Pupils from Cookstown High recently joined 18 others schools from across Northern Ireland for a Mock Council of the European Union debate.
Sixth form pupils Bethany Greer, Zoe Seymour and James Marks were at Stormont to tackle two of Europe’s most pressing issues — the future EU-UK relationship and how the European Union will need to develop to deal with the challenges of the 21st Century.
The debate occurred as the real European Council met to review the latest developments in negotiations following the UK’s notification of its intention to leave the EU.
Now in its 13th year, the event — which is organised by British Council Northern Ireland and the European Commission Office in Northern Ireland — was chaired by Jane Morrice from the European Economic and Social Committee, with Cookstown High representing Lithuania.
Speaking about the event was Colette FitzGerald, Head of the European Commission Office in Northern Ireland, who said: “The European Commission Office in Northern Ireland is delighted to support the Mock Council, which is an ideal opportunity for students in Northern Ireland to learn and debate about the big issues facing the European Union in today’s global economy.”
For Jonathan Stewart, Deputy Director, British Council Northern Ireland, the event is a great way for young people’s voices to be heard.
He said: “It is clear from today’s debate that students have strong opinions on what is going on in UK politics and beyond. This event put pupils at the head of the negotiation table and allowed them not only to see how politics works at a wider, European level, but it also gave them the chance to understand the possible ramifications Brexit has on the UK, as well as the rest of Europe.”
The British Council is committed to providing international opportunities to schools in Northern Ireland. For more information on the Mock Council or any other programme
available through the British Council visit http://nireland.britishcouncil.org follow on Twitter BCouncil_NI or on Facebook www.facebook.com/britishcouncilnorthernireland