This year, 2018, is the 20th anniversary of EYP the Netherlands, which calls for celebration. In the Netherlands it is custom to celebrate the existence of an organisation every five years, a so-called ‘lustrum’. EYP the Netherlands was founded in 1998, and thus celebrates its 20th birthday, meaning this will be the fourth lustrum of EYP the Netherlands.
In these five years EYP the Netherlands has developed a lot. To start off, five more National Selection Conferences have been organised, four of which were outside of Amsterdam – the city which used to host the Conference every year. This has meant a lot to our regional outreach, and a lot more schools were attracted to participate in EYP.
EYP the Netherlands has also organised an International Forum in Amsterdam in 2015, with an innovative session concept that has changed how people look at EYP sessions forever. After Rotterdam 2009 and The Hague 2013, this was the 3rd International Forum that was hosted in the Netherlands. The year after, in 2016, we introduced the idea of the Extended Preliminary Round. This has been such a success that in 2018, all Preliminary Rounds were Extended. This way, new delegates will get a much better indication of what EYP entails, before going to the National Selection Conference, or before moving on in the organisation as volunteer.
Another development that we are very proud of, is the democratisation of the organisation. This initiative has been started by the board of 2016-2017 and both boards afterwards have put in a lot of work making the change from foundation to association happen. We are expecting the current board (2018-2019) to be the last non-democratically elected board of EYP the Netherlands, and they are doing everything they can to make this happen.
EYP the Netherlands would not function without its committees, without which our organisation would not run this smoothly. These committees have changed over the past five years as well. Two entirely new committees have come to life: the Fundraising Committee and the PR Committee. The Fundraising Committee helps out the Fundraising & PR Coordinator and the Head-Organisers with finding sponsors and partners. The PR Committee consists of the Head of Design and several other members, and is responsible for all our media output. These committees have, in a short time, become an integral part of our organisation. Another committee has completely changed: the Alumni Committee – which no longer bears this name – has made way for the Regional Representatives, who are responsible for organising social events in their region. This greatly increases the regional outreach and inclusion of EYP the Netherlands, but also increases the effectiveness of this committee. Meanwhile the Academic Committee has been disbanded entirely. It had lost its relevance due to our new session structure, in which participants draft and write their own academic resolutions.
The last development of EYP the Netherlands worth mentioning is the 88th International Session that will take place in Rotterdam. A team of extremely committed people has been working for over a year on this project, and this year it will finally take place. International Sessions are the flagship events of the entire European Youth Parliament. This is the second time EYP the Netherlands hosts such an event. The first time was in 2012, when we organised the 71st International Session of the EYP in Amsterdam.
All these developments are cause for celebration, which we will do in style. The Lustrum Committee will organise multiple events throughout the year. These include a visit to the Tilburg Fair, a Pool Party and a movie night. The cherry on top of the cake will be a large dinner and gala in December, where all current and past members, old and young, will gather to celebrate 20 years of EYP the Netherlands! To create a bit more cohesion between the events, this year’s lustrum will have a theme: ‘Van De Kaart’ or ‘Off the Charts’. We chose this theme because we want to make sure everyone can enjoy the lustrum, wherever you live on the map. This means we will have events spread throughout the country, making sure everyone is included in the celebration. The theme is also a Dutch play on words for a celebration.
All events will follow this theme, which complements the celebration perfectly. The goal of this is to make this year even more memorable than the previous lustrum, which is already a pretty difficult task in itself. We hope to see you there!
The Lustrum Commission