Liverpool Schools' Parliament - Euroscola Trip December 2012
Euroscola is a chance for teenagers of different nationalities to come together and share a common interest in politics and the future of the European Union and we were fortunate to be given the opportunity to attend. Two schools from Liverpool comprising girls from Archbishop Blanch Notre Dame were chosen to represent the UK at Euroscola for our successes in enterprise and debating competitions.
On the day of Euroscola we were so excited that we were awake at 5.30am to get ready. After a 20 minute bus journey and a much squashed tram ride, we arrived at the European Parliament building in Strasbourg.
When we arrived, we were greeted by some very friendly people and shown to the restaurant area, where we enjoyed our breakfast of pain au chocolate, after which we were split into our groups and taken into the room where the members of European Parliament sit. Everyone from different countries were welcomed by a MEP and then the different countries went on to present a speech about their country and schools, United Kingdom were last to speak. Our elected speakers were Aimee Atherton and Erin Boyes, who had to give the speech in French! They did a very good job even if the translation was not the best!
Following everyone's speeches was Question Time. We were given the chance to ask MEPs a question we wanted, which ranged from the financial crisis to their views on climate change and global warming. These discussions were very interesting and some young people were able to show how passionate they were about the future of their country.
During lunch in the restaurant area everyone was invited to participate in a quiz, in which each member of each team had to be from a different country and we had to answer questions that were in different languages, which helped everyone to overcome language barriers and talk to other teenagers from Europe.
We gathered back into our groups and were shown to a smaller discussion room, where we then debated the topic we chose from the six that were given. After two hours of discussion and debate, each group elected a spokesperson and a chairman to present the groups conclusions to the rest of the groups. After which the floor was opened for us to ask questions on the topics and the rest of the auditorium voted whether the proposal should be carried forward for further discussion or not used by the EU.
At the end of the day, the teams that had scored highest in the quiz took part in a final in the auditorium. Erin from UK was in one of the teams that were successful, after a tough few rounds her Red Team won overall and came home with some stylish souvenirs. Our leader, Jeff Dunn, was on the winning staff team and he also came home with a distinguished medal.
We felt privileged to have been able to take part in such an amazing experience and it has made us aware of the topical EU political issues and the future of the EU. We thoroughly enjoyed the rest of our trip in Strasbourg and all agreed we would like to return at some point.