Interview with Diogo Capelo from EYP Portugal

Diogo is 21 and studies Philosophy, Politics and Economics at King’s College London. At the same time, he is a board member of the national European Youth Parliament organisation in Portugal! How does that work?

What do you do in EYP Portugal?

This is my second term as a board member in the national EYP organisation in Portugal. During my first term, I was in charge of Members Development and International Relations. That means I handled the delegations of Portuguese EYPers going to EYP sessions abroad and I went to the meeting of all national EYP organisations in Berlin two times per year. I sent and received around 3500 emails in one year and I was proud at the end of my term to see that my work impacted EYP Portugal’s relations with other EYP countries and the board of EYP Portugal’s relation with its members. I love communications and the dynamics between people!

This year I’m trying something completely different, maybe even the opposite, in my term as Treasurer of the board. This job is more technical: accounting, checking receipts, handling budgets, funding requests to the Portuguese government and helping out with fundraising.

How does someone become a board member?

We recently changed the elections system. Instead of running with an entire group for the board, you can now apply individually for a specific role, which is more democratic. The call for candidates is spread online and every member of EYP Portugal can apply with a motivation. The general assembly of all members elect the new board. The past elections, there were 15 candidates, a high number that shows that we have many talented and dedicated members, and we were also happy to see the largest voter turnout we’ve ever had.

It sounds like a lot of work. Why do you do it?

Being a board member does mean a lot of work, sometimes stress, and you have to combine it with the university, so it can be a little rough. But it’s also fun, you learn a lot and it’s satisfying to do this important and useful work. I would actually really miss checking Slack, Skyping, doing my tasks. I love contributing to EYP and applied to the board for a second term because wanted to achieve even more and stay involved. So here I am.

EYP is an organisation that gives you a lot: skills, friends, experiences. Working in the board is about giving back to the organisation, but also about the people. Having a team that understands each other is crucial and motivating. It’s important to feel comfortable and I hope that I will be able to work in teams like this in my future work life, teams where everyone is committed and helps each other grow.

What are your future plans in EYP?

Last year I thought it was going to be my last year in EYP. This year I think the same, haha. As a board member it probably is, but I don’t think I’m finished with the organisation. We are young, we are growing, we are learning and it’s just very cool to be part of this.