Model European Parliament
European politics boring? That is also what I thought before I participated with the Model European Parliament (better known as MEP). However, I participated and went to The Hague last September (18 September to 23 September).
The MEP was founded in 1990. It has as a goal to show young people how politics in the European Union work, this is done by simulation assemblies of the European Union. Everyone is member of a delegation, for example delegation Maartenscollege (during the regional round) or delegation Groningen (during the national round). There are also committees and from every delegation, one (or two) members join a committee. These committees are about one specific subject. During the national round my subject was Culture & Education.
The national round was from Sunday to Friday. On Sunday the members of two out of ten committees arrived in The Hague. We had an introduction program in Scheveningen, on the beach. Luckily, the weather was good. We had dinner together, to get to know each other better. On Monday, the committee meetings started. We had committee meetings in the Province House of The Hague, from 9 am to 5 pm. This was very exhausting, but the discussions and different opinions were also really interesting as well. During the nights we went out and had fun.
Wednesday morning, the other committees arrived in The Hague as well. For the next two nights we stayed at the Stay Okay with all participants (140 people). This meant even more fun and less sleep. On Wednesday afternoon we had the official opening in the ‘Eerste Kamer’. Several speeches were held by politicians. Also, all the delegation leaders had to deliver a speech. I was the delegation leader of the delegation Groningen, so I also had to speech in the ‘Eerste Kamer’. Definitely a great opportunity and an once-in-a-lifetime experience. After the official opening we had dinner with our delegation and went out in The Hague.
On Thursday and Friday we had two days of general assembly. On Thursday we had the general assembly in the ‘Oude Tweede Kamer’. On Friday we had the general assembly in the ‘Tweede Kamer’, which is considered as the political heart of the Netherlands. No one except for the politicians working there are allowed to be here, so it was really cool that we had our general assembly there.
During this amazing week, my opinion about European politics changed a lot. I had an amazing week in The Hague. I have met a lot of people from all over the Netherlands and got to debate during the days and go out during the nights. I have done so many things I never expected to do, like speeching in the ‘Eerste Kamer’ and I had one of the most amazing weeks in my life.
Also, I was one of the fifteen people selected to go to the international round in Slovenia, coming spring. This will hopefully mean another amazing week, meeting people from different European countries and having fun!
Anouk de Vries, DP1