Participants with various backgrounds and ages are split into smaller working groups. Each working group will focus on a specific issue during the conference. On the first day, experience-based methodology is used for outdoor and indoor games and activities. In this phase, participants set ground rules for cooperation, create a safe environment and truly form a team.
All committees come together to debate their proposed resolutions during the ‘General Assembly’: a plenary debate that follows standard parliamentary procedures including speeches, responses, constructive points and voting on each resolution. The conference is opened and closed with an official ceremony, including speeches by participants and keynotes delivered by guest speakers. Past speakers at such ceremonies in the Netherlands included Ms. Violeta Bulc (European Commissioner), Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands, Mr. Frans van Houten (CEO Royal Philips N.V.) and Ms. Ockje Tellegen (first Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives).
For two days, participants convene in their international working groups – the committees – and discuss a current European topic. Each group is guided by a peer moderator. A topic often relates to international politics or human rights, but also to climate change, health, technology and energy. All committees aim to create solutions together in the form of a written resolution. Each committee is visited by a policy-maker or expert to be advised on their topic. In this phase of the programme, participants learn research, teamwork and innovative thinking. The EYP’s youthful and innovative resolutions have been considered by international organisations such as the European Parliament, Commission and the Benelux Parliament.
Throughout the session, a cultural programme gives the participants opportunities to get acquainted with each other’s cultures and traditions. For example, ‘Eurovillage’ allows participants to discover traditional food from each other’s country. At the ‘Euroconcert’, participants have the opportunity to show their musical talents, and traditional forms of music are sometimes performed. We are also determined to work together with locals to showcase the region. Maastricht’s character and culture, unique in the Netherlands, will be in the spotlight during various cultural events and excursions.
On Monday, a panel debate will engage participants in conversation with interesting speakers. This day of the event will be open to the external public, allowing our participants to make meaningful connections with people from Maastricht, outside the scope of the event.