It’s Your Europe, have Your Say today!
Preparations are now well underway for the "Your Europe, Your Say!" event on 26-28 April 2012, when the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) will invite school pupils and teachers from all over Europe to join them in Brussels.
Selection of the lucky participants took place in early December. EESC members Roman Haken, David Sears and I drew the names at random, from among the 933 applicants. The 27 chosen schools (one per country from every Member State of the EU) are invited to send three pupils and one teacher to take part in a simulated plenary session of the Committee, at our Brussels headquarters. They will get the opportunity not only to have their voices heard at the heart of Europe, but also to discover friends and allies among their counterparts in every EU country.
The event itself is just one part of the programme. Between January and March 2012, EESC members in every country will be making personal visits to these schools, to explain more about the European Union and the Committee itself, and encourage the involvement of a large number of students.
Furthermore, two other schools in each country will be put on a reserve list, in case any candidate pulls out, and they too will receive a visit from one of their national EESC members before the end of the 2011-2012 school year.
Via the EESC website (http://eesc.europa.eu/YourEuropeYourSay2012) you can find all the latest news about the event, as well as the working document. Participants will need to discuss this in class and send their amendments for debate.
But we want to hear from as many of you as possible, so even if you are not selected to come to Brussels, you can be part of "Your Europe, Your Say!", follow the plenary session via Twitter (#youreurope) and get in touch with other students and teachers in other countries via our Facebook page "Your Europe, Your Say" (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Your-Europe-Your-Say/255682697155).
You are an important part of Europe – tell us what you think!
Anna Maria Darmanin, Vice-president of the EESC