The last 2nd December, 2013, I took part in an international EYP session, which I reckon I can describe as the most exciting experience I’ve had in my entire life.
I am totally concerned about the fact that people don’t understand me when I try to tell them about the EYP, so let me just start from the beginning; the EYP is a large European-scale organization which is founded, mainly, by the EP (European Parliament). It basically tries to encourage the European spirit between the European youth, by means of the so-called “sessions”, which try to represent what is done in the European Parliament translating it into some sort of a general assembly. The process begins at a regional scale in each country of the Union, involving, at first, groups of students from different high schools, formed by six or seven members. They take part in the “General Assembly Day” preparing a speech that tries to defend a resolution, and also by preparing an attack speech for the resolutions of each group. These resolutions always regard at European level problems and solutions, and in the debate they are discussed, and approved or passed. Of course, the GA day’s official languages are English and French.
The next step is the National Session. A jury (coming from the EYP organization of each State) selects three schools from every single Regional Session which is held in every State, and they take part in a four-day session in which they basically develop their resolutions, working harder on them than in the regional session, but with the same aim, which is to participate in a General Assembly day.
We (my too partners and I) were probably lucky that we were chosen from the 24 schools who participated in Bilbao to take part in an international session. This session was held in Essen, Germany, a very cold and apparently odd city (directly meaning not charming) very near Dortmund and Düsseldorf, which shapes with them a region called the “Rheinland”, the main power station of Europe. The main topic of the session was “Young Energy for Europe”, and it was the third of a series of three sessions which focused in the same energy themes (Istanbul, The Hague, Essen). We were around a hundred people from anywhere in Europe you could imagine: there was people from the UK, France, Spain, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Latvia, Poland, Germany, Switzerland, Macedonia, Greece, Italy, Austria, Ukraine, Albania, Kosovo, and many more. We lived together in a youth hostel in, literally, the middle of the wood. It was really exciting, because you came to know people from all around Europe: as we were organized in Committees (every Committee worked on a subject, always related to energy, and developed the resolution to be discussed and approved or passed in the General Assembly Day), and they try not to make people from the same country coincide in the same Committee, we had the chance to make friends and discuss and interact with them in English, and I particularly saw how my English improved only by listening to some people in the Debates we had.
But the EYP International Session was half working hard, half having great lots of fun; I think it was nice to have half of the time to do teambuilding (which consists in the improving, by your group tutor (your “Chairperson”, which helps you and organizes your work when preparing the Resolutions), of the behaviors and ways of intercommunication between the members of your group: which means, playing cooperative games all the time. We also had lots of parties at night, so we came to know each other very well and it was possible, at the end, to feel comfortable between people whose face you wouldn’t have recognized if they had just passed you by in a supermarket a week before. And I found that really positive; I take a very beautiful souvenir from Essen’2013, and I must say it is mostly because of the organization of EYP.
LLUC SOLÉS (1BATX A)