European Youth Parliament Annual Report 2008

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1 European Youth Parliament Annual Report 2008

2 2 European Youth Parliament - Annual Report Website:

3 The European Youth Parliament and its entire actions are under the permanent patronage of Prof. Dr. HANS-GERT PÖTTERING President of the European Parliament Mr TERRY DAVIS Secretary General of the Council of Europe European Youth Parliament - Annual Report Website: 3

4 4 European Youth Parliament - Annual Report Website:

5 Contents Greetings by the Chairman of the Heinz-Schwarzkopf-Foundation...7 Aims of the European Youth Parliament, Facts & Figures...9 The long-term Impact of the EYP: The 2008 Survey amongst EYP Alumni...12 History and Structure...16 International Sessions of the European Youth Parliament...18 The 57 th International Session in Prague, Czech Republic...20 The 58 th International Session in Liverpool, United Kingdom...22 The 59 th International Session in Rennes, France...24 The third Think Tank of the European Youth Parliament...26 The National Commitees of the European Youth Parliament...29 Institutional Partnerships and Patrons...62 Partners...64

6 6 European Youth Parliament - Annual Report Website:

7 Greetings by the Chairman of the Heinz-Schwarzkopf-Foundation Dear Friends of the European Youth Parliament, Ladies and Gentlemen, the year 2008 was a successful year for the European Youth Parliament. For the first time more than 90 events took place all over Europe and involved close to young people in dialogue, discussion and debate. It was also great to welcome Albania, Hungary and Georgia as new National Committees to the network of the EYP which now spans 32 countries. In all those countries the EYP enabled young people to develop their ideas and visions for the future of Europe in a non-partisan forum. At three International Sessions in Prague (Czech Republic), Liverpool (United Kingdom), and Rennes (France) the EYP gathered each time 250 young people from 32 countries. The students drafted resolutions on current topics of European politics and debated them in a parliamentary assembly. The students had to formulate their opinions on complex issues, find compromises and negotiate in an international setting using English or French languages which are foreign to the vast majority of the participants. We are convinced that this experience of intercultural cooperation and dialogue that the young participants experience at an EYP Session are unique and invaluable. The ideas and proposals of the European Youth Parliament are recognised by political decision makers. We are proud to announce that in 2008 the Commissioners Barroso, Kovács, Wallström and Barrot have joined the EYP s Comité d Honneur. Vice-President Barrot also visited the session in Rennes to discuss with the young delegates; Guy-Michel Brandtner of the Council of Europe, Jean-Pierre Jouyet, French Minister for European Affairs and Andy Burnham, British Secretary of State for Culture, were among those high-level politicians visiting the EYP sessions. I am very pleased by the fact that we have achieved it to engage young Europeans actively in the debate of the most pressing political issues of today. We have helped them to understand Europe s diversity and to appreciate it as part of our common cultural and political heritage. Europe needs active citizens such as the young delegates at the European Youth Parliament who are committed to making a difference in the future whilst remaining conscious of its past. Finally, I would like to mention that without hundreds of young volunteers working for the European Youth Parliament none of the above results could have been achieved. The EYP is a project entirely driven and run by young people. We will continue our efforts in bringing the European dream to the hearts and minds of young Europeans. We thank all partners who have supported and encouraged our work in the past year. André Schmitz-Schwarzkopf Chairman of the Heinz-Schwarzkopf-Foundation

8 8 European Youth Parliament - Annual Report Website:

9 Aims of the European Youth Parliament and Facts & Figures 9 European Youth Parliament - - Annual Report Report Website: - Website:

10 Aims of the European Youth Parliament Raising awareness for European issues Promoting active European citizenship Fostering intercultural dialogue Contributing to personal development The European Youth Parliament (EYP) is a non-partisan, independent educational programme for young people between 16 and 20 years of age from all over Europe. The work of the EYP is based on the initiative of voluntarily active youth. Hence, the EYP has the following aims: Opportunities to explore and reflect upon political topics with a European dimension One of the overall aims of the European Youth Parliament is to raise awareness of European issues and motivate young people to become active citizens engaged in European politics. The European Youth Parliament further enables students to experience directly the different perspectives of young people in Europe and allows them to explore the European and global dimension of several political issues debated today. Active European citizenship The European Youth Parliament involves the youngsters in a democratic decision making process with all its challenges and rewarding experiences. Young people are to acquire knowledge on a topic, clarify their own opinion, discuss with their peers and finally compromise and debate. It thereby contributes to the development of an active democratic citizenship. Diversity of cultures in Europe and intercultural dialogue The European Youth Parliament promotes international understanding and the diversity of ideas and cultural expression. The participants are enabled to experience true cultural dialogue and learn to appreciate diversity rather than being afraid of it. Development of skills and competences for academia and working life By their participation in the activities of the European Youth Parliament, the youngsters develop competences and skills which can be later applied in other contexts. Those skills especially include language skills, the ability to work in an international team, negotiations skills as well as social and civic competences. The European Youth Parliament is a platform for non-formal education and experimental learning which gives the participants an exceptional educational opportunity outside the class room. All the events of the European Youth Parliament are organised by volunteers who have been former participants. Hence, the European Youth Parliament is a project run for young people by young people in close cooperation and partnership with European schools. 10 European Youth Parliament - Annual Report Website:

11 Facts and Figures More than 90 events every year In 2008, over 90 events took place in Europe organised by the EYP. The largest three of those have been the International Sessions in Prague, Liverpool and Rennes which each united more than 250 young people. At additional regional and national sessions young people came together to debate current issues of European politics. The topics debated and discussed at the EYP s events are often suggested by Members of the European Parliament, the European Commission or the Council of Europe. Moreover, the participants themselves decide over their agenda. The resolutions of each session are presented to political decision-makers. In total, the events and additional activities, such as the large youth survey on European topics conducted by EYP France, involved close to 20,000 young people. A network spanning 32 countries The EYP is now active in 32 European countries. It is a unique platform for young people with diverse backgrounds to practise an active dialogue on the future of Europe. Georgia, Hungary and Albania joined the EYP in It is foreseen to enlarge the EYP further, especially in South-East Europe. Run by young people All EYP events are organised and run by young volunteers mostly former participants of the EYP sessions. Hence, the EYP is an extraordinary place for young people to take the initiative and to practise European citizenship. European Youth Parliament - Annual Report Website: 11

12 The Impact of the European Youth Parliament 12 European Youth Parliament - - Annual Report Report Website: - Website:

13 The Impact of the European Youth Parliament The 2008 survey amongst former participants of the EYP Each session of the EYP is evaluated. By means of standardised questionnaires we attempt to assess the impact our work has on the participants. In 2008, we additionally conducted a survey amongst the alumni of the European Youth Parliament. 422 young people from all over Europe responded and hereby helped us to understand the long-term impact of the EYP. It shows that the involvement in our events and the organisation has for the vast majority a very positive influence on their personal development. The results also demonstrate that EYP alumni act as multipliers amongst their peers, in schools and universities. European values and identity Most of the surveyed alumni stated that, thanks to their EYP experience, they developed a deeper understanding of European culture (95,80 %). Furthermore, a majority think that their participation increased their belief in a common European history and common values (69,10 %). Development of team work and language skills These graphics show that surveyed alumni consider that EYP helped them to develop crucial skills such as international team work skills (94,50 %), negotiating skills (88,7 %) and language skills (75,30 %). It is clear that those abilities will be transferrable to later professional or academic life. European Youth Parliament - Annual Report Website: 13

14 Active European citizenship A strong majority (86,50 %) of the surveyed alumni stated that the EYP helped them to better understand European politics and institutions. A majoroty also declared that their experience increased their interest for European matters and to discuss them with friends and family (74,40 %). Most importantly, the EYP experience gave them the feeling that they could express themselves and let them feel that they could play an active role in shaping the future of Europe (82,40 %). A vast majority also acquired concrete ideas of how Europe should develop in the future. Finally, most of them wanted to volunteer after their experience (52,40 %). The EYP provides them with an opportunity to do so. 14 European Youth Parliament - Annual Report Website:

15 Experience for life: Applying skills in other contexts A majority of the surveyed alumni (92,90 %) felt that what they learned in the EYP could be applied in many other contexts. It is remarkable that a great number states that this was especially the case for other civil society projects as well as in school. These results underline that the EYP s impact goes well beyond the individual session. As an alumnus put it: EYP is an excellent way for young minds to open themselves and touch issues perhaps not dealt with in academic circles as well as for developing social skills. Alumni Quotes: EYP has had a great influence on me, in the aspect of self-development as well in the aspect of understanding the current world issues, and European - in particular. EYP has not only helped my development as an active European citizen, but it has also helped my personal development in terms of self-esteem, confidence and outlook on life. I can t even imagine what it would be like not having taken part in EYP. My experience in International Sessions has totally changed my life for the better. I find that my understanding of others has been raised and I face each day with more optimism and a smile on my face looking forward to meeting my European friends for one more time. European Youth Parliament - Annual Report Website: 15

16 History and Structure of the European Youth Parliament

17 The European Youth Parliament 21 years of existence Since November 2004 a programme of the Heinz-Schwarzkopf-Foundation The European Youth Parliament: Founded in France in 1987 The National Committees of the European Youth Parliament exist since Since that day the project provides an unique educational experience to pupils and their teachers in Europe. The EYP focuses on young people who are keen on being part of the future Europe by shaping their society. A programme of the Heinz-Schwarzkopf-Foundation In 2004, the National Committees mandated the Heinz-Schwarzkopf-Foundation with the international management of the European Youth Parliament. Since then the international office of the EYP is located in Berlin and coordinated by the Executive Director. Structure of the European Youth Parliament European networking At the heart of the EYP structure: the National Committees Coordination: The Executive Director and the elected Governing Body The European Youth Parliament: a network of 32 national youth NGOs Today the European Youth Parliament gathers more than 1000 volunteers and reaches more than 20,000 pupils, hence forms one of the largest platforms of political debate, intercultural encounters, political education and the exchange of ideas within the whole of Europe. The participating countries range from Portugal to Russia and from Ireland to Cyprus. In 2008, the countries Albania, Hungary and Georgia joined the network. The EYP is a non-political, non-governmental organisation. The National Committees: the heart of the European Youth Parliament The European Youth Parliament is formed by a network of 32 European associations, so called National Committees of the European Youth Parliament. They are independently established NGOs in their respective countries (see Besides alumni they often also involve teachers in their work to ensure a close and good cooperation with national schools. Within the Board of National Committees they exchange good practises, share knowledge and organise joint regional events. The Executive Director of the European Youth Parliament and the Governing Body Besides an Executive Director, appointed by the Heinz-Schwarzkopf-Foundation, who coordinates and supports the European Youth Parliament, a Governing Body has been elected by the National Committees. The Governing body sets general rules and overall aims in cooperation with the National Committees. It acts as an international steering committee. European Youth Parliament - Annual Report Website: 17

18 International Sessions of the European Youth Parliament

19 International Sessions of the European Youth Parliament Concept of an International Session April 2008: 57 th International Session in Prague, Czech Republic July 2008: 58 th International Session in Liverpool, United Kingdom October/November 2008: 59 th International Session in Rennes, France What is an International Session? Three times a year, the European Youth Parliament invites 250 youngsters from the 32 member committees of the EYP for 10 days to different European cities where a simulation of the European Parliament is held - the International Session. The participants have gone through national competitions which qualify them to take part in the event. The International Sessions are organised by a team of volunteers of the host country which often spends more than a year to prepare the event. Programme: Teambuilding, Committee Work and General Assembly The programme of each International Session is unique but there are some substantial common elements. Upon arrival, the participants, all aged between 16 and 20, are split into 15 international committees and spend two days of Teambuilding together in order to create a real team. The different indoor and outdoor activities allow them to create the spirit and atmosphere for fair and objective political discussion in the days to follow. The Teambuilding is followed by Committee Work. Here the young delegates discuss current European issues within the committees. In the course of their work, they also interview experts on the topics who might be political decision-makers, policy experts or scientists. The product of their intensive work is a motion for a resolution. Finally, the resolutions are debated in the General Assembly in English and French, following parliamentary procedure. The Cultural Programme The International Session is accompanied by a very rich cultural programme with, amongst others, the presentation of specialities from the participating countries and a Euroconcert. Hence, the International Sessions seek to provide a space for the expression of creativity and culture. The participants are enabled to experience what they have in common and what unites them despite differences. They learn to appreciate diversity rather than to fear what might at first appear to be strange. The International Sessions in 2008 The three International Sessions that took place in 2008 will be described in detail on the following pages. The first one was held in Prague, Czech Republic in April. The summer session took place in the European Capital of Culture at that time, Liverpool, United Kingdom in July. The autumn session was hosted by the European Youth Parliament in Rennes, France in October. European Youth Parliament - Annual Report Website: 19

20 The 57 th International Session of the EYP Prague, Czech Republic 4 th - 13 th April 2008 Participants 231 young people from 29 different European countries came to Prague for the 57 th International Session of the EYP. Session Focus and Guests The focus of the 57 th International Session was put on sustainable development which was reflected in the priorities of the topics that were chosen to be discussed. The Session was honoured by the presence of Libor Roucek, Member of the European Parliament, Guy-Michel Brandtner of the Council of Europe and Diogo Pinto of the European Youth Forum. Documents The resolutions passed by the young delegates, the full official report of the event as well as media coverage can be found online, please visit: > Sessions > Prague 2008 Partners We thank our partners who made this event possible: Public Institutions: The European Commission within the framework of the Lifelong Learning Programme, the Information Office of the European Parliament. Companies: Alba Group, Duales System Deutschland, Fresh Soft and Our World English Schools. Foundations: Hertie Foundation, Dräger Foundation. Quotes «A once in a lifetime experience», delegate, 17, Belgium «It was demanding, but highly rewarding!», 17, Bulgaria «Whole Europe can work as a team. Thanks EYP!», 16, Spain 20 European Youth Parliament - Annual Report Website:

21 Implementation and Evaluation - Selected Results Raising the students awareness for European issues, especially for the future of Europe 73 % of the delegates have become aware of their role in the European construction process and in the debate on Europe s future; 81 % affirmed that their participation in the session had helped them to achieve a better understanding of current European political developments. Promoting European understanding and intercultural dialogue 92 % of the participants confirm that the session helped them to improve their knowledge and understanding of different cultures. A strong majority of 88 % furthermore affirms that they developed a positive attitude towards intercultural dialogue. Promoting active democratic citizenship 77 % of the participants declared that the session has increased their willingness to become and active citizen. Furthermore, 91 % will share this experience with friends and fellow students once they are back in their home town and will thus be important multipliers for the promotion of active democratic citizenship and participation. European Youth Parliament - Annual Report Website: 21

22 The 58 th International Session of the EYP Liverpool, United Kingdom 18 th - 27 th July 2008 Participants 262 young people from 28 European countries met in Liverpool for the 58 th International Session. Session Focus and Guests The 58 th International Session was part of the Liverpool Capital of Culture programme and took place during the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue. Under the motto Many faces, different spaces the young delegates were encouraged to explore how culture may divide and unite communities. The participants had the opportunity to explore their cultural heritage and that of others on a European scale in order to better understand the different spaces, backgrounds and beliefs that lie behind the many faces. The EYP was honoured by the presence of several speakers who welcomed EYP to the great City of Liverpool: Councillor Steve Rotheram Lord Mayor of Liverpool, (picture), Maria Eagle MP, Edward O Hara MP, Joy Coppell, Liverpool Schools Parliament and Neil Peterson, Liverpool Culture Company. General Assembly (GA) was held in St. Georges Hall of Liverpool from Friday 25th to Saturday 26th of July. At the official opening of GA, the young delegates were addressed by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Rt. Hon. Andy Burnham MP and Professor Mike Hardy of the British Council. Documents The resolutions passed by the young delegates, the full official report of the event as well as media coverage can be found online, please visit: > Sessions > Liverpool 2008 Partners Public Institutions: The European Parliament, the Council of Europe, Liverpool Culture Company, Liverpool City Council, the North West Regional Assembly, the Government Office for the North West, St. Helens Council Liverpool Schools Parliament and Rainhill High School. Companies: Alba Group, Duales System Deutschland, Our World English Schools, Merseytravel, October Communications, Ariel Trust, The Co-Operative Group Northern Region, Culture Northwest, Liverpool Hope University and The Liner Hotel. Foundations: Hertie Foundation and the Dräger Foundation. Quotes «An experience that changed me so much and that I will treasure a lot!»,17, Ireland «An unforgettable 10 days which makes me want to get more involved!», 18, Great Britain 22 European Youth Parliament - Annual Report Website:

23 Implementation and Evaluation - Selected Results Raising the students awareness for European issues, especially for the future of Europe 85 % of the delegates have affirmed that their participation in the session had helped them to achieve a better understanding of current European political developments. Promoting European understanding and intercultural dialogue 93 % of the participants confirm that the session helped them to improve their knowledge and understanding of different cultures. A strong majority of 90 % affirms that the event have moreover learned to appreciate European diversity. Promoting active democratic citizenship 81 % of the participants declared that the session has increased their willingness to become and active citizen. Further 96 % intend to share this experience with friends and fellow students once they are back in their home town and will thus be important multipliers for the promotion of active democratic citizenship and participation. European Youth Parliament - Annual Report Website: 23

24 The 59 th International Session of the EYP Rennes, France 24 th October - 2 nd November 2008 Participants The Session gathered more than 248 young people from 27 European countries. Under the motto Living your European Citizenship the young delegates were encouraged to explore the meanings of being a European citizen. The session was under the patronage of the President of France, Mr Nicolas Sarkozy. Session Focus and Guests The Session was part of the official programme of the French Presidency of the EU and took place during the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue. The event was honoured by the presence of J. Barrot, Vice-president of the Eur. Commission, X. Darcos, French Minister of Education, V. Pecresse Minister for Higher Education and Research, J-P Jouyet, French Secretary of State for European Affairs, J-Y Le Drian, President of the Brittany Regional Council, J-L Tourenne, President of the Ille-et-Vilaine Council, D. De Laveau, Mayor of Rennes as well as R. Lefrancois, M-H Aubert and A. Guelles, Members of the European Parliament. Documents The resolutions passed by the young delegates, the full official report of the event as well as media coverage can be found online, please visit: > Sessions >Rennes Partners Public Institutions: European Parliament, French Foreign and European Affairs Ministry, French Ministry for Health, Youth and Sport, the French Education Ministry, French Ministry for Higher Education and Research, Rennes Métropole, City of Rennes, Région Bretagne, Conseil Général d Ille-et-Vilaine, Conseil Général des Côtes d Armor, Institut d Etudes Politiques de Rennes and the Champs Libres and the IUT de Rennes. Companies: AJP, Alba Group, ArcelorMittal, Deutsche Telekom, Duales System Deutschland, Milonga Music and Veolia Environement. Foundations: Breuniger Fondation, Dräger-Foundation, Freudenberg Foundation, Hertie Foundation and Hippocrene Fondation. Local Cooperation partners: Locarn Institute, Rotary International, AJP 35, Bret s, Biscuiterie Le Dréan and Gavottes Loc Maria. Quotes «I believe that this session made me understand better how real citizen of Europe should act.», 16, Romania «The best chance for young people to feel part of the EU.», 16, Spain 24 European Youth Parliament - Annual Report Website:

25 Implementation and Evaluation - Selected Results Raising the students awareness for European issues, especially for the future of Europe 88 % of the delegates have affirmed that their participation in the session had helped them to achieve a better understanding of current European political developments. Furthermore, two thirds of the delegates intend to found an initiative for the promotion of European issues in their school or city. Promoting European understanding and intercultural dialogue 94 % of the participants confirm that the session helped them to improve their knowledge and understanding of different cultures. A strong majority of 87 % affirms that intercultural dialogue, European co-operation and equal opportunities for all had been not only promoted, but also lived throughout the session. Promoting active democratic citizenship 79 % of the participants declared that the session has increased their willingness to become and active citizen. Furthermore, 99 % intend to share this experience with friends and fellow students once they are back in their home town and will thus be important multipliers for the promotion of active democratic citizenship and participation. European Youth Parliament - Annual Report Website: 25

26 The third Think Tank of the European Youth Parliament

27 The 3 rd Think Tank of the European Youth Parliament Berlin, December 5 th 7 th, 2008 The Think Tank once a year engages alumni of the EYP from all over Europe in the drafting of concrete policy proposals for European decision-makers. In its first year 2006, the Think Tank drafted its suggestions for the Berlin Declaration six months prior to the actual draft and presented it in a public event to President Barroso. In 2007, we developed recommendations for Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner who welcomed the EYP s input on the future of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) in the MEDA region. This year we addressed the future of the EU s external trade policy for Trade Commissioner Catherine Ashton and worked directly for the Commissioner s cabinet on the question, How can the trade regime between the European Union and the Least Developed Countries (LDC) contribute to a sustainable development of the latter and appeal to both parties?. The Participants The 3rd Think Tank involved 24 EYP Alumni who had been selected by a jury composed of university professors and policy experts. All participants were aged between 22 and 29 and came from 19 different countries. The group was marked by an extraordinary diversity and included students, employees of national governments, private companies or NGOs. After an interesting introduction to the European Trade Policy by Renate Nikolay, Member of the Cabinet of Commissioner Catherine Ashton, the Think Tank developed a set of recommendations and policy papers for the European Commissioner. Results The outcomes of the intensive work on pressing questions regarding the ENP were presented on Sunday. These policy papers were given to Commissioner Catherine Ashton, Members of the European Parliament as well as other stakeholders in this topic area. The full policy papers can be obtained from org > Think Tank > Policy Papers. European Youth Parliament - Annual Report Website: 27

28 28 European Youth Parliament - Annual Report Website:

29 The National Committees of the European Youth Parliament

30 European Youth Parliament Albania The National Committee of the European Youth Parliament in Albania The National Committee of EYP Albania just recently became part of the EYP network. It was founded in 2008 after its application to become a full member. Its main activities are the National Selection Conference, meetings and seminars. Through its activities EYP Albania reaches so far high school students and teachers each year. Activities in 2008 From July EYP Albania organized the 1st National Selection Conference in Tirana with the participation of 6 Educational Institutions. Number of participants: 50 from Albania, Croatia, Greece, Czech Republic and France Partners: Friedrich Ebert Stiftung European University of Tirana Contact EYP Albania Rr. Sitki Cico, P.4/1 ap.96, Tirana Albania Phone: gmail.com 30 European Youth Parliament - Annual Report Website:

The European Youth Parliament: 20 years of educating political participation

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