News /MEP - The Model European Parliament
The Model European Parliament (MEP) is an international simulation of the working of the European Parliament for students aged 16–19.
The aim of the programme is to give young people an insight into the workings of the European Parliament and raise their awareness of European citizenship. Two sessions are held each year, each involving 180 secondary school students.
This year our school had, once again, the opportunity to participate with the Cypriot delegation in the MEP Paris / Strasbourg 2019 from February 16-23. The presidency of the 50th international Model European Parliament session welcomed everyone warmly to the capital, Paris and to Strasbourg, home to the European Parliament and a dynamic city of western France.
Our school was represented by Androniki Charalambous -6J and she shares with us her opinion.
“Experiences like this one are so worth the time and the effort. During the Model European Parliament program we spent 4 days in Paris and 3 days in Strasbourg, debating in the European Parliament. This program was all about discussing current issues, developing and stepping outside our comfort zones. Most importantly though, we connected with people from around Europe to tear down any stereotypes that divide us. We got to really bond with each other and at moments I found myself forgetting that we are actually from different parts of the world, even spoke Greek to a few of them by accident! It is so surprising to see so many nationalities, different personalities and mind-sets all coming together to discuss and find common ground. I will never forget dancing on the second night in Paris with the Italian delegation, having dinner with the Ambassador on the third, learning a few Maltese words, debating in the European Parliament, my caring host family and so much more. The best thing about MEP are the people. We form real connections there. I will never forget someone walking up to me and saying ‘I would never have thought I would see a Greek-Cypriot and a Turkish girl not only being roommates but also being friends’.
I really believe that this is the true essence of such European programs; to connect.”
The Model European Parliament (MEP) is a unique opportunity for each of its participants to discuss European “burning issues” as the President of the session Nolwenn Da Cruz (FRANCE) described it: “as today’s youth will form tomorrow’s actors of the EU, willing to be aware of their peers’ matters, it is essential to allow these future defenders of an even more effective Europe getting used to a respectful and fruitful dialogue with other European citizens. Therefore, the MEP is a precious experience of free speech and enjoyable multiculturalism when politics nowadays often betray such values by underlining mutual distrust in the Member States.”
Congratulations to Androniki for all her hard work, for representing our school and country together with the Cypriot delegation in this important and memorable session.