20140419

Our Day as Politicians: a Peek into the European Parliament

©Iiris Hynönen
Something amazing happened one year ago. Our school participated in a programme called Euroscola, targeted for the European youth. Not only did we see the glamorous premises of the parliament and got familiar with its work, but we also had the opportunity to be a Member of European Parliament for one day.

After the security check, we had a brief info about the day's schedule and were divided into six different committees, in which we were to prepare our legislative initiatives later on. Because there's no such thing as 'I'm not hungry,' we also got some breakfast while we listened to the details. (pain au chocolat!!)

©Iiris Hynönen


©Sanna Jääskeläinen 









Our day started off with a general info about the Parliament's work and its aims in the plenary hall. Also, all the countries participating in this day introduced themselves by giving an informal presentation on their country. We got familiar with the voting machines by commenting on current issues.

After the first session in the hall, it was finally time for lunch. And also time for answering the questions in Euro Quiz! It had several questions concerning the Parliament, and few of the best teams to answer would go to the finals at the end of the day. The quiz had a teeny tiny twist, namely all the 20 questions were in different languages. Trying to translate the questions was a good excuse to go talk to people from different countries, I think. And as a language lover, it was fun to learn random words in other languages!


©Iiris Hynönen
©Sanna Jääskeläinen
©Iiris Hynönen
Having eaten and answered the questions, we gathered with our committees to discuss our topics. Mine was economics and fair trade. I found it interesting and decided to take a stand by stating out that the food's journey from the production to one's plate should be as short as possible. There should be low number of intermediaries. That was one of the main topics we were discussing, anyway. When we had reached a consensus, we went back to the plenary hall for the plenary session.

Finally, it was time to vote for approving the bills. The green lights show the ones supporting the suggestion, the red lights represent the ones opposing the suggestion and the white ones aren't taking a stand at all. After going thoroughly through all the bills, the finals of the Euro Quiz were held.

©Iiris Hynönen
The day was closed by a spectacular ending ceremony with all the European flags uniting. This blog post shows only a fraction of our Euroscola day on fast forward, but I hope you enjoyed it. I'll do a separate post about sights of Strasbourg we saw. And for the very end: let's not forget a photo of the proud represents of Finland! Greetings to everyone of you who participated in this day if you're reading this!

©Iiris Hynönen