The European Studies course in Transition year:
· Creates an understanding of the role Ireland plays in Europe
· Distinguishes between the different European Union institutions and the role they play in decision making
· Uses ICT skills to communicate with our school partners in http://www.european-studies.co.uk, as a school we are linked with schools in Sweden, France, Romania and Northern Ireland.
· We complete collaborative projects with our partner schools using a communication platform
· It also gives them the opportunity to enter a number of competitions throughout the year, for example the Christmas Card Competition and the Euroscola competition.
· Students can also take part in the European Youth Parliament conference which is held on a yearly basis In October.
EUROPEAN YOUTH PARLIAMENT 2015
On Friday 6th February eleven Transition Year students met at the train station at 9am,all prepared for a busy weekend ahead. These eleven students from my school were selected to debate on behalf of the European Youth Parliament:
Laura O Connell,Ciara O Regan,Blathnaid O Connor,Hollie Boyd,Katie Ahern,Vaneza Panagsagan, Susie Rice,Maria Daly,Laura Courtney,Sarah Gavaghan and Caitriona Horgan
The Parliament took place in Cork city. We all stayed in arranged accommodation in 'Sheila's hostel' in Cork city and attended the Youth Parliament in the Mount Mercy College. We stayed on Friday night and Saturday night and got the train home at 6pm on Sunday evening.
Prior to the session we all received different topics on various different subjects effecting the European Union currently. The topic I received was 'EMPL' which is Employment and Social affairs.
Some of the other topic subjects included:
-industry, trade & research
-Environment, food and public health 1
-Environment, food & public health 2
-Civil liberties, justice & home affairs.
On Friday we arrived in Cork by train at 2pm and made our way to the hostel, after a difficult climb up a big hill with our bags. We were allocated our dormitories with others from around Munster. We shared a dormitory with other girls within the same topic committee as us.
On Friday evening we all headed off in a bus to Mount Mercy College for a team building evening with the people in our committees. We all had great fun and made lots of new friends very quickly. After various games and cups of tea, we returned to the hostel after a long day. A hot plate of chicken and pasta awaited us and it was very welcome! At midnight it was lights out and everyone went to sleep.
At 7am on Saturday the alarm rang and everyone moaned as they got out of bed. Today was a smart dress day so it took extra long to get ready. We all hurried down for breakfast and soon we were on the bus and on our way to be at Mount Mercy College by 8.30am.
When we reached the school we were allocated a committee classroom and this is where we worked with our committee for the day. For the coarse of the day we discussed problems given to us about our topics and after lots of discussing and thinking we reached some conclusions and resolutions.
On Saturday evening a disco was held from 8pm to 10pm. This was great fun and all at the stress during the day was forgotten about.
Sunday was really the main day and the day that we had spent Saturday preparing for, it was general assembly. We were all up at 7am again and 'very very formal clothes' was the dress code for the day. And so at 8.30am it was back to Mount Mercy college, in the hall, ready to present and debate various topics. Each committee presented their resolution to everyone and there was a general vote whether their resolutions passed or failed.
After another long day, finally the time came when we had to say 'goodbye'. Even though we had only spent the weekend with the people there for me it was a very sad goodbye. We had to leave the college at 6pm in order to catch our train home to Tralee. When we got to the station we ordered pizza before we got on the train, we were all starving!
In my opinion it was an amazing experience and I am very grateful that I was chosen by my school to get the chance to go and we made friends for life.
The resolutions were quite complex and I think they would be difficult to understand if you didn't attend the weekend but one example from my committee which was 'employment and social affairs'.
A. The European Youth Parliament acutely aware of the youth unemployment crisis costing the European Union (EU) 153 billion EUR annually
The European youth parliament proposes the establishment of a panel of economic and employment experts from the union to determine an exact sum for youth employment scheme funding accross the EU.
B. Expressing its concern that the current EU budget allocates an insufficient sum of 20 billion EUR to the funding of youth unemployment schemes.
The EYP supposed the provision of a more personalises and thorough youth employment scheme for all member states that:
a) encompasses exsisting Europe-wise youth unemployment schemes
b) acts in correlation with national schemes
C. Recognising that youth unemployment rates:
I) vary in severity
Ii) are indicative of a member states economic structure
Iii) present unique problems in each member state
The EYP calls for increased number of 3rd level grants to be allocated on the basis of applicants' socio-economic and geographical status
D. Deeply concerned by the lack of student grand that are awarded with the socio-economic and geographical needs of the applicant in mind
The EYP recommends that the youth guarantee scheme administers apprenticeships with small monetary incentives for employers.
These are a few examples of the problems given to us and the resolutions we came to, all of my committees resolutions passed!
Susie Rice, 4B.