The European Youth Parliament (EYP) is an organisation first established in 1987 in Fontainebleau, France, aiming at promoting the European dimension in education. The European Youth Parliament represents a non-partisan and independent educational project which is tailored entirely to the needs of the young European citizen. The EYP encourages independent thinking and socio-political initiative in young people and facilitates the learning of crucial social and professional skills. Since its inauguration, many tens of thousands of young people have taken part in regional, national and international sessions, formed friendships and made international contacts across and beyond frontiers. It has thus made a vital contribution towards the uniting of Europe.
The aims of the European Youth Parliament are to:
* Raise awareness of European issues, encourage active European citizenship and motivate students to get engaged in European politics.
* Promote international understanding, intercultural dialogue and diversity of ideas and practices.
* Contribute to the personal skills development of European youth.
* Provide a forum in which young people of Europe can express their own opinions, without reverting to role play.
Today the EYP is one of the largest European platforms for political debate, intercultural encounters, political educational work and the exchange of ideas among young people in Europe. The EYP consists of a network of 33 European associations and organisations in which thousands of young people are active in an honorary capacity. The international umbrella organisation of the EYP is the Schwarzkopf Foundation.
At the over 80 regional, national and international events a year in the 33 national organisations, the EYP reaches well over 20,000 young people. The ‘flagship’ events of the EYP are its annual three International Sessions. Each of these sessions brings together about 270 young people from 33 countries for 10 days in different European countries.
Since 1989, Greek delegations take part in the sessions of the European Youth Parliament. The increasing number of participants led EYP to organise sessions in other European cities as well, first of whom was Thessaloniki in 1989. In March 1997, EYP Greece organised the 24th International Session of the EYP in Thessaloniki, in cooperation with the European Cultural Capital Organisation “Thessaloniki 1997”, and in 2000 it organised the 33rd Internation Session in Athens.