25 Jul 15 skills you can learn in the EYP
The European Youth Parliament network (EYP) brings young people across Europe together. But what exactly are the participants doing in and outside of our events, what are the main skills you practice, and why do young people stay involved?
Everyone who joins EYP activities is encouraged to take a step further with every new event. Possibilities to try out different roles, as for example committee leader and chairing the work of the group, organising venues and meals for an event or running EYP’s social media channels, encourages everyone to try out something new and learn from more from experienced volunteers. Through their experiences EYPers learn project management, budgeting, public speaking, delivering convincing elevator pitches, NGO management and leadership. Here’s an overview over just a few skills you might learn in your time with the European Youth Parliament!
1. Working in an international team
Having a common working language, the participants are pushed out of their comfort zones by talking and working with people in an international team from different cultural backgrounds. By bringing young people from diverse countries together, EYP promotes international understanding, intercultural dialogue and diversity of ideas and practices.
2. Expressing one’s opinion
The European Youth Parliament is not politically affiliated to any party, nor is it affiliated to the European Parliament. The participants don’t simulate what members of parliament would do according to their place in the European Parliament, but rather present their own personal opinions in their committees and the General Assembly. EYP’s mission statement includes the aim of empowering young people to become open-minded, tolerant and active citizens.
3. Negotiation skills
Debating and discussion in EYP is consensus-based. We avoid confrontation and seek consensus within a Committee Work structure. This does not preclude ideological conflicts and debates, but the aim is to develop ideas and solutions together in order to overcome differences and find constructive compromises.
4. Public speaking
Ensuring your voice is heard during teambuilding, committee work or the general assembly pushes people out of their comfort zone. Speaking in a foreign language about issues important to the participants can be both challenging and thrilling at the same time. You’ll never forget the feeling you get when stepping down from the stage after your first speech during a General Assembly while a room of your peers is applauding.
5. Better knowledge of the functioning of European institutions and current debates
During the session’s Committee Work, a focus is given to more in-depth research and debating on specific socio-political issues, where a group of delegates dives deeper in a topic and forms suggestions for future policies. These suggestions – called resolutions – are then debated in a plenary format in the General Assembly at the end of a session.
Through its activities, EYP aims to raise awareness of European issues, encourage active European citizenship and motivate young people to get involved in European politics. The debates focus around the current socio-political issues that the continent is facing, ranging from environmental and energy questions to the refugee crisis, border control and surveillance.