The European Youth Parliament (EYP) helps young people gain life skills, connect to their society, and discover Europe. EYP is for young people from all over the continent – not just the EU – who are interested in discovering their national society as well as the European society and identity.
We are a Europe-wide organisation, with over thirty national committees and 30.000 active members. The Dutch National Committee was founded in 1998 and organises a series of events each year, with the National Selection Conference as the highlight.
The Sessions of EYP NL
EYP NL starts at the regional level, with the Preliminary Rounds. During a two-day session, students from secondary education get their first taste of what EYP entails. The Preliminary Rounds serve as an introduction to EYP. On the first day, participants get to know peers and new friends through activities, after which they research and discuss various topics. On the second day, their solutions and findings about these topics are presented in a general debate. Registration forms for the 2017-2018 season are now available.
After taking part in the Preliminary Rounds, the participants are now officially alumni of EYP the Netherlands and can take part in our member events. They can also sign up through open applications to future sessions as a volunteer, developing further in new roles, supporting and guiding new participants.
At the Preliminary Rounds, some participants will be invited to the National Selection Conference. This session lasts four days (Friday – Monday), and with guest speakers, a press team and more international EYP members to meet, it is a truly unforgettable experience. At the end of the conference, some teams and individuals will be selected to represent EYP the Netherlands at sessions abroad.
Aside from these recurring sessions, EYP NL also organises international events, such as the 1st North Sea Forum in Rotterdam in 2009, the 71st International Session in Amsterdam in 2012, an International Forum in Amsterdam in 2015 and soon the 88th International Session of EYP The Netherlands in Rotterdam.
The sessions of EYP NL follow the international EYP format. The participants, or delegates, gather in their chosen working group called a committee. Throughout the whole session, the committee is supervised by a young volunteer of the EYP, a Chairperson who provides the group with support and guidance.
The format has three parts: Teambuilding, Committee Work and General Assembly. During Teambuilding the delegates get to know each other through various games and activities, learn how to cooperate and start working as a team. Each committee has a certain topic, usually a current European or global issue. The delegates will have chosen their committees according to their preferences of the committee topic. During Committee Work, the delegates discuss the issue in their group, come up with possible solutions and draft a resolution. All committees reunite in a large debate: the General Assembly. The groups present and discuss their motion for a resolution, which passes through a debate and a voting procedure.
Besides this three-part format, there is also evening activities and a cultural program. During Eurovillage, for example, the delegations are assigned a country and will bring traditional food and drinks.
Results and Impact
Through their own research and discussions, participants become true experts in their topics. The results are visible and impactful. 90% of our participants said that EYP had taught them valuable skills they would use in the future. Of our participants, 80% said EYP had made them more interested in Europe, and many participants gain friendships and strong bonds with their peers.
“EYP has been a great experience for me. It really put me out of my comfort zone and taught me how to properly work together with my peers. Because I had co-written the resolution myself I also felt confident defending it during the debate. This has been a very valuable, social, fun and academic experience for me and I would do it again in a heartbeat.” – Saskia (18)
“I got here because a friend at school introduced it to me, but I do not regret participating at all! This type of debating has made me realise that some other formats have become stale. It was quite refreshing to work in this way: intense cooperation with complete strangers. I’m glad to have been a part of these two sessions!” – Stijn (17)
“Because of EYP I have come into contact with different people which has helped me to broaden my horizon and because of EYP I have made life long friends.” – Salima (18)
“EYP has helped me with expressing my opinions/views and taking the opinions of people who don’t agree with me into consideration. I loved meeting new friends and learning more about current European issues.” – Lea (16)
The People behind EYP NL
The European Youth Parliament is entirely run by volunteers. Hundreds of young people, who devote their time and knowledge to organise sessions, raise European awareness and build a better future. Nevertheless, we cannot function the way we do without the dedicated and continued support from our partners in government institutions, NGO’s and the corporate world. For that, we are incredibly grateful. EYP NL is lucky to work with a number of amazing partners, who help us in many different ways. Their number grows every year, and for good reasons.
Your role in EYP NL
Whatever your reason to join EYP or your plans for the future may be – everybody gains something from participating. There’s no such thing as a ‘typical’ EYP member. You don’t need to be an aspiring politician or lawyer, far from it. EYP members come from a broad range of economic, geographic and ethnic backgrounds.
You can also find the jury criteria here.