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Youngsters' Euro conference

PUBLISHED: 12:21 08 March 2002 | UPDATED: 11:30 03 March 2010

OVER 70 youngsters from Suffolk and Belgium were joining together today to talk about being European citizens at a conference in Ipswich.

Students from East and West Flanders made the trip to the county to meet their counterparts from seven Suffolk schools for the day long event, which is being held in the Council Chamber at Suffolk County Council's offices in St Helen's Street.

OVER 70 youngsters from Suffolk and Belgium were joining together today to talk about being European citizens at a conference in Ipswich.

Students from East and West Flanders made the trip to the county to meet their counterparts from seven Suffolk schools for the day long event, which is being held in the Council Chamber at Suffolk County Council's offices in St Helen's Street.

Groups of students will discuss one of five themes and then make a presentation of their discussions. All the delegates will register their views before and after the presentations, to see if their opinions change during the day.

The themes up for discussion are:

European citizenship – what is it like to be a citizen of Europe and what can the European Union do for people?

The enlargement of the European Union – can the EU get larger and still work effectively?

The EURO – is it a good idea or a restriction on national finances?

The role of the EU in the world – what actions should the EU take in relation to the rest of the world?

Internal security – how do we deal with immigration to the EU, and how can we assure internal security?

Ipswich MP Chris Mole gave the welcoming address and there was to be a talk by Veerle Dehaene of the Ryckevelde Foundation to provide some reminders about current issues in European citizenship and to give the students some ideas for their work during the day.

Ann Brown, assistant education officer responsible for the Education Accord with Belgium, said: "The conference will provide the young people with a good opportunity to discuss the challenges and opportunities that Europe provides them with. We hope that the students from both sides of the North Sea can learn from each other, and we're looking forward to some lively debates and presentations."


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