International, national and regional events are at the core of our non-formal education activities and bring together around 25,000 young Europeans every year. A welcoming environment and our experience-based learning methodology offer participants a safe space to develop and express their opinions, build intercultural understanding and develop active citizenship skills.
The European Youth Parliament (EYP) draws its methodology from the interdisciplinary social sciences as well as generational knowledge and practices, which have been accumulated within the organisation since 1987. While training our volunteers in topics such as time management, group dynamics, leadership, well-being and media skills, we employ theories from psychology, sociology, and communication.
EYP sessions vary in length from 1 to 10 days and cover a wide range of topics that are often related to international politics, human rights, climate change, health, and energy. Within a session young people take part in a series of activities, guided by peer organisers and moderators.
Our approach to ensuring a safe space for the personal growth and development of our participants and active volunteers is rooted in a number of guidelines and policies, such as the EYP Policy on safeguarding safety and dignity.
Every EYP event consists of three components: Team Building, Committee Work, and General Assembly. Each component contributes to creating the unique environment the EYP is known for and providing participants with a well-rounded experience. They get to know each other while learning to work together, engage in discussions about topics they are passionate about, and come up with solutions to the pressing issues of our time.
Additionally, most of our events also have a fourth component – a cultural programme. A cultural programme allows participants to immerse in the local culture of the hosting country or region and gives a chance for the event organisers to share their culture with the participants from other countries.
- Team Building: Interactive outdoor and indoor games and activities enable participants to get to know each other and establish connections with their peers early in the event programme.
- Committee Work: Participants convene in peer-facilitated working groups and discuss current European topics, with the aim of proposing solutions in the form of written resolutions.
- General Assembly: All Committees come together to debate their proposed resolutions during the General Assembly, following standard parliamentary procedures.
- Cultural Programme: Throughout a session, cultural activities, such as the Euroconcert, provides participants with opportunities to get to know each other’s cultures and traditions.
One day of peer learning, taking place a day prior to the official start of the event is at the core of our informal education approach. It is held for the three core teams, also known as “Officials”, that make the event happen:
- the Organising Team,
- the Chairs’ Team, and
- the Media Team.
The Organising Team consists of Organisers, Core-Organisers, and Head Organiser/s. Usually, all of them are from the hosting country. They prepare and implement the entire project, often starting to work one year in advance and continuing with reporting after the session.
The Chairs’ Team includes Chairpersons, Vice-Presidents, and a President. They develop the academic content prior to the event and ensure a smooth academic process within the committees. The chairpersons work with the delegates within the committees. Each committee focuses on a different topic relevant to contemporary European issues. Throughout ‘Team Building’, committees focus on getting to know each other and learning to work together in an informal setting. Teams go through stages of group dynamics and learn to cooperate to reach consensus-based decisions for the ‘Committee Work’ ahead. During the day/s of ‘Committee Work’, each committee – facilitated and moderated by their chairperson/s – outlines and discusses the issues of their topic, and then brainstorms and drafts solutions to it in the form of the ‘Resolution’. Every decision is made by consensus and requires each participant to be actively engaged. At the ‘General Assembly’ that takes place on the last day/s of the session, each committee presents its resolution, and all delegates have a chance to express their opinions and debate on it.
The Media Team consists of Media Team Members, Editorial Assistants and Editor/s who create media content for and about the event.