Strode's College students get behind the scenes at the EU Parliament in Brussels

As Europe decided the fate of its MEPs in the recent elections Strode’s College students were given behind the scenes access to the European Parliament. First year A Level students Athena Jamaranian and Henry Denegri were two of just 18 young people selected from across all EU countries to join the 2019 ALDE (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe) Young Visitor Programme. The students spent five days seeing first-hand what happens at the EU headquarters in Belgium. 

The programme is aimed at 16 to 21 year olds, who do not have the connections or the means, to get acquainted with the EU institutions. Athena and Henry spent a week in Brussels enjoying an extensive and unparalleled insight into how the European Parliament operates, researches, legislates and represents on a daily basis.

Commenting on the experience Athena said: “It was so nice to meet people from different countries that I wouldn’t have done anywhere else. It was amazing to see the different places in the Parliament, and to have a ‘behind the scenes’ look at what goes on there. The EU is a massive part of our lives which we don’t fully realise, so being able to understand our country and the countries around us at such a young age is super important for us all.”

Athena and Henry joined young people from ten other EU countries ranging from Finland, Netherland and Austria to Portugal, Lithuania and Bulgaria. During their five days in Brussels they attended European Parliament talks, the Human Rights Watch and went to a meeting at Facebook. They visited the actual European Parliament Chamber where politicians meet to discuss major issues, met journalists and Catherine Bearder the Member of the European Parliament for South East England.

Commenting on the value of the trip Gill Phillips who is responsible for student engagement at Strode’s said: “A highlight of studying at Strode’s is the extracurricular enrichment opportunities. We believe that the further we can deepen student learning and understanding, the richer their sixth form experience will be. Athena and Henry had unrivalled access to the workings of the EU Parliament which can only broaden their perspective of modern-day politics.”

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