon’s campaigns tore the European continent apart. The year of 1815 marks the beginning of a long and strenuous road towards re-establishing the boundaries and sovereignty of European states. The body of representatives today constitutes, among others, various French and Prussian Counts, the Russian Tsar, and members of Europe’s finest royalty.
So far, the main concerns of the delegation have revolved around the creation of a German confederation for its 39 independent states, which the representative of Bavaria has expressed her support for the projected economic benefits. This support, however, was contingent upon the condition that Bavaria will maintain its status as an independent kingdom.
Russia remained strongly determined to retain power over Poland. The delegate also expressed concern that the other European states have been overzealous in their role of decision making, and is worried that their final decision will be clouded by personal interests. Charles Maurice de Talleyrand reiterates that the purpose of this Congress is for the states involved to come to a consensus together.
As the European states grapple with the remains of the much coveted territories, the aim revolves around re-installing the balance of power while keeping personal interests close at hand.
France has expressed its fervent hope of keeping the territories of Alsace-Lorraine, which have been part of the country’s national territory since 1776. The French representative stressed the importance of the deep ties it shares with the region; the region has been under French tutelage for the last 50 years. The economic resources of the region – namely, the abundant supply of coal – is also of imminent concern. Interests therefore diverge on whether to let France keep a hold of the region, leaving the possibility for it to rise up again in the future. The main consensus so far has been to let France maintain its control over the region while turning it into a demilitarized buffer zone.
A Physics student from Laval University, representing Russia at the Congress, spoke of how motivating the dynamics of this committee was (although he sometimes felt put off by the others’ greater confidence in the issues on account of their academic background) he really enjoyed the prospect of shaping history. In comparison to a MUN committee he had participated in last year in Pennsylvania, the smaller number of delegates in the committee made it a more pleasant and intimate experience as each individual has a greater chance of impacting the outcome of the committee sessions.
While the issues stated above are still being discussed, the committee is aiming at a possible shift towards the creation of a League of Nations, as well as greater regional organizations, which would deal with issues such as slavery, and promote stronger European interconnectedness.