This morning we felt refreshed after a great night’s sleep in a comfortable bed. We had a delicious continental breakfast and then met to prepare for the day ahead. We all thought of some questions to ask our Scottish MEPs and prepared our questions in French and Spanish for the street survey.
Then we headed out in the cold to the streets of Strasbourg to ask people what they thought about Scotland and Europe. We got some really interesting answers – some people think that London is a city in Scotland and some even believed that Scotland is located in the Mediterranean! It was really interesting and we even found native Spanish speaking visitors to Strasbourg!
Then we had some time to find something nice for lunch in the city and explore the centre before we met back at the hostel. We had a little birthday surprise for Candide and she got a traditional Kuegelhopf from Alsace.
We then headed to the European parliament on the coach. We were delighted to get on the bus and know that we only had 10 minutes to travel!
When we arrived, we went through security and headed straight into the hemicycle. We got to watch a live debate, listen to what was being said about communism and even listen to the interpreters. It was quite heated between the politicians on the right wing and the left wing! It was great to see parliament in action before we join the debates ourselves on Friday.
Then we had a wonderful presentation from Mr Walung from the visitors service at the parliament. He told lots of amazing facts about the EU and how languages are used every day in Brussels and Strasbourg. We learned lots!
Then three of our Scottish MEPs came to speak to us about their roles, Brexit and the EU. We first met David Martin who is one of the longest serving MEPs and is a member of the Labour party. He told us about the biggest challenges facing us as we leave the EU. Then we were joined by Ian Hutchton, an SNP MEP who talked to us about his role in protecting fishing and the uncertainty in the EU now. We then met Nosheena Mobarik, who an inspirational conservative politician from Glasgow who is now working on the single market committee working to negotiate our future partnership with the EU. Finally, Catherine Stihler who was our MEP host who brought her enthusiasm and energy. She talked about the importance of resilience, working together to find solutions and being an internationalist. In the words of Ciara, ‘it was educational and inspirational’.
Finally, we headed back to the hostel for a lovely dinner and then had a preparation session for the parliament.
We then headed for a guided tour of la Petite France. Kara had lots more ‘fun facts’ for us along the way. We learned where la Petite France got its name and about ‘les grandes écoles’. We even ceilidh danced on a bridge!
It has been an action-packed day and we’ve had a ball. We can’t wait for tomorrow! À demain! ¡Hasta mañana! Bis morgen!