The European Youth Parliament (EYP) is a nonpartisan and volunteer-driven programme that offers peer-to-peer education to Europeans aged 16-24. Since 1987, the main activities of the EYP have been its conferences, or ‘sessions’. These events provide participants with a safe forum to debate on a wide range of topics – often related to international politics or human rights, but also fields such as climate change, health and energy. The EYP does not reflect specific country positions or promote the European Union. In all debates, it is the participants’ opinions that matter. Participants are empowered to become critical, open-minded and active citizens. By bringing young people from different backgrounds and nationalities together, we build intercultural understanding and friendships across borders. The programme is run by thousands of proactive young volunteers. They act as organisers and facilitators during events or manage the organisation at large. This makes the EYP a genuinely youth-driven programme – run by young people, for young people. By taking part, volunteers and participants become equipped with the social and professional skills needed to positively shape the world around them.
About The EYP
The European Youth Parliament provides young people with a forum to develop and express their opinions, as well as get equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to positively impact the world around them. Our participants gain a wide variety of skills and experiences that they can apply both within our organisation but also in their day to day life. 86% of our participants say taking part in one of our events helped them in forming opinions and expressing them in front of others. 72% say their English language skills have improved significantly after being active in our network and 95% of our participants say EYP has strengthened their abilities to work in internationally diverse teams.
Due to the uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic and related measures, young people can currently not come together in the way that we would like. Still, the EYP finds it extremely important that young people – especially during this crisis – continue to be offered opportunities for education and development, and continue to be actively engaged in policy-making. This is why, in the past year alone, the EYP has organised 75 Digital Sessions where young people were stimulated to engage in dialogue online. Impact assessments have shown that 7 out of 10 participants valued the digital sessions equally high as on-site events.
The adjustment to digital platforms naturally changes the events, with adapted programmes and different working methods. Despite these changes, the digital events have been highly successful in bringing young people an enjoyable and educational experience. Participants have expressed their appreciation of the digital events and shared a lot of positive feedback.
“I found digital sessions lacked none of my favourite elements of traditional EYP sessions; they allowed me to work alongside people of diverse cultural backgrounds, have fun while learning and growing as a person, and most importantly, making lasting friendships across Europe”
– Participant at a digital event by EYP Azerbaijan