Today Catherine Bearder MEP visited St Helen & St Katherine School in Abingdon to visit the regional champions of the European Youth Parliament.
Ten girls from year 12 were selected at the Thames Valley regional forum in March to represent the region at the National Forum in Durham in July. At this forum, they will be competing for the chance to represent the UK at an International Session in Zagreb, Croatia, in the autumn.
Catherine spoke to the girls about her experiences as an MEP as well as giving them an inside-view of how the Parliament works. The aim of the European Youth Parliament is to recreate as closely as possible the workings of the European Parliament. At the National Forum in Durham the girls will be debating 14 resolutions, including ones on human trafficking, the EU nuclear industry and the 20-20-20 targets for climate change.
After the visit Catherine said, "It's been a real pleasure seeing the thirst for knowledge that these girls have towards the EU."
"The UK does so much positive work with our EU partners but all we ever here from the media is scare stories and Euromyths. It's great that these girls get to experience the reality of the European Parliament and through the European Youth Parliament I'm sure they'll do their bit to spread awareness about EU issues."
"I wish them the best of luck for the National Forum in Durham and I hope to hear even more success stories from Croatia in the Autumn!"