Aujourd’hui, c’est le jour-J!
We woke up very early this morning as today is the day that everybody has been waiting for – the Euroscola day!
We were all dressed very smartly, Jack, Robert and Daniel were wearing a kilt and there were lots of tartan trousers and skirts among the group. We went to the parliament by tram for an 8am start. It was really impressive to stand and look up at the parliament building while going through security.
We were first welcomed by our animateurs and animatrices at the parliament and we headed for coffee and pastries with our fellow students. This gave us the opportunity to have a chat before entering the hemicycle.
We were welcomed by the parliament officials in the main debating chamber and they told us a little more about the role of the parliament. It was then time to ask questions to Dennis Radtke, a German MEP. It was such a great opportunity and lots of us raised our hands! Jack was first to ask about Brexit followed by Kirsten who asked about the potential of an independent Scotland rejoining the EU. Ross was next to ask a question about the environment. It was amazing that three of our group were picked to ask questions.
Then it was time for everyone to present their schools. Sophie and Shaun presented our group and did a great job talking about the Rotary selection process, Scotland as a country and our shared European values. It was amazing to see them standing in front of over 600 people. They did a great job and we were so proud of them.
It was then time to head off to lunch and do our Eurogame where we had to team up with young people from other countries and form multilingual teams of 4. The questions were challenging, and even harder because they were in over 17 languages!
Then we headed into our discussion groups. We had already researched and prepared our French vocabulary for the different topics and we were ready to go. The discussions were really interesting and it was great hear different opinions from many countries across Europe.
When we all returned to the hemicycle, we heard from the ‘presidents’ and the ‘reporters’ in each group. They reported back what was discussed and we got to vote on each group’s final proposals. Ross was president of the environment group and Isla was the reporter for the group which discussed youth unemployment. They did such a great job.
There was also the chance to pose questions on the proposals for all 6 topics. Robert, Shaun, Alice and Runa all asked for clarifications on what was being proposed.
It was then time for the Eurogame finals. Jack managed to be one of the finalists in the white team. He didn’t win the overall prize but he got a very lovely Euroscola jumper and hat. The day ended with a parade of the flags and the European anthem. Our two ‘porte-paroles’ carried the flags for the UK which was a lovely end to the event.
We were all thoroughly exhausted but delighted when we got on the tram to go back to the hostel. We had dinner, did some packing and then came down for the ceilidh. It was a very lively ceilidh as we were joined by the French group who are staying in the hostel. We loved sharing a bit of our culture.
Our trip has flown by and we can’t believe we are flying back tomorrow already. We’ve had such a great time, made friends for life and memories that we will never forget. A huge thank you to our Rotary Clubs for making this trip possible.