Euroscola is an EU funded programme for groups of students from all EU countries to get together at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, to meet each other, try their language skills, and discuss important issues. During the day, the students get a lot of information about all the different bodies of the European Union, and their duties and responsibilities. The students also get to simulate the work of an MEP, by working in committees, discussing a given theme, and presenting a proposal to be voted on. They sit on the places of actual MEPs, use the microphones, headphones for simultaneous interpretation in several languages, and the electronic voting buttons. All the results of the votes are projected on the huge screen on the wall, just as in a real session.
Today, there were over 500 high school students from 24 European countries. The working languages were English, German and French, but interpretation was also available in Spanish and Italian. Topics discussed by students included: European values, the future of Europe, environmental issues, pros and cons of the use of ICT by youngsters, volunteering, democracy and European relations with the rest of the world. Challenging, motivating and highly educational!