Connecting Schools Across Borders

In this project, this strategic partnership wants to redefine international cooperation across Europe by exchanging and reinforcing good practices between students, staff and schools. This strategic partnership consists of 6 schools. Twice per year, a different participating school will organize a Youth European School Parliament (YESP) for a full week. The main theme is: "Connecting Schools Across Borders". Each event will focus on a different European theme, and on a different specific skill which students develop. In a YESP-week, students are placed in different committees, which are based on actual committees at the EU such as Finance, International Trade, Legal Affairs, Human Rights, Environment. Committees will consist of 10 or 11 members, and will be represented by at least one student from each school, and diversity of the committees is encouraged in the selection process. The goal of each committee is to develop a new law in their own respective fields.

During the week, student committees will learn how to write a law by participating in workshops delivered by officials of local and domestic government, EU politicians and NGOs. These workshops will also improve and facilitate students' debating skills. The week contains cultural activities as well.

At the end of each YESP-week, the committees present their laws and debate them with their fellow students in the General Assembly (GA). At the end, all students have to vote in favor or against the law; and when the majority agrees, the law is accepted.

Besides developing English, cultural, social and debating skills of students, every participating school determines their 5 strong and weak points before the start of this project. During each YESP-week, staff of the hosting school will educate incoming staff about their strongest points, and helps the other schools with how they could learn thrive on their good practices, based on the weak points they signaled. Hence, within a YESP-week, skills and good practices are exchanged between international students within and between committees, from politicians and NGOs to students, and from school to school.

Other forms of Youth Parliaments exist, but they are only for a few top students of schools and take place in one specific location. Furthermore, other parliaments focus only on the development of students, whilst ignoring the learning opportunities for the teachers as well as the involved schools. 

This project should be funded because it will improve intercultural relationships between students and schools from the Northwest (Netherlands, Germany), Central/Eastern Europe (Poland), Southwest (Spain) and Southeast (Bulgaria and North Macedonia). Moreover, it will give students insight into the tasks and responsibilities of different EU committees by debating present-day issues and by presenting new laws. Students also benefit by obtaining language, social, debating and presentation skills; whilst schools benefit by exchanging good practices.

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