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European Youth Parliament
Tilda Nilsson is a second year who, along with her teammates from IEGS, went to the Regional Session of EYP Sweden 2014 on the 29th and 30th of November, in the hopes of qualifying for the National Session.
This Friday, Tilda along with her other team members will by flying to Umeå to participate in the National Session of EYP Sweden. But first let’s take a look back at the journey that they went through and the accomplishments that they have made along the way.
At the Stockholm Regional Session of EYP Sweden, the president of the European Youth Parliament Sweden begins her speech with “And first of all, I would like to give you all a warm welcome on behalf of EYP Sweden”. We, the delegates, barely any younger than the people presiding over us, are discretely looking around the room, predicting possible committee teams, as well as sizing up our opponents. All a little nervous, no one knows what’s in store, and all tingling with excitement. We all got here through different paths. Some wrote essays, some simply applied. And others, such as the delegates from IEGS, earned our spot by completing a mock EYP session.
After the opening ceremony, we are divided into our committees. There were a total of 12 schools at this session,all with a team of 4 members. We were a total of 7 committees, each one representing a branch within European politics. Once everyone is settled, the chairs, whose job is to help and guide their committees, take their committee to their designated room.
Now, it’s about 10 o’clock, and the next couple of hours is spent playing name games, getting to know one another, and doing teamwork exercises. This is a crucial part of EYP which allows the delegates to get comfortable in their own skin (and rather uncomfortable clothes), as well as get to know the people they will be debating with and next to.
After a much needed coffee-break, the actual committee work begins. Each committee is presented with an issue that’s related to their area. For example, LIBE, which stands for Civil Liberties and Home Affairs, gets a problem related to that. Each committee must then take their issue, and break it down to a number of problems, and a number of solutions to them. This is then worded more appropriately, and then the resolution has been finished. This is a process that took about 6 hours.
All the committees then split up into their schools for the evening activity, something called Globo Village. Each school were to represent a country by bringing food , wear clothes, and decorate in ways that represented their country. This was a huge success, everyone ate, mingled, laughed, and overall had a great time.
The rest of the evening and night is spent preparing for tomorrow’s debates. We are transported to the hotel by bus, and at around 10 o’clock, we receive the resolution booklet, which is a collection of all the committee’s resolutions. The work then begins with scrutinizing your own resolution to see what others might attack, so that you can properly defend your resolution. You also try to look at all the other’s, trying to find a flaw to attack. The hotel is resonating with laughter, speeches, people working together, and pure exhaustion. Sleep was not prioritized for anyone.
The next day, an eerie silence lies over the hotel. Delegates are desperately trying to wake up from the 30 minutes of sleep they’ve gotten, or simply trying to stay awake after no sleep whatsoever. We somehow manage to get up, and get ready, uncomfortable fancy clothes and all. We then walk in a procession to Miljöförvaltningen, where the General Assembly is to take place.
The General Assembly is the debates that takes place during the day. Each resolution is brought up, explained, attacked, defended, questioned, defended again, questioned once more, defended once again, questioned one last time, and finally, defended and closed with a closing speech. It is then voted on, and some motions pass, others don’t. It is important that all the delegates get a chance to speak, so therefore the jury and president are there to oversee and preside the proceedings. Everything is very formal, and a delegate cannot speak until their chair has raised the placard with the committee name on it, and they have been recognised by the president. Since there are often many placards in the air all at once, the chairs soon took it upon themselves to decorate said placards with sticky notes to gain attention.
It is an experience that cannot be compared to any other. One learns to be flexible and open with oneself, to look at a problem as an opportunity rather than a hinderance, and most importantly, one learns how to voice one’s opinion without taking away someone else’s opportunity to do the same.
All in all, EYP serves as the perfect transition from adolescence into adulthood. Delegates are given tasks no different than those given experienced politicians, and are at the same time stimulated with fun games, brain teasers, and leg stretchers. It has, without a doubt, been the most fun and useful opportunity IEGS has given me. It is an opportunity that I am immensely grateful for, and I cannot wait to see where my EYP journey will take me.