What is the Model European Parliament?
It seeks to educate students about the European Union and current political and social issues in Europe by giving them high quality opportunities to meet and work with their contemporaries from all the EU Member States and candidate countries. It is independent of the European Parliament and the other institutions of the European Union.
What does it do?
Every six months a total of two hundred 16-19 year old students from 30 European countries meet in a European city for a week of detailed research and discussion culminating in a plenary session at which resolutions are debated and adopted. These international sessions are run by and for the students themselves with minimal input from adults and all proceedings are conducted in English. There is also a programme of development opportunities for accompanying teachers.
How are students chosen to participate?
Each delegation of five students is chosen by the participating country according to its own procedures. In some countries delegations are chosen following national or regional sessions. In others, the MEP is operated by a consortium of schools and the delegation is drawn from the students of those schools. The UK Secretariat is hosted by Wymondham College, a state funded boarding school in Norfolk, which works in collaboration with a group of state funded and independent schools in the East of England to operate the MEP for the benefit of students from all the participating schools.
What do students get out of it?
Student delegates to the International MEP sessions regularly describe the experience as the best week of their lives. The sessions are gruelling but exhilarating in their development of intellectual acuity and mental stamina as well as communication and social skills. Delegates work in committees with colleagues from other countries to examine in critical detail some of the complex social, economic and political issues facing Europe and the wider world. They attempt to devise solutions by way of resolutions which are then debated in a two day plenary session at the end of the week. Delegates learn to communicate, collaborate and compromise with their contemporaries from all the countries and cultures across the continent. But there are also ample opportunities to socialise and to visit some of the sights of the host country and firm friendships are formed amongst the delegates.