Finland Parliament Adventure
I was lucky enough to be the head of the UK Delegation of five to the 47th international session of the Model European Parliament in Helsinki, Finland between the 4th and 11th November through WKGS and Liverpool Schools Parliament. Each of us was put on a committee regarding a certain topic; I was on the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs II, covering media accountability given the rise of media privacy invasion, “fake news” and so forth. We spent the first three days debating and discussing to form our resolutions. Then, after a day to create any amendments, we had two days of General Assembly, in which my resolution passed. However, some of my friends’ resolutions unfortunately did not.
As the head of the delegation, I had to give a speech in the opening ceremony. Giving a speech about European unity in the middle of the Brexit negotiations; it’s easier said than done. I essentially said that no matter what happens we must remain united in spirit, we have done more united than divided and we all have far more in common than that which divides us. So, we should always stand up for the ideals that we as nations have fought centuries to safeguard. It certainly received a good reception, judging by the feedback I received.
Staying with host families certainly provided us with a cultural awakening. I can confirm the stereotype that the Finns have an affinity with saunas; most families to my utter disbelief have one in their homes. I feel, upon my return, that the most valuable thing this trip has provided me with (apart from experience in politics) is the magic of friendship. I could probably go to most European cities now and there would be someone to meet me at the airport or station. I feel this is such an invaluable tool in such a globalised world.
In short, I will never forget my time in Helsinki. The people, the memories and the great nation of Finland; they all hold a special place in my heart. I am so grateful for this opportunity and I would strongly urge anyone presented with such an opportunity, to grasp it with both hands. You will be ever so glad you did afterwards!
Tom, Year 13
Here are a couple of photos of Helsinki's stunning architecture...