You don’t know the European Youth Parliament yet?

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EYP Ganja, Azerbaijan.

European Youth Parliament is an unique and a funny! possibility to discuss the European politics. I discovered the European Youth Parliament par hasard by stumbling upon an announce on youth forums and I liked the idea to discuss the diverse political and social topics, to visit other countries and, the most important for me, to meet other young people, who share the same vision of my Europe of tomorrow.

But what’s exactly the European Youth Parliament (EYP)? Few words about this organization, it is a non-partisan and independent educational programme for young European citizens. Since 1987, the European Youth Parliament supports the development of young people into politically aware and responsible citizens by involving them in European political thinking and promoting intercultural understanding.[1]

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Selfie-time! EYP Ganja.

Today the EYP is one of the largest European platforms for political debate, intercultural encounters, European civic education and the exchange of ideas among young people in Europe. The EYP network is present in around 40 European countries, where thousands of young people are active as volunteers. The entire network organizes over 350 events every year.

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EMPL commitee, Yerevan, Armenia.

How it works in practice? In some kind it is a copy of the European parliament, the same model is applied for the Youth Parliament: the youngsters and more experienced students discuss and adopt resolutions in different committees. For the duration of the Session, the participants are divided into international working groups (committees) that draft resolutions on their respective topics. In these groups, the task of the young people is to come up with their own suggestions and ideas for Europe’s most pressing challenges. The results are then presented and debated in a parliamentary assembly at the end of the Session. The last part of every session is a General Assembly (GA) when the committees come together to present and debate the resolutions they wrote. In the end, the resolutions are put to a vote.

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EMPL committee, Yerevan, Armenia.

For instance during the EYP in Armenia different topics have been discussed and different resolutions have been adopted: the Committee on foreign affaires (AFET) handled the topic of the Association agreement with the EU and Ukraine, the committee on employment and social affairs (EMPL) adopted the resolutions concerning Europe’s youth unemployment, while the committee on women’s rights and gender equality (FEMM) failed to adopt its resolutions to handle the gender imbalance in the three states of the South Caucasus (it happens too). Every Session is accompanied by an extensive cultural programme, celebrating the cultural and culinary diversity of Europe, called Eurovillage. Different cultural events: national theater, dances, performances and the traditional national food festival. Check me improvising the Ukrainian dance in Ganja https://vimeo.com/104325298.

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With EYP participants. Yerevan, Armenia.

The Media team is one of the most important part of the EYP sessions. The Media team reports on all events, especially on the International Sessions. It is one of my favorite part. The media team compiles different interesting topics and funny videos. Serious topics are discussed as in Batumi ”Crimean sanctions and diplomatic relations”: http://batumi14.com/afet-eu-russia-relations/ or “Are Gender stereotypes still a thing?” http://batumi14.com/are-gender-stereotypes-still-a-thing/. But the Media teams also compiles videos of funny moments of sessions, check it https://vimeo.com/104327728 European Youth Parliament Armenia, what are you waiting to apply for?

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EYP Armenia

The EYP session in Armenia was one of my favorite. Inspite the lack of financing in Armenia, it was a rich cultural event, as well as the choice of very passionate and hot-debated topics. It is one of the rare sessions when the gender topics were discussed, being involved in the gender academic activity, I highly appreciated it. We also discussed the hot issue of the Ukrainian Crimea (Gosh, the tension…). The session was full of nice surprises, suddenly one of participants jumped on the stage with the European flag! I also remember a very touching speech and the performance of my committee AFCO, when the guy lighted up the candle and dedicated to the youth’s future. So creative! There was also the Armenian traditional theater, international candidates performed it differently, they broke the rules! There was also the Armenian delicious food and the surprising Eurovillage, so many nationalities and the big-big party!

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At the end. After the General Assembly. Batumi. Georgia.

My special thanks to the organizers who really welcomed and took care of all international participants. I felt as at home. EYP Armenia is also due to the perseverance and incredibly energy of Hovsep Patvakanyan, the president of the Armenian section of EYP. So, obviously, don’t miss the next International EYP Forum in Armenia (IEFA 2015). Its topic will be «Democratic Citizenship: obtaining, developing, empowering» (DECODE) and it will take place from May 21 to May 28, 2015 in Yerevan, Armenia. Around 200 delegates from more than 50 countries of Europe, Asia, Africa and The America will come together for this eight-day program to discuss specific topics in their respective committees.

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Swiss team. Eurovillage. Batumi.Georgia.

Why Armenia to apply? Because you can:

  • Meet 200 participants from 50 different countries from all around the world!(yeah!)
  • Travel expenses will be reimbursed for the best international delegates evaluated by the jury!(is not it  great?)
  • The best International Delegates will be offered chairing opportunity at the Forum to Empower Emerging Leaders (FEEL) in November of 2015
  • Discover Armenia, the region and its delicious food!

I will apply and you? Check for the trailer http://youtu.be/8xA5nY6jKzA and find EYP Armenia on Facebook to follow the events! [1] http://eyp.org/about/