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EYP in Albania 2013

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From 25 November to 1 December 2013, more than a hundred young students gathered in Tirana, Albania, in order to attend the 3rd International Forum of the European Youth Parliament in Albania. A Delegation of five students from Gymnasium am Münsterplatz also took part.

After an exhausting journey via Ljubljana we were dropped right into the rush hour of Tirana. We were all speechless as we were looking out of the window, there were so many things which impressed us and the difference to where we were a few hours before was overwhelming. We arrived at our hotel after a one hour drive through the city. It was placed on Mount Dajt in the East of Tirana. We were all very happy when we were able to finally go into our rooms.
The next morning we got up early and met our committees for the first time, each made up of people from all over Europe, whom we were able to get to know quite well during the following days. An experience that is almost nowhere as easy to achieve, as it is in the EYP.
However, on the first two days there were not only positive sides to our journey. Soon after we reached our apartments we realised that they were to no extent in good shape, lacking insulation and heating, for example. Thus making the nights far colder than naively expected by us in a Mediterranean country. What we also experienced was the possibility to actually miss healthy food such as fruits and vegetables. Luckily we had Ms Spasojevic with us, who organised new rooms for us and also ensured a wholesome nutrition.
The more serious part of EYP started on the third day of the session. We gathered in our committees in order to discuss our different topics of global importance. The goal was to write a resolution on the problems we were trying to tackle. Our skills of discussing and listening were of equal importance during the working process. We were all exhausted at the end of the fourth day, but we were also proud of what we had created and happy that we accomplished our task.
One night all delegations brought culinary specialities from their home countries for an event called Eurovillage. We brought fondue and Rivella (of course). The Dutch delegation brought Stroopwafels, the French crêpes and fish. We also tasted many other things from the other delegations.
After a few days of work, we had had some free time in Tirana and were guided through the city by some local EYP organisers. It was very nice to be guided through a city by people who actually live there. The short sightseeing tour was completed by a visit in the National History Museum, providing us with some more background information about a country we hardly knew anything about before the trip.
Afterwards the Euroconcert was held, in a small charming café. During the concert various presentations, from both delegates and officials, were performed, ranging from a Greek poetry recital and speech to stand up comedy and music, including our own cover of Johnny Cash's cover of Hurt by the Nine Inch Nails.
On the last day the General Assembly was held in the conference room of the hotel. Eventually all our resolutions were presented to the other committees. Lively discussions followed attacking and defending the newly written resolutions from different perspectives. Surprisingly all the resolutions had passed, whether this was due to the quality of the resolutions or to something else is open to debate.
The last evening was celebrated at the farewell party, where we enjoyed the last few hours with the amazing people we had met during this week full of great experiences. Eventually we were all very tired and happy to finally go home, although we were a bit sad as the session was coming to an end. On the rather long journey back, we discussed what had happened during the week in Tirana and we already started talking about going to more EYP events in the future.
In conclusion, it is fair to say that the session was full of great and very interesting experiences for us. We felt lucky to have attended and we all met some people we won’t forget. Our thanks go to the school for allowing us to attend this event and also aiding us with the transfer costs. We also want to thank Ms Whitebread for introducing us to the EYP. Special thanks go to Ms Spasojevic for being most helpful and caring and for making the conditions at the session far better than they were at first.

Mischa Meyer & Pedro Schön