Picture of BELS Delegation at Opening Ceremony of Rhodes MRC, taken on 11th of October 2017 at
the Palace of the Grand Master in Rhodes
And another successful conference was completed by Brunswick European Law School (BELS). After
intense preparations and a lot of practice – even before semester officially started!- 17 students
and one Faculty Advisor finally arrived in Rhodes after a three and a half hour flight from Hamburg
airport on the eve of the 10
th of October 2017.
We were happy and pleased to check in to Rhodes STAY Hostel and after some unpacking went to get
dinner together as a delegation at a Greek restaurant in Rhodes New Town. On 11
th of October we were able to discover our surroundings in the morning, enjoying sunny
Rhodes with degrees around 24 Celsius. We were also able to register as delegation in Manousos
Hotel and received our badges to be able to enter the Opening Ceremony planned later during the
Impressively the Opening Ceremony this time took place in the Palace of the Grand Master.
Excitedly we waited for the Opening Ceremony to finally start and we were not disappointed. After
the Greek National Anthem was played by the Band of the 95
th National Guard Higher Command also the European Anthem was played. This was followed
by a long list of speakers welcoming all guests of Rhodes MRC. Among others, Mrs. Charoula
Giasiranis (Council Member for Education and Lifelong Learning at the Region of South Aegean), Mr.
Teris Chatziioannou (Vice Mayor for Culture and Sports at the Muncipality of Rhodes), Prof.
Aikaterini Fratzi (Vice President of the Dept. of Mediterranean Studies at the University of the
Agean), Mrs. Marilena Sokianou (Board Member of EUNET), Mr Michael Kavuklis (Head of Organizing
Committee and President of the House of Europe in Rhodes), HE Mrs Magdalene Thourdiou (Secretary
General of RhodesMRC 2017) spoke to welcome all delegates for the 8
th conference. It was stressed throughout all speeches that Rhodes Model of Regional
Cooperation has been recognized as one of the most reputable events related to international
relations and international law in the region.
After the conference was officially opened some food and drinks were provided to encourage
socializing. On 12
th of October finally committee sessions started. All committee venues were located in
Rhodes New Town (…and some of them were –due to vague labeling on a map provided by the organizers-
hard to find). Among others, sessions took place in the City Hall of Rhodes (in impressive rooms
usually reserved for discussion of “real” politicans), in buildings usually reserved for the South
Aegean Region, inside the Chamber of Commerce but also in Best Western Plaza Hotel in Rhodes.
Being Germans, after arriving on time (and thus waiting about 30 minutes for the Greeks to
arrive, who throughout the conference preferred a more flexible approach to timing) discussions in
the committees commenced. Our 17 delegates were present in the following committees: AU (African
Union), BSEC (Black Sea Economic Cooperation), NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), CoE
(Council of Europe), MEPEC (Middle East Peace Conference), OSCE (Organization for Security and
Co-operation in Europe) and APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation), LAS (League of Arab
First Opening Speeches were held and different positions were elaborated. After several hours of
debating, delegates were scheduled to have lunch from 13.20-14.20h. For some committees this
worked, other committees however did not get their lunch until 17.00h. Despite utterly starving
delegates held bravely out and debated until the end of sessions at around 19.00h (about one hour
after sessions were scheduled to end).
th of October debates resumed at 9am, leading to the drafting of the first working
papers and subsequently resolutions. This time luckily lunch was served earlier than 17.00h so that
delegates could throw themselves into finding allies to support their own positions. Some special
twist was added through the addition of “crisis”-topics such as sudden kidnappings within states/in
the UN building or sudden and unexpected conflicts arising in Turkey which needed intervention from
delegates. Sessions ended again at 19.00h.
On Saturday 14
th of October all resolutions were finalized during the day and committee sessions came
to an end at about 15.00h. With about an hour delay the Closing Ceremony, taking place in the
Bastion of the Palace of the Grand Master, commenced at about 20.00h on the same day. Again, many
speakers thanked all involved organizing Rhodes MRC. Some speeches were very emotional, including
some crying and declarations of deep love to this particular conference.
Also, Awards were handed out. We as Delegation of Brunswick European Law School (BELS) were very
proud of our Delegate of Ireland, Josephin Rönker, in OSEC Committee who got a special verbal thank
you from her chairs. As it was Josephin’s first conference we have high hopes for her in the
th of October a tour to the picturesque village of Lindos was organized by RhodesMRC. As
usual buses left half an hour late for the journey, however we were more than compensated for a
beautiful view over the Aegean Sea. Also, most delegates climbed up the hill in order to further
discover Lindos acropolis.
th of October we were finally able to pack our suitcases and also had a further
opportunity to further explore Rhodes and its history. It was discovered by students why the Fallow
Deer, gracing the entrance to the city’s old Mandraki harbor –each in bronze on top of a column-
were the symbols of Rhodes. According to locals, apparently during ancient times Rhodes was
inhabited by poisonous snakes. Desperate to get rid of them, Rhodians travelled to the Oracle of
Delphi to ask for advice. The oracle thus advised to populate the island with deer which was
promptly accomplished by locals. Amazingly all snakes subsequently disappeared, making Rhodians
forever grateful to the deer. (Some speculations and discussions ensued within BELS delegation
after hearing this tale, as we were all wondering and speculating on why this would have happened –
common opinion being that deer don’t eat snakes.)
th of October we had to leave early in the morning to head back to the airport.
Unfortunately and amazingly, this time the cabs ordered were five minutes early, entirely blocking
the road in front of our hostel. Some Greek gesticulating, shouting and probably also cursing
ensued and we hurried to enter the cars and leave. After a calm and pleasant flight we arrived back
in Hamburg, looking back on an amazing and unforgettable time.
Picture of Mandraki Harbour, Rhodes, taken on 12th of November 2017. The deer and the hind on
the two pillars are the symbols of Rhodes and it is also said that some time ago this is the place
where once the Colossus of Rhodes was standing.