Learners from Coleg y Cymoedd joined young people from schools and colleges across Wales at the Ty Hywel building, Cardiff bay to take part in a Mock Council of the European Union. A group of visiting students from Flanders also participated in the event; representing the U.K.
Assembly Member for Pontypridd, Mick Antoniw, welcomed the visitors to the chamber and introduced the First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones.
The annual event, now in its 7th year is hosted by the Welsh Government as part of a programme to raise awareness of EU issues and the benefits of EU membership.
Kimberley Corderoy and Dafydd Williams studying on the A2 programme at Coleg y Cymoedd represented Romania at the event; researching the arguments for the motions and actively debating their views. Both enjoyed the event and were great ambassadors for the college.
The motions included ‘Whether the EU should set a target for each Member State to produce 40% of its electricity from renewable sources for 2014 and perhaps more topical, ‘whether regionsbecoming independent of EU Member States should be admitted in the EU immediately’; the Mock Council voted overwhelmingly against this motion.
Fellow learners, Morgan Williams and James Date, both studying on the Cache level 3 course represented Malta; they made an excellent team and at the end of the event Morgan stepped up to the podium to discuss an issue she had raised with the representative from the EU Commission.
Morgan said” I really enjoyed the experience, I was quite nervous to start with but throughout the day I gained the confidence to debate the issues and was amazed that I actually got up on the podium to raise my point. The event has given me a better understanding of how the EU works”.
Following a lively debate Mr Antoniw said “The Mock EU Council is a unique event, which gives learners from across Wales the opportunity to demonstrate their debating skills & Knowledge of how the EU works, in the prestigious setting of the National Assembly.
The event was a great success, with all learners rising to the challenge and engaging to produce two very high quality debates. The event also exposed the myth that young people are not interested in politics – given some of the superb contributions”.
To conclude the days programme the group of young people were given a tour of the Senedd and the opportunity to have photographs with the Assembly Member.