ATTENTION: Please note date changes!
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) is organising a workshop that will allow secondary school children from the 28 EU Member States and from the 5 official EU candidates countries (Albania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Turkey) to see how the EESC decision-making process works in relation to a specific subject.
The event will take part in two stages:
- 1. registration, selection and preparation in class,
- 2. the participation in the workshop in Brussels.
The instructions for each stage are given below.
Registration and selection of schools
Schools wishing to take part must register online through the EESC's internet site before 13 January 2016.
After registration has closed, the schools to take part in the workshop will be chosen by lot.
The selected schools will themselves choose three students in their pre-final year of secondary education (aged ≥ 16 years) to represent them, as well as a teacher who will accompany them. These people must all be able to express themselves in English. The event will take place in Brussels at the headquarters of the European Economic and Social Committee from 17 to 19 March 2016.
The EESC will pay the travel and accommodation expenses of the students and accompanying teacher in accordance with the conditions set out below.
All the key information about the workshops will be published on the EESC's internet site. The teachers involved are therefore asked to check the site regularly.
The preparatory phase comprises registration, selection of schools by lot, selection of students by participating schools and preparation for the workshops in each school.
To take part, a school must:
- be located in an EU Member State or in an official EU candidate country
- be recognised by the education authorities in one or more Member States or in an official EU candidate country;
- have a computer (that can open and print PDF files), with internet access and email;
- undertake to choose one teacher and three students in their pre-final year of secondary education (≥16 years) who can express themselves in English;
- undertake to consider and discuss the topics of the workshops in class before coming to Brussels;
- undertake to host one EESC member for an information session on the EU and the Committee indicatively between February and March 2016 (travel and accommodation expenses of the EESC member to be paid by the Committee). Other classes from the same school and/or other schools may be invited to this meeting with the EESC member.
It would be useful for the school to have had some experience with international exchange programmes (EU-funded or other), but this is not a condition for taking part.
Schools wishing to take part must complete the online registration form.
Before registration, the school must designate the accompanying teacher, who will be the only contact person for the EESC – if the school is selected – during the phase of preparation for the workshop. The head teacher of the school must confirm this choice in the relevant section of the online registration form.
The school must enter on the registration form its full name and address, the name and contact details of the head teacher and accompanying teacher, and an email address to which all correspondence with the accompanying teacher can be sent. Email must be checked regularly, since the schools will be contacted mainly by email.
N.B.: Only one registration form per school will be accepted. Schools that apply more than once will automatically be excluded.
Registration will remain open until 13 January 2016.
Each school that registers accepts the general conditions of the draw, preparation and workshops:
2. The schools selected by lot undertake:
- a) to choose and register three students able to speak and understand English, who will take part in the workshops in Brussels, accompanied by a teacher;
- b) to invite one EESC member for an information session;
- c) to consider and discuss a document proposed by the EESC;
- d) to share the results of their work during the workshops in Brussels by taking an active part in the session;
e) to agree to their name and pictures of the EESC member's visit to the school being used for EESC publications and posted on the EESC website and related social networks.
N.B.: If not otherwise specified by the school, this authorisation covers all the people, buildings and objects shown on the pictures;
- f) to agree to their name and picture of their participation in Brussels being used for EESCpublications and posted on the EESC website and related social networks.
- g) to provide any press cuttings relating to the visit of an EESC member in their school or relating to the participation of the school in the event;
- h) to inform the organisers at the EESC promptly of any change (e.g. in the accompanying teacher, email address).
Any failure to meet these conditions will result in the school and its students being immediately excluded from the simulation exercise.
2. Selection of schools
The schools will be selected by lot in January 2016. from the schools that have applied by the deadline. The names will be drawn in the presence of the EESC's vice-president, who will ensure that the draw is conducted in accordance with the rules.
One school will be selected for each country. The chosen schools will be informed individually by e-mail, and their names posted on the EESC website at the end of January 2016.
3. Selection and registration of students coming to Brussels
The participating schools should choose three students to take part in the workshops in Brussels from 17 to 19 March 2016.
The students chosen must be in their pre-final year of secondary education (aged ≥ 16 years) and be able to express themselves in English.
3.1 Selection criteria
The schools themselves will select students to represent them. They may set their own selection criteria, provided these are clear, fair and non-discriminatory. For reasons of gender equality, the students selected should preferably include at least one boy and one girl.
3.2 Participation of disabled students
Schools must ensure that disabled students are also able to take part in the workshops. If special arrangements are required, the schools must inform the EESC organisers in good time.
3.3 Registration of students
The schools taking part (in the majority of cases these will be the first schools selected) must register the three students selected before early February 2016.
Before registering the students, the schools must obtain written agreement from their parent(s) or legal guardian(s).
3.4 Protection of personal data
The EESC guarantees the protection of all personal data received in accordance with prevailing legislation.
4. Preparation for the workshops in the schools
A member of the Committee will visit the selected schools indicatively between February and March 2016. The member will provide information about the EESC and how it works. The EESC will pay the member's travel and accommodation expenses.
In February 2016 the schools taking part will receive a working document (English and French).
They will also be able to download the working document from the EESC's internet site in English or French.
The students will be asked to read and discuss the text of the working document. Further instructions will be provided in due course.
THE WORKSHOPS IN BRUSSELS
1. Authorisation form
The schools taking part (in the majority of cases these will be the first schools selected) will be required to provide an authorisation form for each student. The form can be downloaded in the above-mentioned languages and printed from the EESC's website. This form must be signed by the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) of the student and by the head of the school. It must then be sent to the EESC in Brussels by post or email, accompanied by a copy of a valid identity document for each student, to the following addresses:
European Economic and Social Committee
rue Belliard/Belliardstraat 99
1040 Bruxelles/Brussel (Belgique/België)
In this form, the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) of the student and the head of the school attest that:
- the student has permission to go to Brussels for the workshops;
- the student's name may be published in EESC publications, on the EESC website and related social networks with photos and/or video recordings of the session;
- the student will be supervised by the accompanying teacher while travelling and during their stay in Brussels.
The student may not take part in the trip unless the authorisation form and a copy of the identity document are received by the stated deadline.
The accompanying teachers will bear full responsibility for the students and themselves during the journey and stay in Brussels.
The students and teacher accompanying them must take the necessary travel documents (i.e. valid passport or identity card). They must also have a European health insurance card (available free from local insurance organisations and/or sickness funds) or a provisional replacement certificate if the card cannot be issued in time. The EESC will organise and pay the costs of the journey and accommodation of students and accompanying teacher of each Member State in accordance with the conditions set out below.
3. Arrangements for the workshops
The workshops will take place on Friday 18 March 2016. Students will arrive in Brussels on Thursday 17 March 2016, and will meet the other participants that evening. They will return home on Saturday 19 March 2016.
The schools taking part will be informed in advance of the exact arrangements for the workshops.
4. Working languages
During the working sessions, discussions will be held in English. To ensure that the workshops go smoothly, the accompanying teacher and students must be able to express themselves in this language.
The EESC will pay following expenses of the students and their teacher:
- accommodation expenses in Brussels (2 nights, included breakfast);
- the travel expenses for the international airplane/train connection from their home country to Brussels (including connecting flights/long distance connecting trains if needed). Travel will be by air or train, depending on the participants' country of origin. The schools taking part will be informed of the exact arrangements;
- transport between Brussels airport/railway station and the hotel;
- dinner on Thursday 17 March 2016, lunch and dinner on Friday 18 March 2016.
N.B.: The EESC will not pay/reimburse domestic transport in the home country. This means that the costs of travel to/from the departure station or airport in the home country will not be reimbursed.
Participants should make sure they arrive at the station/airport well in advance of their scheduled departure time. If they miss their train/flight for any reason other than force majeure, the EESC will not grant any refund and/or compensation and will not cover the costs of purchasing new tickets, rerouting existent tickets, paying for accommodation or subsistence costs.
More information is available on the EESC internet site: www.eesc.europa.eu
You can also send questions to the EESC's organisers by email at: youreuropeeesc [dot] europa [dot] eu. ">youreuropeeesc [dot] europa [dot] eu.