“Election Debate” at the IEGS

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Jens Holm, one of the project’s political patrons from the Left Party, discusses ‘young ideas for Europe’ with the ‘politicians’ from the People’s Party © IFOK GmbH

The final day of the Young Ideas for Europe’s project week in Stockholm started off with a nice doze of excitement and nervousness from the participants of the project. After some last minute preparations and a sound check, this year’s political patrons and sponsors of the project entered the Aula at the International English Gymnasium Södermalm (IEGS) to mingle with the participants on stage. The Aula was filled with the vivid noise from the ideas and opinions being shared and discussed.

We also got a big encouragement from our partner school in Lithuania:


Lorentz Tovatt, one of the political patrons of the project, discusses participants’ ideas with the students

Lorentz Tovatt, one of the political patrons of the project, discusses participants’ ideas with the students © IFOK GmbH

Soon other students and teachers started to pour in and the participants, patrons and sponsors took their seats on and in front of the stage. The time had come for the final election debate among the political parties running for the seats in the European Parliament! Oleg and Lovisa from Wake-Up Call were MC’ing the event and opened it by giving the floor to the political patrons and sponsors.

The patrons of the project were:

  • Jens Holm – former member of the European Parliament who currently serves as a member of the Swedish Parliament from the Left Party,
  • Lortentz Tovatt – one of the two newly elected spokespersons for the Young Greens of Sweden (and also our former colleague at Wake-Up Call),
  • and Arba Kokalari – the international secretary of the Moderate Youth League (MUF) of Sweden who is also running for the European Parliament (for real).
Monica Hallworth, one of the project’s sponsors, talks with the students

Monica Hallworth, one of the project’s sponsors, talks with the students © IFOK GmbH

They all shared their thoughts on the climate issue and their enthusiasm about the project. Finally Monica Hallworth from Knycer AB, who together with the Robert Bosch Foundation and 350.org, funded this project week in Sweden, entered the floor and gave us an insight into Knycer and their work with climate-smart energy-efficient solutions for drying clothes.

Then it was time for the parties – namely Eco-Liberals, People’s Party and the Environmentalists to present their political manifestos. The presentations followed by sharp questions from the other political parties and then it was time for the audience to pose their questions. All of a sudden, protesters from an NGO interrupted the event and declared their strong opinions about the current policy and their disgust with empty words and lack of action from the politicians. After they had been escorted out by “security”, the media group and the audience posed their questions for the parties. Finally it was time for the audience to vote and while the votes were counted, the political patrons and sponsors shared their feedback for the parties.  The political advisors who facilitated the election presented the results together with the patrons and sponsors and the majority of the seats in the parliament went to the Eco-Liberals.

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NGO representatives make their unauthorised intervention © IFOK GmbH

The day was rounded off with a warm ceremony were the students received a certificate of participation in the Young Ideas for Europe and the latest issue of the inspirational youth magazine Heroes of Today. But the real heroes were the students themselves, of course, as they all carried out this whole project, and not least this final day, with flying colors!

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