The Mercator Foundation and the innogy Stiftung für Energie und Gesellschaft are giving EYP extra space for knowledge exchange, innovation and sustainable development. For example, project managers of past and upcoming International Sessions got the opportunity to meet each other in Berlin in February. Find out some of the new ideas they are planning to implement in their sessions!

"EYP allows you to take on challenges and stretch your comfort zone. You and the project you work on are always connected to others, and yet you still maintain ownership of your work." Vardges Shahmenendyan, 22, is the president of the National Committee of the European Youth Parliament in Armenia. He studies architecture and works at an architecture studio in Yerevan. Read the full interview here.

2018 was an extremely fruitful year for the EYP Alumni network. Among other projects and initiatives, the EYP Happy Hours were brought forward too. Happy Hours are cozy and laid-back reunions for former EYPers to get together and reconnect in an informal and relaxed environment. Overall, up to 100 participants joined in and reconnected during the 5 Spring and 7 Autumn Happy Hours which took place this year. We would hereby like to take a moment and thank all of the organisers who took the initiative to host such an event in their city and also have a look at a few of the festive pictures that were captured in some of the Happy Hours.

In 2018, one of the noteworthy milestones for alumni activities was the launch of the first ever EYP mentorship pilot programme. It provides the alumni of the network with a chance to contribute to the personal development of current EYP participants. The aim of this initiative is to bring together young EYPers who are beginning their professional careers (and are, for example, finishing their studies and seeking their first jobs) with EYP alumni who are already experienced and can share their expertise with the next generation. This year, 18 tandems from 16 countries have met to begin this joint mentorship venture. Meet one mentee, Isidora Smigic from Serbia and her mentor, Katharina Okulski from Austria who participated in the first ever EYP mentorship programme.

The European Youth Parliament empowers young people from across Europe to be open-minded, active citizens. It provides participants with a forum to develop and express their opinions on a wide range of topics. The next International Session of the EYP will take place in Rotterdam between the 13th and 21st of October 2018, under the theme ‘Discovering Global Europe’. We have asked Sophie Scannell, the president of the session, about her motivation to volunteer her time to this event. Here is what Sophie shared with us.