Report: National Conference Portugal 2013

Our suitcases packed with Austrian cheese, sausages and of course Apfelstrudel, and our heads crammed with joyful thoughts about what would await us in the westernmost country of the European Union, namely Portugal, the Austrian delegation, consisting of Patrik Bruschek, Ciara Pircher, Florian Fellner and myself, Peter Goldsborough, set out by plane on the morning of the 16th of October. Having arrived a day early, we luckily had a decent amount of time to enjoy a walking tour through the enchanting city of Porto, with its over 90 churches, various masterpiece examples of baroque architecture, a touching contemporary history as well as numerous quaint restaurants with a memorable assortment of traditional Portuguese and local foods.

The next morning, the 29th NSC of EYP Portugal starting, we were taken to Matosinhos, a suburb of Porto and the actual location of the session. To our great pleasure and that of the other participants of the session, also with a polish delegation of two in their rows, the first part of Teambuilding took place in a beautiful park, first lead by President Krzysztof Ignaciuk from Poland, then by the individual chairpersons in their committees. In the afternoon, the participants were transferred to Escola Secundaria Augusto Gomes, where also the Committee Work was to take place the next day. Yet, the highlight of the day, the Eurovillage, was still to come. And without any doubt it was an experience every participant will remember as one of the best of it’s kind. Tables were stacked with colorful dishes of the various regions of origin of the different delegations, accompanied by traditional clothing and a mesmerizing atmosphere. Wanting to give the Portuguese and foreign delegations also a taste of the most prominent and traditional Austrian cuisine, we had brought with us a variety of sausages, cheeses and numerous delicacies from the different regions we had gathered from to attend the session.

The following morning we were again transferred to said school, eagerly awaiting the work in our committees, namely the committee on fisheries (PECH/Patrik Bruschek), the committee on industry and research I (ITRE I/Florian Fellner), the committee on Constitutional Affairs (AFCO/ Ciara Pircher) and lastly the committee on security and defense (SEDE/Peter Goldsborough). A hard and stressful, yet ultimately successful day of work was finally concluded by the theme evening, where Austrian board member Patrik Bruschek seized his chance to present his favorite song, Kabinenparty by Skero, to the Portuguese and international participants.

The session was concluded by two unforgettable and most gripping days of General Assembly, taking place in the Matosinhos city hall. The first day was perfected by the Euroconcert, an event particularly memorable for the Austrian delegation, who had the honor of performing and singing a celebrated Austrian song, “I am from Austria” by Reinhard Fenrich.

Finally, the session concluded with an emotional closing ceremony, where tears were not kept back.
Without doubt, the 29th NSC of EYP Portugal will be in all our hearts as one of the best experiences the European Youth Parliament has brought upon us. A warm thank you again to all participants, officials and of course the organisers, everybody having fulfilled an excellent and exemplary part in making the session as amazing as it was.

by Peter Goldsborough