European Youth Parliament

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European Youth Parliament
The EYP logo
Founded 1988
Founder Bettina Carr-Allinson
Type Educational Charity
Focus Internationalism
Location
Area served
Europe
Key people
Krista Simberg (Executive Director)
Website www.eyp.org/

The European Youth Parliament is a politically and religiously unbound non-profit organisation, which encourages European youth to actively engage in citizenship and cultural understanding. It involves 40,000 youngsters from all around Europe in its events and has around 5,000 active members in the different countries. It was established in 1987 in Fontainebleau, France.

History[edit]

The European Youth Parliament was founded by Bettina Carr-Allinson, initially as a school project at the Lycée François-Ier in Fontainebleau, to the south of Paris.[1] It is there that three of the first four International Sessions were held, starting in 1988, about a year after the idea took place.

It then developed steadily for a few years until it moved to Witney, Oxfordshire, in 1991, and was legally recognised as the European Youth Parliament International Ltd., a subsidiary of a charity created in 1992 for this purpose, the Fontainebleau Youth Foundation. The organisation experienced an enduring growth for the next ten years, its network counting an increasing number of National Committees and its activities becoming both larger and more numerous. The National Committees stretch beyond the scope of countries within the European Union and try to encompass all European countries.

In the years 2001 to 2004, the EYP encountered various problems of financial nature. On November 4, 2004, however, the European Youth Parliament was reborn due to a mutual agreement between representatives of EYP's Board of National Committees, alumni and the Heinz-Schwarzkopf Foundation. The EYP's status since then has been a programme of the Schwarzkopf-Stiftung Junges Europa, and is hosted in Berlin, Germany.

The actual activities of the EYP never faltered during this period.

Since 2004, the EYP has introduced several reforms to introduce more transparency in its institutions and further enlarged its activities.

Management[edit]

At the international level, the EYP is governed by an international board, the Governing Body. The Governing Body has six members elected by the National Committees and by the alumni of past sessions. A representative of the Heinz-Schwarzkopf Foundation is also a member. The board is largely responsible for the quality assurance of the International Sessions but also takes responsibility for the overall direction of the organisation and the long term sustainability and protection of the Organisation. The day-to-day business of the organisation is administered by a hired manager. Philipp J. Scharff was manager from 2004 until 2008 and Jan Phillip Beck (DE) from 2008 until April 2011. Ville Vasaramäki (FI) took over this role and is currently the Executive Director of the EYP.

At the national level, the National Committees are free to choose how to manage themselves though the form of management must comply with basic democratic principles. It is the responsibility of the National Committees to organize and fund their own national sessions (more about them below). International Sessions can receive limited funding from EYP at the international level but are largely responsible for their economy as well. Sessions are usually funded through sponsorship from various organizations or corporations. Each session must be economically independent.

National Committees[edit]

National Committees (NC) of EYP can be found in:

Sessions[edit]

EYP organises three international nine-day sessions each year. They are organized in different countries and all European countries are invited to join, not just members of the EU. Each country's national committee selects a delegation to participate in each session, the size of the delegation depends on the country and how long time its National Committee has been part of EYP. The delegations are then spread out in different committees, each committee with a particular topic. This ensures a maximized cultural diversity in the committee and serves as a strong incentive to socialize and make friends with people from the committee.

Each international session starts with of a two-day Teambuilding part, in which delegates get acquainted with each other and start improving the group dynamics of the committee. The delegates play different games which are meant to bring the delegates from an initial shyness stage to a comfortable, open atmosphere optimal for efficient Committee work.

This is followed by four or five days for Committee Work. During this time the delegates discuss a problematic topic on current European political matters and write a resolution on how to deal with the issue. A member of the European Parliament or some alternative expert will generally visit once to answer questions and quickly discuss the topic with the Committee.

The sessions ends with a General Assembly, in which the committee resolutions are looked through, altered and approved (or if the resolution is found unacceptable, not approved). If a resolution is approved it is sent on to the European Parliament, for the consideration of MEPs. General Assembly is usually held in some honorary or prestigious location, such as the host country's Houses of Parliament or the main hall of the City Council.

Additionally National Committees of EYP organise several national and regional sessions every year. National sessions are to select a delegation for one of the upcoming international sessions. These sessions are shorter, lasting normally three days and do not invite a member of the European Parliament to the committees. Regional sessions are of varying length, from 3 to 7 or 8 days, and in essence imitate international sessions. They have, however, a more constrained budget and tend to be less formal than international sessions. For both national and regional sessions, resolutions are not sent on to the European Parliament.

As of Spring 2014, 75 international EYP sessions have taken place:[2]

European Youth Parliament is located in Europe
Fontainebleau
Fontainebleau
Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki
Lisbon
Lisbon
Kronberg
Kronberg
Prague
Prague
Barcelona
Barcelona
Oxford
Oxford
Strasbourg
Strasbourg
Ghent
Ghent
Bern
Bern
Budapest
Budapest
Luxembourg
Luxembourg
Berlin
Berlin
Brussels
Brussels
Holstebro
Holstebro
Gothenburg
Gothenburg
Dublin
Dublin
Milan
Milan
Helsinki
Helsinki
Nicosia
Nicosia
Edinburgh
Edinburgh
Granada
Granada
Vienna
Vienna
Rome
Rome
Weimar
Weimar
Hämeenlinna
Hämeenlinna
Athens
Athens
Stockholm
Stockholm
Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik
Porto
Porto
Riga
Riga
Turin
Turin
Tallinn
Tallinn
Durham
Durham
Tábor
Tábor
Stavanger
Stavanger
Basel
Basel
Bari
Bari
Paris
Paris
Ventspils
Ventspils
Kiev
Kiev
Potsdam
Potsdam
Stavanger
Stavanger
Białystok
Białystok
Liverpool
Liverpool
Rennes
Rennes
Leuven
Leuven
Tromsø
Tromsø
Frankfurt
Frankfurt
Lviv
Lviv
Lillehammer
Lillehammer
Grenoble
Grenoble
Zagreb
Zagreb
Istanbul
Istanbul
Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Munich
Munich
Zurich
Zurich
Tbilisi
Tbilisi
International Sessions

Future sessions will include:

External links[edit]

References[edit]