30 Under 30 in Brussels

Young Greens co-chair Ben Parker gives an update on the visit to the European Parliament in Brussels with the 30 Under 30 training scheme.

Young Greens visit the European Parliament
The European flag

Ben Parker

Ben Parker

Between 10 and 12 July, the Young Greens were pleased to host a trip to Brussels visiting the European Parliament and our three Green MEPs, Jean Lambert, Keith Taylor and Molly Scott Cato.

The trip was run in conjunction with the Young Greens 30 Under 30 training scheme, which provides mentorship to young people with political ambitions in the Green Party, and gave participants the opportunity to understand more about the different EU institutions, responsibilities of MEPs and the role of Green politics in an international setting.

The group visited the European Parliament museum, learning about the history of the Parliament as well as participating in a role play game, tasked with passing various pieces of legislation acting as MEPs from different party groups. It was interesting to learn more about the different stages involved in securing new laws and there was plenty to be learnt about negotiating and working with others to reach a fair compromise – Theresa May, take note!

The group were also pleased to meet with and hear from our MEPs about their work, particularly within the context of Brexit and its many related questions and unknowns. Beyond the Parliament itself, the group also spent time learning about the role of lobbying within the European Parliament and enjoyed a tour of some key lobbying institutions. Led by the Corporate Europe Observatory – a research and campaign group working to expose and challenge the disproportionate influence over EU policy-making enjoyed by big business and industry – the group were able to cast a critical eye over some of the EU’s more questionable practices. All in all, the group left with a more thorough understanding of the role of Greens within the EU and the importance of the Parliament in general.

Of course, it wasn’t all serious, and there was plenty of time for the group to see the sights of Brussels and have some fun! Many enjoyed taking part in various walking tours and the whole group managed to find some time to sample the local beer and chocolate. The trip also managed to coincide with the World Cup semi-finals leading to an inevitable rendition of “It’s Coming Home” outside the Parliament to the delight (or derision!) of all around.