M.E.P. Italia (english version)

MODEL EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT ITALIA

M.E.P. Italia is a cultural, non-political, non-profit association established in Modena in September 1996. It is connected to a European network of M.E.P. organizations and High Schools promoting the project at a national and international level. The association is based in Modena (Via A. Tagliazucchi 46, 41121) and registered to the Albo Provinciale dell’Associazionismo e Volontariato (Leggi Regionali n.10/1995 and n.3/1999).

M.E.P Italia places itself as a contact point for High Schools interested in further qualifying their activities within a European framework. We provide a meeting place for young people who seek to experience intercultural exchange and who consider cosmopolitanism as a value and an educational objective to be pursued. 

The Association is composed of teachers, University and High School students who voluntarily assist the organization of the activities and of all of those who wish to promote a European dimension of education through a concrete experience of research and democratic debate. Furthermore, local, national and European institutions support our projects.

Through the last 20 years of activity, the Association has built an extensive European network of partners as well as local networks of M.E.P. schools in Italy. On an annual basis, these collaborations result in two international sessions in various European cities, several Euroregional Sessions, one Italian national session and 8 city-wide and/or regional sessions from Veneto to Campania. Currently, more than a thousand Italian young people enthusiastically partake in this project.

As a proof of the Association’s formative value, in 2000 the former Head of State Carlo Azeglio Ciampi awarded the association and its organizers with the Medaglia d’Argento del Presidente della Repubblica (Silver medal of the President of the Republic), one of the highest honors granted to organizations conducting cultural activities.


HOW WE ACHIEVE OUR OBJECTIVES

  • We organize annually European Parliament simulations at a local, regional and national level;

  • We organize courses and seminars on historical and civic aspects of the European Union;

  • We promote meetings that foster the exchange of knowledge and intercultural experiences between schools, organizations, and people;

  • We work on research studies and publications regarding European Integration and Cooperation.


CULTURAL AND EDUCATIVE AIMS

The environment in which the project takes place allows the participant to get in touch with a diverse range of political and cultural backgrounds, both in the national sessions and, above all, in the international ones. By following this path, students have the chance to understand the foundational values of diversity, pluralism, active tolerance and respect towards the other. These activities also educate young people to active citizenship and promote the development of the person in the social context.

Studying the building process of the European Union is an effective way to foster our historical memory, giving the chance to discuss topics intimately related to World War II and the Post-War period. Through these activities, participants raise deep awareness on the meaning of peace and European identity, developing an ever-increasing sense of belonging to the European Union and active participation in its development.

The studying process that precedes a Session strengthens the knowledge of extremely contemporary social, cultural, historical and economic topics; while the activities organized during the sessions consolidate logical and critical skills.

Moreover, these meetings are an extraordinary experience to build long-lasting friendships: young people need this emotional involvement in order to deeply come in touch with their inner self and to open up towards the other.

The Committee Meetings held during the sessions are completely coordinated by young people called “chairs”. By organizing and overseeing the Committees and the General Assembly, they develop a sense of accountability and commitment towards their work.

This first-hand experience is particularly important for the professional future of young people. Many of them, in fact, may choose a university curriculum focused on law studies or political and diplomatic relationships. The MEP Sessions hence become a strong tool to help the students to understand whether a particular profession is coherent with their interests and personality.


EDUCATIONAL VALUE

The project strengthens the EU key competences: a) communication in the mother language and in foreign ones, b) learning how to learn, c) social and civic skills.

  • General knowledge: basic notions of European and international law through a “learning by practice” technique. Delegates, when elaborating the resolution booklet focused on economic and social topics, become aware of the importance and width of EU politics.

  • Public speaking: participants hold speeches in front of their colleagues aiming at the expression of complex topics in a clear way.

  • Negotiation techniques: in order to justify and validate their ideas, students have the chance to experiment a wide range of negotiation techniques.

  • Italian and English language: students learn how to debate, both in Italian and in English, following a formal speech pattern.

  • Debating techniques: students confront with each other through pre-established rules, hence understating the importance of codified procedures to achieve higher results and ensure equity among participants.

  • Open-mindedness: sessions are breeding ground for cultural exchange between people coming from different backgrounds and the time spent with the hosting families contributes to increasing open-mindedness.

  • Individual and group growth: students experience a comprehensive process of growth ranging from teamwork and collaboration up to overcoming emotional barriers and thoroughly validating their opinions.