Young people are the decision-makers of the future
The Model European Parliament (MEP) was conceived to foster the development of a fuller European awareness and understanding among the young people of Europe.
Founded in 1989 in the Netherlands, it has provided an opportunity for personal growth and communication between the nations of Europe today, to benefit the Europe of tomorrow. (In 1994 the first international MEP conference was organised in the Netherlands).
By simulating the sessions held in the actual European Parliament, students gain an insight into the process of European integration and a sense of European identity is fostered among young Europeans. Much attention is paid to the diversity of European cultures and languages and to the fact that diversity should not separate people but enrich their way of life and thinking.
It is independent of the European Parliament and the other institutions of the European Union.
More information is available http://www.mepnederland.nl/
What does it do?
Every six months a total of two hundred 16-19 year old students from 30 European countries meet in a European city for a week of detailed research and discussion culminating in a plenary session at which resolutions are debated and adopted. These international sessions are run by and for the students themselves with minimal input from adults and all proceedings are conducted in English.
How are students chosen to participate?
Each delegation of five students is chosen by the participating country according to its own procedures. In some countries delegations are chosen following national or regional sessions. In others, the MEP is operated by a consortium of schools and the delegation is drawn from the students of those schools.
What do students get out of it?
Student delegates to the International MEP sessions regularly describe the experience as the best week of their lives. The sessions are gruelling but exhilarating in their development of intellectual acuity and mental stamina as well as communication and social skills. Delegates work in committees with colleagues from other countries to examine in critical detail some of the complex social, economic and political issues facing Europe and the wider world. They attempt to devise solutions by way of resolutions which are then debated in a two day plenary session at the end of the week. Delegates learn to communicate, collaborate and compromise with their contemporaries from all the countries and cultures across the continent. But there are also ample opportunities to socialise and to visit some of the sights of the host country and firm friendships are formed amongst the delegates.
What do students think about it?
- MEP is like physics: you may not understand how, but you know that it affects you. Ridas Rimkus (Lithuania)
- If you once participate in MEP, it is impossible to not fall in love with this project. Amanda Kvedaraite (Lithuania)
- A funny experience packed with learning and new friends. Lucas Sewerin (Denmark)
- At the end of one MEP session, I am already looking forward to another MEP session. Ieva Valavičiūtė (Lithuania)
- It’s good, it’s good to be in MEP Community! Guoda Vaitiekutė (Lithuania)
- The experience of a lifetime. Angel Simbaev (Bulgaria)