Author: Veronica Carbone
Co-chair Create subcommittee
Another virtual bridge was set up: this time between Milan and Luxembourg, thanks to Fabrizia Bemer (Chair of the Committee Virtual Reality of Steppo Project and Senior Manager of the office of International Judicial Cooperation and Senior expert trainer in EIO trainings for projects co-financed by European Commission), Lorenzo Salazar (Chair of the Collaborate Subcommittee, Deputy Prosecutor General to the Court of Appeal of Naples) and Prof. Dr. Katalin Ligeti (full professor of European and international criminal law at Université du Luxembourg).
On 4th of May, an online meeting was held between the University of Milan Bicocca (UniMiB) with its Jean Monnet Module: the EPPO and EU Law (STEPPO), represented by the Professor Benedetta Ubertazzi and Fabrizia Bemer, and the Université du Luxembourg (Uni.lu), represented by Georgia Theodorakakou (Doctoral Researcher in European Criminal Law at Université du Luxembourg).
The key word of the meeting was cooperation. The same cooperation that gave birth to EPPO in 2021, fundamental to consolidate the rule of law and democracy in Europe. In fact, this new body, which protects the financial interests of Europe, also protects the fundamental rights of all European citizens, because damage to the economy threatens not only financial freedom, but also democratic freedom of a State.
According to UniMiB and Université du Luxembourg, one of the starting points to create a major awareness about the importance of EPPO is education, the reason why Uni.lu has invited Fabrizia Bemer and Veronica Carbone (law student at UniMiB) to promote a pilot project on EPPO during the upcoming Conference “EPPO the way forward: new potentials and challenges” (5-6 June 2023, Luxembourg).
The presented conference will offer the occasion to discuss firstly the adequacy, appropriateness and completeness of the EPPO’s legal framework, secondly the real nature and status of this new body and in conclusion the possible extension of its material scope of competence to crimes other than the crimes against the financial interests of the EU.
The Conference will consist of a scientific event composed of high-profile speakers from various EU institutions, bodies, offices and agencies, national practitioners, and prominent academic experts.
The pilot project which UniMiB will present, thanks to the Jean Monnet Module “THE EPPO and EU law: a step forward in integration”, is the first Virtual Reality Game on EPPO, coined by Fabrizia Bemer with five law students and projected with the amazing work of the Department of Psychology, in particular the Mind and Behavior Technological Centre (MiBTec). This research facility has a space with multiple laboratories that will enable the development of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) paradigms at different levels of complexity (from hand-held visors to fully immersive cave automatic virtual environments) and the study of human behaviour within environments that simulate real-life contexts, but can be modified in a controlled manner.
The aforementioned Game is a Serious Game, that simulates the preliminary investigations phase in a criminal case under the competence of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office. It was designed not only for students, but also for legal practitioners (like lawyers, judges, prosecutors etc.) and anyone else who wants to experience what EPPO does.
The Vr game is innovative because it is really the first time that the work of an EU body is explained in such a way. It was presented for the first time at the final conference of the II cycle of the Jean Monnet Module at the Bicocca Milan University on 18th of April 2023. (follow the link and watch the final conference with its renowned speakers)
The aims of this Vr Game are multiple:
- to promote an innovative way of learning, based on direct experience, which allows the user to interact with the environment and play an active role in the information processing process.
- to allow the user to experience the obstacles and problems that emerge in real working contexts and which are unknown to the students and also to the legal practitioners.
- to develop and improve emotional intelligence and empathy thanks to the possibility of changing point of view and playing a different role from the one that takes place in real life.