European Youth Event - Strasbourg
For the first time Macra sent a delegation of 20 members to Strasbourg for the European Youth Event 2014 from the 9th – 11th May.
The European Youth Event (EYE 2014) brought together 5,000 Europeans aged 16-30 to exchange ideas on youth-related issues in Strasbourg. The Macra group set out early on Friday morning, flying from Dublin to Frankfurt and travelling first class by coach to Strasbourg and off to the European Parliament seat for registration.
Throughout the weekend all members took part in a range of different workshops, seminars and talks around the five topics of youth unemployment, the digital revolution, the future of the European Union, sustainability and European Values. On the Friday evening a number of members went to a workshop entitled ‘Be Cool and Get Europe Moving’, where participants from different European countries got involved in games and physical activities specific to their country. That evening also saw members giving interpreting a go with the help of the European Parliament interpreters! An open-air concert in the centre of Strasbourg finished off a lively start to the weekend.
Saturday morning saw all members take part in ‘iDance’ – the world’s first official computer-based sport. Niamh Ryan and Ollie Kirwan showed their dancing skills by being placed first in the dance off! Between workshops members spent time in the YO!Village organised by the European Youth Forum, where they met different youth organisations from around Europe, visited stands, took part in debates and questionnaires, and listened to live music. All members also attended a very interesting workshop entitled ‘Active participation and voluntary action in community life’, where we worked together with other youth organisations from Poland, the UK, France, Switzerland and Finland. The final event of the evening saw representatives from the Macra group perform in front of a packed theatre as part of a Theatre workshop. They brought the house down with a wonderful comedy sketch, and a rousing rendition of ‘The Rocky Road to Dublin’, along with some expert tin-whistle playing and an old Irish poem rendition. They were supported by the rest of the Macra group, who said they had “never seen anything like it before”! The final event that day was a concert and party in the Rhénus Nord, where everyone showed off their new found dancing skills!
The event was a huge success, and as the only representative from Ireland, the Macra delegation really got involved and represented the country fantastically. All members are excited about putting what they’ve learnt from the EYE to good use within their own Macra clubs and will definitely be recommending to their club members that they take up places on the next available Macra study trip aboard. This trip would not have been made possible without funding from the European Parliament.