European Youth Parliament


The European Youth Parliament is a politically unbound non-profit organisation, which encourages European youth to actively engage in citizenship and cultural understanding. It involves 50,000 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.

European Youth Parliament
Founded1987
FounderBettina Carr-Allinson (NL) and Laurent Grégoire (FR)
TypeEducational Charity
FocusInternationalism
Location
OriginsFontainebleau, France
Area served
Europe
Key people
Anya Suprunenko (Executive Director)
Volunteers
50,000+
Websitewww.eyp.org/

History


The European Youth Parliament was founded by Laurent Grégoire (FR) and Bettina Carr-Allinson (NL), 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


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 at the International Office in Berlin. Philipp J. Scharff was the manager from 2004 until 2008, Jan Phillip Beck (DE) from 2008 until 2011, Ville Vasaramäki (FI) from 2011 until 2013 and Krista Lagus (FI) from 2013 until 2017. Lukas Fendel (DE) has been taken on the role of Executive Director from 2017 until 2020.

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 organise 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 organisations or corporations. Each session must be economically independent.

Sessions


EYP organises three international nine-day sessions each year. They are organised 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 maximised cultural diversity in the committee and serves as a strong incentive to socialise and make friends with people from the committee.

Other sessions are organized under the supervision of national boards, including Regional Selection Sessions, National Selection Sessions, International Forums, Small Scale Events and Training Days. National Selection Conferences (sessions) are usually where the selection for the delegations sent to International Sessions takes place. The selection process in most countries (notably excluding France) are taken up by a team of Jurors, led by the Head Of Jury (HoJ), which objectively select a number of delegates to "pass" on to the next stage.

Each international session starts with 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 end 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 2019, 90 (taking into account the Extraordinary International Session of EYP in Lillehammer, Norway, Winter 2010) international EYP sessions have taken place:[2]

Fontainebleau
Thessaloniki
Lisbon
Kronberg
Prague
Barcelona
Oxford
Strasbourg
Ghent
Bern
Budapest
Luxembourg
Berlin
Brussels
Holstebro
Gothenburg
Dublin
Milan
Helsinki
Nicosia
Edinburgh
Granada
Vienna
Rome
Weimar
Hämeenlinna
Athens
Stockholm
Dubrovnik
Porto
Riga
Turin
Tallinn
Durham
Tábor
Stavanger
Basel
Bari
Paris
Ventspils
Kyiv
Potsdam
Stavanger
Białystok
Liverpool
Rennes
Leuven
Tromsø
Frankfurt
Lviv
Lillehammer
Grenoble
Zagreb
Istanbul
Amsterdam
Munich
Zurich
Tbilisi
Izmir
Tampere
Leipzig
Dublin
Belfast
Rennes
Laax
Valencia
Hamburg
Yerevan
Rotterdam
Vilnius
Brno
Trondheim
International Sessions

Future sessions will include:

  • 93rd International Session in Warsaw, Poland, Summer 2021
  • 94th International Session in Ljubljana, Slovenia, Summer 2021
  • 95th International Session in Novi Sad, Serbia, Spring 2022
  • 96th International Session in Riga, Latvia, Summer 2022
  • 97th International Session in Kortrijk, Belgium, Autumn 2022

See also


References


  1. "Introduction | Amsterdam 2012 - European Youth Parliament (EYP)". Amsterdam2012.eu. Retrieved 2016-01-22.
  2. Archived May 4, 2014, at the Wayback Machine