Innovation I Sustainability I Development
It is a great honor for me, on behalf of the Presidency of the 52nd session of the Model European Parliament, to welcome you.
In the wake of the CoVid 19 pandemic we unfortunately have had to cancel the physical session scheduled for Stockholm, Sweden in March and November. Instead a first-time online conference is taking place embodying what this European meeting wishes to focus on.
The Model European Parliament is a place for innovation. It is a forum where young Europeans can test their opinions while developing new ideas on European issues. The divergent perspectives of the delegates fuel the creativity needed to find innovative solutions to our common challenges. Europe is in great need of such innovative solutions, as it is evident that much of our current practices will not sustain the development of future generations. We are entering a new decade with rising mistrust of governing institutions and the climate crisis in full swing. Only open and dynamic environments like MEP can foster future sustainable governance and climate policies in our increasingly interconnected continent.
My home country Sweden embodies the Model European Parliament’s spirit of innovation. Its capital Stockholm has generated over 20,000 tech businesses, and only Silicon Valley outperforms the city in terms of billion-dollar start-up companies. The city also exemplifies the notion that innovation must further sustainable development, being the first-ever European Green Capital and offering a world-class public transportation system, run on 100% biofuel. I hope that Stockholm’s commitment to innovative and sustainable development will inspire consideration of our shared responsibility for the future throughout the session.
I encourage you to come to the digital MEP session unafraid of thinking outside the box. Thus, propose something new in the committee meetings, raise an unconventional point in the General Assembly. Likewise, let others improve, criticize, and modify your ideas. The diversity of the participants’ perspectives will then not only act as an accelerator of innovation but also as a rooting mechanism – making sure that your solutions will stand the test of time. Let your debate reflect the intercultural aspects of innovation and sustainable development.
The Presidency warmly welcomes you to the 52nd international session of the Model European Parliament – digital.– Clara Falkenek
Honorable Members of the Model European Parliament,
I warmly welcome you to the first digital Model European Parliament session!
This MEP is truly different than any other that has taken place in the past. The Covid19 pandemic impacted all of us this year and didn’t leave anybody unaffected. It became a challenge, not only to the way we were living but even an obstacle to a lot of our beloved activities, like our MEP sessions.
In February, it became clear that it would not be possible to organize an iMEP session in Stockholm in the traditional way. We had lockdowns all over Europe – nobody knew how the situation in autumn would be and if there would be a chance to organize the session later.
Instead of just waiting for better times, we accepted this challenge! Through months of hard work, we created a solution that would allow us to meet and to be able to discuss again, to find solutions for the European political and societal issues, without the need for physical meetings. We used the experience we had gained with ZOOM and Microsoft TEAMS during the first lockdown in Spring and developed a new MEP session concept. We managed to transform the MEP’s physical dependent procedures and the way we were doing the related intensive debates in such a way that they can be done in a fully functioning digital environment. This concept was then tested a month ago here in Austria with a MEP meets SCHOOL session done together by two Austrian schools, and it was a complete success. All these efforts are allowing us now to organize the international MEP using this new approach.
With this new concept, we will be able not only to continue having MEP sessions during any kind of lockdown but once the crisis is over to have hybrid sessions as well, which will incorporate the best of the physical and the digital world.
Thus the obstacle, that was in the way finally became the way! We dealt with the challenge, and by doing that, we advanced further than we had been before!
By having the first digital international MEP we are writing history together, and it will definitely be a great experience!