The Model European Parliament(MEP) seeks to educate students about the European Union and current political and social issues in Europe by giving them high quality opportunities to meet and work with their contemporaries from other EU Member States and candidate countries. Each year approximately one hundred 16–19-year-old students from the EU countries meet in a European city for a week of detailed research and discussion culminating in a plenary session at which resolutions are debated and adopted. These international sessions are run by and for the students themselves with minimal input from adults and all proceedings are conducted in English.
The MEP aims to encourage our youth on their political – and personal – journey by showing them how they can have a direct impact on the issues that face them today by effecting change with political discussion and the democratic process in Europe, and the huge benefit it is to effecting such change, as a European citizen.
Belvedere College has been involved in this European wide activity for seven years with Students participating in international events in Copenhagen (Denmark) Helsinki (Finland), Toledo (Spain), Valetta (Malta), Koblenz-Bonn (Germany) and Luxembourg.
Training and familiarisation are offered to provide our Irish delegates with the processes of the European Parliament and its procedures. Student delegates to these International MEP sessions regularly describe the experience as the best week of their lives. The sessions are gruelling but exhilarating in their development of intellectual acuity and mental stamina as well as communication and social skills. Delegates work in committees with colleagues from other countries to examine in critical detail some of the complex social, economic and political issues facing Europe and the wider world. They attempt to devise solutions by way of resolutions which are then debated in a two-day plenary session at the end of the week. Delegates learn to communicate, collaborate and compromise with their contemporaries from all the countries and cultures across the continent. But there are also ample opportunities to socialise and to visit some of the sights of the host country and firm friendships are formed amongst the delegates.
Irish delegates are often invited to the two annual sessions of the international MEP in spring and autumn as well as the regional meeting of the Western Region MEP.
Presently the following teachers are associated with the operation sof the MEP within the College: Mr Stuart Wheeler, Ms Noelle Russell and Ms Anna NigFhloinn.
Recently a virtual iMEP 2021 (due to Covid restrictions being in place) was conducted in November and hosted international by Berlin (Germany). Our Irish delegates were highly placed in the culture night song awards and the video on this page highlights those members of the iMEP delegation to Berlin.
Our first face to face iMEP since Covid was held in May 2022 to Bucharest, where we sent 5 delegates and two Committee Presidents as part of the Irish delegation. We were also received by the Irish ambassador to Romania in an enjoyable exchange of ideas and interests.