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Adamstown Community College winners of Web Page competition in the Dublin Constituency

The day began with a continental breakfast, dressed in our finest business attire, in our hotel in the centre of Strasbourg at 7.30 am. We then hopped on our coach and travelled to the Parliament where we had the opportunity to take several photographs outside and inside the amazing building. Once we had gone through security we were offered breakfast, continental style again. My they do love their croissants.

Once breakfast was over we were given colour coded badges corresponding to the different topics we had chosen before we came. After a check to make sure all the schools were there, we were led to the big Parliament room. The schools had a chance to introduce themselves in a European language other than their own. We introduced ourselves in French and Lithuanian, but unfortunately there were no Lithuanian translators available which caused some confusion and laughter amongst the crowd due to the translator’s quick quips and thinking that we were speaking in Irish and commenting on how Irish was a beautiful language and how she wished she could understand it. The Lithuanian school made a special effort to come and talk to us and commented to us that they were thrilled to hear something in their language being spoken in the Parliament.

After introductions we were given the opportunity to ask the co-ordinators of the event questions about the European Parliament and were given a brief on how the European Parliament is organised and seating arrangements.

During lunch we had the chance to talk to students from the other schools which was a great experience and allowed us to practice our various languages to varying degrees.

We were then taken into smaller groups according to our topics into smaller conference rooms, where we were allowed to discuss our topics with the other students from the other schools in our groups. There were six groups and two people were elected from each group, the rapporteur and the chairperson. The rapporteur reported back on the discussions that arose and the chairperson took questions from the remaining 500 students with regards to the problems about each topic and the solutions which were proposed to everybody in the Parliament hall. Fair play to anyone who was brave enough to do it and in particular to our school who represented 25% of the personnel speaking on behalf of their groups. There were schools from all over the European Union and we’re proud to say that ours was the only multi-national school present which was represented in the amount of photos from the day which we were present in.

We all got a chance to vote on the proposed ideas the same way the European Parliament would and on other topics that are currently being discussed by the EU. The day ended with a game and many pictures.

Overall it was a very enjoyable experience and we would like to thank the European Parliament Office in Dublin for this wonderful opportunity and experience. It really opened our eyes up to the importance of the European Parliament.