Each year, a simulation of EU decision making enables EUPS students in the European Union Policy Studies graduate program to develop skills of policy analysis, negotiation, team-building, and cross-cultural communication. The simulation is co-sponsored by the University of Florence's (UNIFI's) Department of Social and Political Sciences. JMU and UNIFI students work in teams throughout the academic year as part of an academic and cultural exchange. This exchange includes periodic workshops with EU practitioners Silvio Gonzato and Alexandre Stutzmann, where students learn about the day-to-day workings of the EU's most important institutions an step into the shoes of EU decision makers.
Students' cooperation reaches a pinnacle in the summer semester during the simulation, where teams represent ministers from EU member states and negotiate solutions to current policy dilemmas. The simulation debate traditionally takes place place in Palazzo Vecchio, the seat of the government of Florence. Here, EUPS and UNIFI students debate in the very rooms that Florentine, Italian, and European leaders have for centuries discussed their polities' fates.