On Thursday 25th January, Shannon Cash and Luke Lynch from St. Kevin’s Community College Dunlavin travelled with their teacher Mr. Eoin Houlihan to the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Shannon and Luke were selected to represent Ireland along with twenty-one other students from around Ireland. It is thanks to the Michael Sweetman Educational Trust, the Education and Training Board Ireland and the European Parliament that each year awards a trip to Euroscola in Strasbourg, France to twenty-four Leaving Certificate Applied students attending an ETB School, college or centre.
Euroscola is an event run annually and gives students the opportunity to spend a day in the shoes of an MEP. Students get an opportunity to familiarise themselves with the workings of the European institutions to discuss democracy, fundamental rights, European values and express their own views on decisions made at European Union level. Euroscola is an event where students come together to debate, take sides, negotiate, amend, vote and finally adopt resolutions on real European issues.
Each year there are a number of themes for the event and this year the topics were; Environment and Renewable Energy, Security and Human Rights, European Year of Culture Heritage, Europe’s future, Migration and Integration and Youth employment.
Shannon was one of the three Irish delegates who was picked to introduce the Irish delegation to the other 500+ delegates who were attending the event. Shannon introduction was through French, which she did flawlessly.
After the event had concluded the Irish delegation were greeted by the Irish Ambassador to Council of Europe, Mr. Keith McBean. The Ambassador spoke about his role within the Council of Europe and about how important it is that we all take an active role in European affairs, particularly young people.
The trip was a fantastic experience and was an interesting insight into the inner workings of the European Union.