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Amsterdam2015: International Forum of EYP The Netherlands
Date du début: 1 août 2014, Date de fin: 31 mai 2015 PROJET  TERMINÉ 

EYP The Netherlands is a non-partisan apolitical organisation that aims to provide informal political education to European youngsters, and through simulating the European Parliament seeks to provide them with a platform to debate European issues, and to promote their active participation in society. Having organised large international conferences before, a group of six individuals started preparation for Amsterdam2015 in January 2014. The goal was to put together a well-organised, innovative, eight-day conference that would provide a significantly more valuable academic and learning experience than regular European Youth Parliament events, while also putting together an engaging cultural programme. Amsterdam2015 gathered 187 participants from all over Europe in Amsterdam for a week. Its aims were to stimulate the participants to increase their understanding of and engagement with pressing European issues and the Europen Union in light of the theme of the conference: “Global Issues from a European perspective”. This was achieved through their participation in a variety of programme elements, which provided an opportunity for inter-cultural dialogue, the obtainment and exchange of extensive knowledge on these issues and ultimately the opportunity for the participants to form and express their own opinions on these topics. For this purpose, at the start of the conference all participants were divided into ten committees with youngsters from all over Europe. Together they expanded their knowledge of and formulated their opinion on a predefined topic in a structured manner. In this, they were aided by both an experienced alumnus of the European Youth Parliament, as well as a team of alumni functioning as journalists documenting those topics. During the first two days of the conference, these youngsters got to know their fellow committee members, who were all from different countries and diverse cultural backgrounds, during Teambuilding. The next two days were dedicated to Committee Work, during which they extensively discussed their topics, analysed the key problems within their topic and formulated a draft resolution. During the evening of the second day of Committee Work, a lobbying event took place. During this "Lobby Night", participants were presented with the resolutions produced by the other committees, and were able to submit amendments to these resolutions. Those amendments that received a sufficient amount of signatures were then discussed during the first General Assembly. In this General Assembly, all resolutions and amendments were debated. All amendments were voted upon. Amendments approved by the General Assembly then had to be integrated into the resolution. To do this, and to put the final touches to the resolutions and integrate comments from the General Assembly, a Revision Day was held. All committees had a final look at their resolutions during this day, and produced their full resolution. These finalised resolutions were then debated during the second and last General Assembly. All resolutions were put to a vote, and either passed or failed. Besides the academic programme, an extensive cultural programme was organised. The so-called Eurovillage was held, where participants shared culinary delights from their home countries with their fellow participants, and dressed up in national costumes. During the Opening Ceremony, which took place in the magnificent church "De Duif", participants were addressed by the president of the conference's president, the project leaders and the president of European Youth Parliament The Netherlands. In cooperation with one of our sponsors, a Gala Night was organised at the Rijksmuseum. The event consisted of a panel debate and participants viewing the museum's most famous works of art afterwards. At the museum is closed to the public in the evening, participants had the chance to wander around the Gallery of Honour on their own, with tour guides available for any questions. Since elements such as the Lobby Night, the Revision Day and having two General Assemblies had never been implemented at an European Youth Parliament conference before, we were delighted to get very positive feedback from our participants afterwards. The consensus amongst them was this new Academic Concept had massively improved their learning experience, as it familiarised them with more topics, put even more focus on listening skills and consensus-building, and made the academic aspect of the conference much more dynamic. Additionally, participants expressed their appreciation of our cultural programme and the overall organisation of the conference. We are confident that this will motivate our participants to continue attending EYP events, and volunteer to organise or facilitate conferences in the future, enabling the European Youth Parliament network to further expand and include more and more young people in our activities!



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