First-year students Johanne Hansen (Norway) and Sara-Estelle Gößwein (Germany) recently travelled to Riga in Latvia, to take part in a Model European Parliament. This is their report.

The national library where the sessions took place

The national library where the sessions took place

Forming friendships, meeting one of our incoming Norwegian First Years, discussing current political issues, debating, learning about pragmatic compromise – and all that in a foreign country in the context of MEP–Model European Parliament.

After having been delegates in the MEP Baltic Sea Region session in Oslo during the October PBL week, Johanne and Sara­‐Estelle were invited to be Committee Presidents during the following session in Riga. Sara-Estelle was the Committee President of The Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and Johanne was the Committee President of The Committee on Energy, Resources and Research.

For four days they guided their respective committees through fruitful discussions until a thoroughly-­debated resolution could be drafted.

“We had not only the responsibility of making sure that our committee members were feeling welcome in their committees and working according to the official guidelines of MEP, but we also needed to communicate with the organizing team to guarantee a smoothly working schedule.

Whenever we were not guiding debates, correcting resolutions or planning the General Assembly we had the possibility to discover Riga with its wonderful old city centre, the market halls, the new library and many other sights and places to discover. One afternoon we even had a guided tour through the Latvian parliament, which impressed us with its diverse architecture.

Four days of intense debates on interesting topics, spontaneous planning, intercultural sharing and connecting with young and engaged people all over Europe was surely of a great enjoyment and challenge for both of us. We thank all people involved for this wonderful chance to develop our skills and discover ourselves in a completely new context.”

Click here to look at the website of the event.