Intern Training in the European Parliament

On Friday 22nd October, the World Youth Alliance Europe interns attended a workshop in the European Parliament entitled ‘Europe in Search for Identity and Values’. The workshop was led by Magda Bien, former Director of Operations for WYA Europe who now works in the European Parliament. In addition to our WYAE interns, additional interns from other like-minded organisations were in attendance.


The workshop consisted of three parts. Firstly there was a talk about values and identity in Europe, which considered both the foundations of the European Union, the place of value in the EU and the way in which those values are interpreted today. During this talk we looked at some of the texts concerning values, such as Article two of the Lisbon Treaty and the Schuman Declaration of May 1950.


Moving on from this discussion, we then looked at specific case examples of legislation where there have been different interpretations of the values that are contained within the Lisbon Treaty. It became clear that there is a real need for both a firm understanding of these values and a subsequent propagation of this firm understanding.


The third part of the workshop, accordingly, dealt with the practicalities of advocating within the EU institutions, with a specific focus on the European Parliament. Magda offered many profound insights into both the workings of parliament and the way in which we can effectively influence policy and legislation through personal contact and other forms of communication. Her experience of being on both sides of this interchange was invaluable in giving us the knowledge and practical tools necessary to become involved in the world of EU advocacy.


Everyone very much enjoyed the workshop and we are very grateful to Magda for her time, effort and knowledge.