European Youth Parliament

After qualifying at the European Youth Parliament regional competition at the Foreign Office, we were invited back to the national debating finals at Durham University.

Our four day trip consisted of a whole day of team games including our favourite, chicken pilot. We were split into teams with members from the thirteen other schools and also had the opportunity to take part in committee work, which gave us an insight into the General Assembly which would start the following day. After the opening ceremony and speeches from Durham’s Mayor and MP, the EYP National Finals Autumn Session was declared open. Having submitted a resolution for our debate on the role of the EU in the Middle East and North Africa and preparing for 13 other debates from broad titles, we were finally given the resolutions that the other teams had written. We had a busy evening of General Assembly preparation, gathering points of attack and defence from our research in order to impress the judges. We also had to write an attack speech for each resolution in case our committee was selected to present this.

Our team, the Committee on Foreign Affairs, outlined what we thought should be the EU’s role in maintaining strong relations with the emerging governments in the wake of the Arab Spring. Our points relating to aid, trade and improving democracy proved to lead to one of the livelier debates of the session. The ten person team consisted of Eliza Brown, Sarah Craddock, Imogen Hamilton-Jones, Jess Sinyor, Lena Garrett, Louisa Chenciner, Sarah O’Keeffe, Emily Wingrove, Katie Wingrove and Millie Greenwood.

After eleven hours of intense debating on the Saturday, we were all ready for the ‘technological’ disco. I don’t think anything more needs to be said about this. Let’s just say it was a stark reminder of the Year 9 social get together with CLS.The debating continued on the Sunday and our team was commended for well researched points, excellent team work and effective delivery.

The experience of staying at St Aiden’s College was an enjoyable one and it was good for those of us applying to Durham to see some of the town.

We’d like to say a big thank you to Miss Lockyear who has put up with us while we prepared our debates, and to Misss Fraser who also accompanied us on the trip.

Millie Greenwood, Year 13