Introduction | EYP Switzerland | International Structure
The European Youth Parliament (EYP) is a unique youth organisation that gathers young people who share a passion for European politics and international exchange. Participants from 38 European countries take part in up to 120 EYP events each year. The aims of the EYP are to:
- Raise awareness for European issues, encourage active European citizenship and motivate students to get involved in European politics.
- Promote international understanding, intercultural dialogue and diversity of ideas and practices.
- Contribute to the personal skills development of the European youth.
- Provide a forum in which young people in Europe can express their own opinions without reverting to role play
The three International Sessions that take place every year are the largest events of the EYP, each gathering more than 270 young people from all over Europe. The participants of these sessions are selected by the National Committees. Once a year, EYP Switzerland organises a National Conference at which delegations from Swiss high schools are welcome to participate (for further information, see Participate). Based on their performance during the National Conference, several delegations are invited to participate in International and National Sessions all over Europe.
What do you do at an EYP session?
All EYP sessions follow a similar programme which consists of the following parts:
- Firstly the delegates are divided into committees with students from other delegations. Since they don’t know one another, they take part in Teambuilding.
- During Committee Work, the delegates start working on a current issue of European politics in their committees and compose a joint resolution.
- Following the model of parliaments, the resolutions are debated and voted upon during General Assembly.
All parts of an EYP Session are held in English and French, these being the official languages of the EYP. An evening programme rich in variety with events such as Swiss Village (all delegations bring food and drinks that represent their region) and many socialising occasions create a unique atmosphere that makes EYP more than a mere debating competition.
Who takes part in an EYP session?
The Delegates (students from the participating schools) are the group for whom the EYP session is organised. Expressing their own opinions, they seek compromise on their controversial committee topics during the discussions of Committee Work and defend their resolutions using their debating skills during General Assembly. The Chairpersons (‘Chairs’) guide the Delegates through Teambuilding and Committee Work to General Assembly. Being experienced EYP participants, they act as facilitators within the Committees. The Journalists produce newspapers and videos during the session and capture all the memorable moments of the session. Since the tight schedule of EYP events often leaves little time to reflect and absorb, the work of the Journalists helps to retain and create memories. The Organisers prepare the session in advance and are responsible for its smooth running. EYP sessions are organised by teams of committed young people. All of them work voluntarily in order to provide other students with the same positive EYP experience they themselves enjoyed.