Being selected for an international Session of the European Youth Parliament: the dream of every young EYP-er.
For us, Lena Strehmann and Valerie Nitsche, this dream came true in March 2011, after being selected last spring at our National Conference in Vienna.
Together with four other Austrian students from Salzburg and their teacher we started our adventure to Istanbul on the 23rd of March. After having arrived in the beautiful city that connects Europe and Asia we were warmly welcomed, shown our luxurious rooms and directly transferred to the fabulous welcome party by the hard working organisers of the 69th international session of EYP.
The first two days of the session were dedicated to getting to know our fellow committee members and teambuilding. Saturday night, we were all burnt by the sun but happy and eager to prepare our table for Eurovillage and taste the delicious food brought by the other delegates from all different countries.
On Monday, we finally commenced with the highly anticipated committee work. In the evening, the session was officially opened at Bahçeşehir University in the beautiful centre of Istanbul, directly at the impressive strait of the Bosporus. Several Turkish politicians held a speech, many of them giving us an interesting insight into Turkey and Turkish politics and motivating us to further continue to stay active in Europe.
Two strenuous but fun days of committee work followed, which resulted in our well worked out resolutions to the committee topics. During Committee Work, we were offered delicious Turkish snacks, coffee, tea and soft drinks at the several coffee breaks, which energized us again and motivated us to go back to the intense discussions.
Mid of the week, we set out for the town centre of Istanbul, where we would be staying for the rest of the session. On Wednesday night, we enjoyed an amazing theme party on a boat on the Bosporus, from where we could see the sites we would visit again the next day during the city tour.
Following up after our city tour, was the Euroconcert, where we were able to admire the unbelievable talents of our fellow delegates.
The last two days of the session were used for the highly anticipated General Assembly. The two days were full of vivacious discussions, one of the most memorable ones being the one on the current issue of Turkeys EU membership. It was extremely fascinating to see the Turkish delegates’ point of view. Another heated discussion was one about the rights of homosexual couples, including child adoption and marriage. The participants’ opinions turned out to be extremely diverse and emotional concerning this topic, which made the Open Debate extremely vivid. Many of us were given the chance to hold impressive speeches stating our points of view on the different committee topics. All in all, the General Assembly of the 69th international Session in Istanbul, was a very special and unique one. It was concluded with lots of moving speeches many at Closing Ceremony.
(written by Lena Strehmann and Valerie Nitsche)