The European Youth Parliament (EYP) is a non-profit organization that engages youth to discuss current political issues in a European context and this happens through sessions taking place on the regional, national and international level. Each year a delegation is selected by Anna Ellmark here at Malmö Borgarskola to represent our school in first regional, then if chosen to continue to the national selection conference and finally, if the delegation is deemed appropriate, to represent Sweden at an international session. We participated in the 2014 RS and the subsequent NS in Sweden 2015 and were afterwards invited to attend EYP Portugal’s NS in Braga, which we did with delight.

On Wednesday 18th, we left Malmö in the morning to start our travel to Braga, Portugal. After 11 hours, a train ride, two flights, a bus and a taxi, we finally arrived in the beautiful city of Braga. After settling in at the hotel, we took a walk through the beautiful streets of the city and ate dinner at a very nice vegetarian restaurant, with three quarters of our delegation being vegetarians. After that, we returned to the hotel and fell asleep rather quickly…travelling is after all rather exhausting, especially for such a long time.

The first day, Thursday 19th, consisted of a moment called Teambuilding. Teambuilding is a key moment in EYP as it is where the committees really get to know each other and start being comfortable with each other. This makes it much easier to later on work together and find solutions to the issues. So the day consisted of a lot of games and fun and was concluded with a so-called Eurovillage, where each delegation dressed up and served food from their specific region/country. The Swedish delegation had köttbullar, pepparkakor and knäckebröd with salmon, and when everyone was full of Portuguese, Swedish, Czech and Belgian specialties, we were transferred back to the Hotel to get some rest before the upcoming days.

DAYS 2-3
The two following days consisted of Committee Work, the moment where the delegates, in their committees, try to find solutions to the problems outlined their specific issues. Committee work is truly the body of every EYP session since it’s when the delegates develop a profound understanding of their issue: heated debating can occur!

Coffee breaks are highly recommended and the backbone of any EYP session!
The Committees at a session are based on the real European Parliament’s committees and in this case included (amongst others, of course):

Every EYP session culminates in a General Assembly, where all the resolutions produced by the committees are debated and finally voted upon. The diversity of delegates present and the ability to directly respond to what is being said make for many interesting and fruitful debates with new and differing perspectives being introduced all the time!

The session ended with beautiful and impassioned speeches from the Head-Organizers, President and Editor of the session, from the President of EYP Portugal and from teachers involved in EYP: these people’s dedication to EYP and love for each other brought tears to everyone’s eyes and were a very inspirational way to conclude a wonderful session.

Thank you, EYP Portugal for opening your arms and hearts to Sweden: we look forward to having you at our National Session in March!