European Youth Parliament ends session in Berne

Delegates at the European Youth Parliament consult each other in Berne Keystone

Hundreds of delegates aged between 16 and 22 have concluded the 34th session of the European Youth Parliament in Berne, patronised by the Swiss president, Adolf Ogi.

This content was published on July 23, 2000 - 14:29

During the 10-day long session, the youngsters from 26 countries debated political issues of international importance.

They concluded their talks on Sunday with 15 committees joining for plenary sessions in the House of Representatives, and voting on a series of non-binding resolutions to be presented to Euro-parliamentarians in Strasbourg.

The subject matters covered included human rights, consumer protection, unemployment, and environmental and cultural issues.

Ogi paid the delegates a visit on Friday and told the session he welcomed the opportunity to hold a dialogue with the "ministers, presidents and parliamentarians" of the future.

He also told the multi-cultural group that Switzerland needed more time before becoming a member of the European Union. "If the country were to hold a vote now," Ogi said, "I believe the Swiss people would reject the idea." But, he added that adhesion to the EU remained a strategic goal.

Delegates were said to have responded positively to the president's frankness, and to have appreciated the manner in which he confronted the parliament.

The EYP was set up in 1987, and added Switzerland as a member in 1995. It holds three sessions a year in different countries across Europe, with the aim of providing a European dimension to education and politics.

According to a statement by the EYP, students are given an opportunity to actively participate in a democratic decision-making process and exchange their ideas in politically neutral surroundings.

The legislature, including 10 Swiss representatives, meets again in Oxford, in December.

swissinfo with agencies

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In compliance with the JTI standards

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