The 7th of February 2017, it is 25 years ago that the Maastricht Treaty was signed. This is a perfect occasion to invite high school students from 30 EU member-states and candidate member-states to come to the Netherlands for the International Session of the Model European Parliament. Furthermore, this is the perfect occasion to ask young European citizens to look back and look forward, to the future of Europe. Prior to the actual conference, the MEP Green Paper Procedure invited young people all over Europe to express their reflections on ‘Europe in 25 years’ in a public consultation.
MEPNL 17 is an international conference organised for the youth (age 16-18) and by the youth (age 18-25). The conference takes place in the heart of Europe, in the provinces of Gelderland and Limburg. In these border regions, right at the border with Germany and Belgium, people benefit from European and Euregional cooperation every day. Exactly as real Members of the European Parliament, the participants to MEPNL 17 will not work at one location only. They will debate in parliamentary committees in Arnhem (capital of Gelderland), lobby for proposals and amendments on the go and vote on their final resolutions during the General Assembly in Maastricht (capital of Limburg). The 9th of February 2017, they will even visit Brussels (capital of Europe) for a dialogue with Members of European Parliament on what kind of Europe they would like to live in the next 25 years. Following, based on the input of the MEP Green Paper Procedure, the generation of the Maastricht Treaty will establish a new Youth Treaty on how to guide Europe through the next 25 years of European integration.
The Model European Parliament
MEPNL 17 follows the methodology that was developed and improved over the 25 years the MEP exists. Participants take the role of Member of the European Parliament, representing their country in one of the 10 parliamentary committees. In these committees, resolutions are written and debated in a smaller setting under guidance of an experienced committee-president. After their work in parliamentary committees, participants have to go back to their national delegations to discuss with them whether or not the resolutions are in accordance with their interests. During intensive lobby sessions, participants could acquire support for their resolutions or proposals for amendments to resolutions. In a General Assembly, the MEP debates all resolutions and amendments one by one and decides by majority voting which resolutions are adopted. Model journalists publish daily newspapers and search continuously for news that might influence the resolution-making process.