On their recent study trip to MEPNL (Model European Parliament in the Netherlands), VRG students learned more than parliamentary procedure … they had new experiences, made important connections, participated in engaging debate and found new inspiration to learn even more.
Students followed a busy 9-day schedule:
DAY 1 – SATURDAY FEBRUARY 4
Arrival of delegations in Arnhem, Training Committee-Presidents
DAY 2 – SUNDAY FEBRUARY 5
Teambuilding activity, Committee Meetings
DAY 3 – MONDAY FEBRUARY 6
Official Opening MEPNL 17, Committee Meetings, Gelderland dinner
DAY 4 – TUESDAY FEBRUARY 7
Committee Meetings, travel to Maastricht, Closing of MEP Green Paper Procedure, Voting on a new ‘Youth Treaty’
Arnhem – Maastricht
DAY 5 – WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 8
Workshops ‘Europe in 25 years’, Delegation Meeting, Lobby Session
DAY 6 – THURSDAY FEBRUARY 9
Visit of the European Parliament, delegations meet their own MEP’s, Presentation of new ‘Youth Treaty’
DAY 7 – FRIDAY FEBRUARY 10
General Assembly, Lobby Session
DAY 8 – SATURDAY FEBRUARY 11
General Assembly, Official Closing MEPNL 17
DAY 9 – SUNDAY FEBRUARY 12
Departure of delegations from Maastricht
Perhaps the most impressive event was when our students visited the European Parliament in Brussels and signed the youth treaty. While inside the EU in the plenary session, students saw a real debate regarding agriculture. And, they saw a bill pass. Outside the EU, students visited with and ate lunch with a Swedish EU MP. During lunch, he explained his role and his focus on environmental issues.
Here are some messages from the entire Swedish delegation of MEPNL17 expressing their gratitude for this amazing opportunity:
This past week at MEPNL17 has been absolutely incredible. I’ve met people from countries I had only known the name of before, I got to experience a unique insight into how the EU works, and why we must work hard to protect it and furthermore, I had a ton of fun debating and discussing relevant topics with people equally passionate as me. It was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity and I am so grateful that I was given this opportunity. Thank you so much!
Felicia Hu SPETS18
I want to express my deep gratitude for being given the opportunity to be a part of the Swedish delegation at MEPNL17. The memories created during that week will stay with me for the rest of my life. There are two words that keeps popping in to my head when thinking about MEP; Eye-opening & Enlightening. Being surrounded by people living across the entire continent has really made me think twice about values and privileges that I and people in my Swedish surrounding have. Something that really stood out to me, was a long and deep discussion with a delegate from Hungary. I remember that so many things that seemed so obvious to me, were the exact opposite to what was obvious to him. We spoke about politics and economics, and the conversation was at least an hour-long.
Again, I want to thank VRG for giving me this opportunity.
Samier Musa, NA18A
The week of MEP in the Netherlands was a week to remember. The amount of things we did in such a short period of time made it feel like much longer than a week. We have not only learned about debating, listened to several interesting speakers and read a lot of resolutions. We have had intense discussions, stressful moments and too little sleep. Most importantly, we have met people in the same age as we are, people who are very talented and smart and that will be our friends forever!
Personally I learned much more about the EU and about how the real decision-making in Europe is made. Especially the day we went to the plenary session in the European Parliament in Brussels. I know that there are a lot of problems in the union. These problems are easy to state and easy to be negative about. What I found brilliant about MEP was that the focus was not only on the problems, but how we as young citizens can solve them. Putting young people from all over Europe together made the discussions beyond interesting and very intellectual, with many different points of view.
I truly enjoyed this unforgettable week in MEPNL17, and I hope that there will be many more MEP sessions for VRG students in the future. It was a fantastic experience, and I want to express my gratitude to the school for making it possible for me to go. Thank you!
Being at a MEP conference is an amazing experience and I would like to thank VRG for giving me the opportunity to attend my second one. Besides meeting several new friends, getting deeper knowledge of cultural differences and the process of the EU, being a CP at an international session has developed my leadership skills and made me understand the difficult task that comes with leading a larger group.
Once again I would like to emphasize how thankful I am for being given the opportunity, and I hope that many VRG students will be given the same in the years to come.
Anna Sandros Hansson, EK17
The week in the Netherlands as well as the visit to the European Parliament in Brussels was an incredible opportunity to learn and experience how the decision-making process in the EU works. During this week I have developed my English and debating skills but also had the chance to work in a committee consisting of 15 different nationalities. It has been a week filled with fun times, hard work and many new friends. I will bring all of this with me in the future. Thank you for giving me the opportunity!
Emma Söderberg, Ek17a
I want to thank VRG for giving me the opportunity to go to MEP. It was an extremely inspiring week, meeting people from all over Europe and learning about their cultures and input on subjects ranging from who’s got the best beer to how to tackle EU integration. I especially remember the introduction speeches held by each country where (besides Hitler being mention at least four times) you really got a picture of how different even other Europeans countries can be. The EU is truly an amazing carpentry and a perfect example of how we can work together over cultural barriers. I cannot thank you enough for giving me the experience of a life time.