17 Jun 2017
On Thursday 11th May 2017, the National Selection Conference of EYP Austria began in the picturesque, almost fairytale town of Graz, in southern Austria. The session was held under the theme “Breaking Barriers – towards an inclusive Europe’ and presided by the gifted Nathan Hunter of EYP Ukraine. As normal, the officials gathered the day before for team-building and training. The officials’ team consisted of representatives from a vast plethora of countries from Ukraine, France, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Albania, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, and, of course, Austria.
On the first day of the session, general team-building took place in the utopian surroundings of the grandiose Eggenberg Palace. In the glorious grounds, delegates from all across Austria came together to get to know each other; forming friendships and uniting in their committees behind the common goal of combatting some of the most important issues facing Europe in the 21st Century. During the team-building, we were lucky enough to be joined by an ostentation of peacocks, providing not only a visual treat for the participants but a delightful soundtrack to the day’s activities. Over the weekend, the Delegates moved to Graz International Bilingual School for committee work. A wide array of fascinating and engaging topics was embraced by the delegates, ranging from computerisation of the labour market to refugee integration.
As a break from the academic rigour of Committee Work, the delegates were treated to workshops delivered by the Officials team, such as singing lessons and energy management, as well as an Epic Rap Battle of EYP organised by the Media Team. The delegates finished off the session in the Festsaal of Augustinum for General Assembly, where they got the opportunity to present their resolutions, debate the latter’s pros and cons and amend it accordingly. The debate was invigorating and dynamic with not only a remarkably high level of academic quality but also reinforced by moving personal testimony to remind all of us that the issues being debated have a real-life impact on all of us. It became very clear that the session’s theme was a powerful call for this generation to take on the challenges of the future as we recognise that more unites us than divides us.
Both delegates and officials alike owe a massive thank you to the Head Organisers of Graz 2017, Ricarda Pfingstl and Jakob Gutschlhofer, whose joint leadership, effortless ability to appear calm and unfazed and constant professionalism created a unique and special environment for all involved.