Deadline: 30 November 2012
Open to: high school students ( ≥16 years old) from EU member states
Venue: European Economic and Social Committee (Brussels, Belgium) 18-20 April 2013
Would you like to come to Brussels for two days to join the European Union decision-makers, to see the city, and actually take part in the political debate that goes on at the heart of Europe?
It could be you, on your way to the European Union capital as a guest of the European Economic and Social Committee, if your school is selected to take part in the ‘Your Europe, Your Say’ event on 18-20 April 2013. All you need to do is to get your teacher to apply via the online registration form before the closing date, 30 November 2012 (midnight Brussels time).
One school from each of the 27 EU Member States will be picked at random, and if yours is the lucky one, they will invite three students and a teacher to come to the EESC headquarters in Brussels, to take part in a simulated plenary session of the Committee. You’ll be able to meet and exchange views with other young people from all over Europe. In April 2012, at the last ‘Your Europe, Your Say’ session, school students agreed a resolution on the environment that was actually put to world leaders at the Rio+20 conference in Brazil, last summer. This year’s programme is AVAILABLE HERE in English and French.
2013 will be the European Year of Citizens. The EESC is the only EU body directly representing citizens’ organisations, through its members, and we believe that active citizenship is crucial to a healthy democracy. You are Europe’s future citizens – its future decision-makers.
The simulated plenary session will take place during the day on Friday 19 April 2013. Students will arrive in Brussels on 18 April and will meet the other participants that evening. They will return home on 20 April. CLICK HERE to watch a video about the conference! A frequently asked questions page for more information about the event is AVAILABLE HERE.
The EESC will arrange and pay the accommodation expenses (two nights) of students and their teachers in Brussels. It will also arrange and pay travel expenses for the international airplane/train connection from their home country to Brussels (including connecting flights/long distance connecting trains if needed). Travel will be by air or train depending on the participants’ country of origin. The EESC will pay also transport from/to Brussels station or airport and the hotel. The EESC will not pay any domestic transport in the home country. This means that travel from/to the departure station or airport in the home country will not be reimbursed.
The EESC is a European advisory body. It has 344 members from all 27 EU countries, representing different economic and social sectors in society: employers, workers, NGOs and various other organisations. In the European decision-making process, its role is to advise the other European institutions (European Commission, Council of the European Union and European Parliament). The EESC gives them its point of view on particular issues, in documents known in euro-speak as “opinions”. Each member belongs to one of the Committee’s three major groups, “Employers”, “Workers” and “Various Interests”. Their job is to work together to reach a consensus, so that the Committee can issue “opinions” that reflect the interests of the greatest number.
No minimum language level of language knowledge is required. However, the students selected and their teacher must be able to express themselves in English or in French so as to facilitate communication and discussion during the exercise.
Schools wishing to take part must register online through the EESC’s internet site. After registration has closed, the schools to take part in the simulation exercise will be chosen by lot. The selected schools will themselves choose three students in their pre-final year of secondary education (aged ≥ 16 years) to represent them, as well as a teacher who will accompany them.
Schools themselves must fill out the online registration form AVAILABLE HERE by 30 NOVEMBER 2012. If you’re a student, talk with your teachers and encourage them to apply!
Before registration, the school must designate the accompanying teacher, who will be the only contact person for the EESC – if the school is selected – during the phase of preparation for the simulation exercise. The head teacher of the school must confirm this choice in the relevant section of the online registration form.
The school must enter on the registration form its full name and address, the name and contact details of the head teacher and accompanying teacher, and an email address to which all correspondence with the accompanying teacher can be sent. Email must be checked regularly, since the schools will be contacted mainly by email. Only one registration form per school will be accepted.
The original call for applications is AVAILABLE HERE for more information and photos from last year’s event.