Five Years of EPAS Programme across the EU!
The European Parliament Ambassador School Programme (EPAS) is celebrating it's five year anniversary. That is 60 months of successful cooperation between teachers, schools and the European Parliament, teaching students across Ireland about democracy and their rights as EU citizens.
To mark this anniversary, we would like to thank all the teachers who have been involved in EPAS and who, particularly in the challenging circumstances of the last two years, found new creative ways to deliver the programme.
We would also like to give special recognition to the Senior Ambassadors who have delivered the EPAS programme to students every consecutive year since its inception in Ireland by awarding them with a Certificate of Appreciation on their outstanding commitment.
Since 2015 (pilot project)
Evelyn Canty, Coláiste Chiaráin, Croom, Co. Limerick
Catherine Cooke-Harkin, St. Columba's College, Stranorlar, Co. Donegal
Sherma Carey, Mercy Secondary School Mounthawk, Tralee, Co. Kerry
Mary Kavanagh, Coláiste Nano Nagle, Limerick
Anita Irwin, St. Joseph's Secondary School, Rush, Co. Dublin
Viki Malcolm, The King's Hospital School, Palmerstown, Dublin
Deirdre Clune MEP said, "I am delighted that the EPAS has been so successful and that is due to the commitment of the Senior Ambassadors. It takes a great level of energy and enthusiasm to deliver the course each year and it is wonderful to see those efforts rewarded. I have visited the schools personally on a number of occasions as part of the programme, these engagements are always such positive events and I have no doubt but that is due to the input of the Senior Ambassadors.“
Frances Fitzgerald MEP said, "On the 5th Anniversary of the European Parliament Ambassador School Programme, I want to congratulate all schools across Dublin who have participated in this visionary and inclusive EU programme. The project brings the role of the EU, the importance of democracy and a greater understanding of different cultures into our classrooms at secondary school level. Today in particular I want to acknowledge the immense contribution of two of our Senior Ambassadors of the project in Dublin, Anita Irwin of St. Joseph's Secondary School, Rush and Viki Malcolm of The King's Hospital School - thank you for all of your outstanding work and your continuous commitment to this worthwhile programme."
Grace O'Sullivan MEP said, "I'd like to offer my heartiest congratulations to all the Senior Ambassadors receiving their very well deserved Certificates of Achievement. I’ve been delighted to support the EPAS programme over the past couple of years, since I was elected as an MEP, and I’m always thrilled to meet with both students and leaders engaged in the programme. EPAS is a wonderfully positive initiative. Its aims – to raise awareness around European Parliamentary democracy and the founding principles and work of the European Parliament - are close to my heart and align well with my own agenda around education and inclusivity. I applaud this programme, congratulate all participants and leaders, and look forward to seeing a new generation of young, informed democrats contributing to the working and political world into the future."
Maria Walsh MEP said, "I am delighted to see the Senior Ambassadors for the European Parliament Ambassador Schools Programme being acknowledged for their dedication in connecting the European Union within our schools and communities. I am delighted to see Catherine Cooke-Harkin from St Columba’s College, Stranorlar, Co. Donegal has been acknowledged for her hard work. A leader for us in the Midlands-North-West, Ms Cooke-Harkin has poured her energy into promoting the programme at every opportunity. In May of last year, her students won the Jan Amos Comenius Prize, which is awarded to 22 secondary schools from across the EU. The premise of the Prize is to empower students to explore the European Union in a creative way and in March of this year, they came third in the Model Council of the EU competition representing Croatia. This programme is an integral part of teaching our young people about why the EU was formed and how it works. I want to congratulate Ms Cooke-Harkin and applaud her for her dedication in connecting our young people to the European Union."
What is EPAS?
Initially launched as a pilot project for the academic term 2015-2016 in six EU member states (including Ireland), EPAS was subsequently rolled out EU-wide in 2016. The aim of the programme is to raise awareness of European Parliamentary democracy and of European values among 16-18 year olds and in Ireland is particularly suitable for Transition Year students.
EPAS gives students the opportunity to understand their rights as EU citizens and teaches them how they can become involved in the EU’s democratic processes. With the help of their Senior Ambassadors (teachers), students learn about the EU, its Member States, history, values and impact on our daily lives. They also participate in a range of activities such as setting up an EU Info Point in their school, organising a Europe Day event, connecting with their MEPs and linking up with other EPAS schools from across the EU.