Issue 1 7TH NATIONAL SESSION OF EYP CYPRUS
From the Editor Dear participants of the 7th National Session of EYP Cyprus, You are now holding in your hands the first Issue of Flaminfo. It is written for you; to welcome you and guide you through your journey at the 7th National Session of EYP Cyprus. Look around you, weâ€™re everywhere - attempting to capture the moments you want to remember. Let the memory-keeping begin! Flick through the pages to find advice on teambuilding and discover more about the perks of being an EU Citizen. It is as much your issue as it is ours. Yours, Arriana Yiallourides
Contents: What Officials? The perks of an EU Citizen Session Guide: • A guide to your EYP Experience • Have no fear, Teambuilding is here! • Committee Wars Meet the President of EYP Cyprus On Social Networking Your topics: Explained (Part I)
LIBE I ENVI FEMM AFET II EMPL
The roles of officials in a nutshell By Lisa Allison
The Chairs: Chairs, principally indispensable pieces of furniture (short for â€œChairpersonâ€? in our case), come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and, like most chairs, an EYP chair is there for support. They work to ensure that what starts out as a room full of strangers, ends with them becoming a room full of gradually well-acquainted friends, through a variety of purpose-selected activities. Once everyone is comfortable with one another, the Chairs guide and essentially facilitate the Committee in debating a given topic and create nothing but the best resolutions tackling any European issue. The Chair is there to listen to everyoneâ€™s ideas and encourage each and every Delegate to participate and contribute, whilst ensuring that they themselves are both impartial enough and efficient within the framework of Committee Work.
The Delegate: Each delegate is put into a certain committee which is allocated a European issue to tackle. With help from their Chairs, delegates learn important skills of teamwork and collaborative thinking and form strong friendships with one another. Their job is to think and work together constructively and give their opinions in order to reach a general consensus. The role of a delegate requires patience, innovative thinking and an open mind but above it is one of the most rewarding roles one can take on. Disclaimer: Delegates are usually found forming circles.
The Organisers: The “Orgas” constitute another most important, yet almost invisible and fundamentally admirable, part of the crew. They do practically everything, from finding sponsorships to sustain and support EYP events like the one we are experiencing to mopping and counting how many metres of string are available for Teambuilding Games (and much, much more…). They essentially make sure everyone is comfortable and everything runs smoothly. Thank you, our dear Organisers!
Last, but definitely not least (it’s us!), are the Journalists, colloquially referred to as “Journos”. We are the folks documenting the Session. During the session you may see us creeping around with our cameras and notepads but fear not, that’s what we are expected to do! Although our utility is, alas, not always obvious, we are there to put the Session’s fragments organically together and keep it fun and upbeat. We bring sun and fun, lighten any tension and capture the moments of the participants, be it writing, photoshooting or video editing, to create a lasting recollection of the events and refuel the memories. And once this is properly done, it really is worth it.
Introducing you to the EYP experience By Elena Papathomas
EYP combines fun and work at the same time. Right from the beginning, the Teambuilding activities come in to balance any idea of hard work that should be dealt with during the Session. Apart from being extremely fun, they help you bond and create a great relationship with your fellow Committee members. Consequently, this warm atmosphere helps you put together a joint Motion for a Resolution, with the guidance of your Chairs, for the General Assembly debate on Sunday. Most games will be played within your committee but don’t be afraid to join the ‘big-circle’ games which are played by all participants! Now…Will the next four days be tiring? Yes, mainly due to the workload and the amazing time you’ll be having with your new friends. However, do try to get some sleep, as you will definitely need it in order to be alert for the big day on Sunday. Never forget to be open-minded and willing to listen to other people’s thoughts and views! Do not be afraid to meet new people and make new friends. Everyone feels the same at first, but once you get the chance to talk to each other, stress and curiosity fly away, allowing you to enjoy the session fully.
The memories of your first EYP experience will be the ones you will remember forever (at least, I still do and it’s been two years already; but it does feel like it was yesterday!). Moreover, some of these new friends that you will be making in this session may end up being some of your – believe us– greatest friends. I still keep in touch with numerous awesome ‘EYP friends’. Well, the truth is that, once you realise that the session is over, you may also end up suffering from some, hopefully not severe, Post-EYP Depression, also known as “PED”. You will probably miss seeing your friends first thing in the morning, riding the bus to the Committee Work venue, working along each other…You may even miss the early wake-ups! You’ll cope. And I can, still, guarantee you; you will have the time of your life and continuing EYP will be fairly a question of choice. Besides, you gain way too much to give up on it! Now, sit back, relax, get some positive energy and get ready to work hard and enjoy the next few days in Larnaca. Remember everyone is here to ensure that you enjoy this session to the maximum as an unforgettable experience. So, smile and go have fun!
Have no fear, Teambuilding is here! Your personal little TB helper By Charlotte Antoniades
“Fear not, newcomer, for Charlotte Antoniades presents to you the noble process and the high values of Teambuilding we all, more or less, love.”
You’ve just been put into an awkward enough strange group of people called a “committee”, you are naturally reserved and you don’t really know how to proceed with your fellow committee beings. How can games with names even more peculiar than your group, such as “Fred the moose” or “a marshmallow pasta house”, possibly help you during the next couple of days? And why do your Chairs constantly insist on you using your ninja skills in the “Ninja Game”? Teambuilding is an essential part of any EYP event and has apparently grown into a solid part of the EYP experience itself loved by alumni and freshmen internationally. As a matter of fact, gathering in a badly formed circle with your Committee for the first time may seem a bit daunting, especially if you’ve played the “Name Game” and you still have no idea what anyone is called, but we’ve all been there and it’s just okay, don’t worry. Teambuilding activities in the beginning may be a bit cringeworthy for some and there is no doubt everyone will be feeling awkward at one point or another. So, the key to overcome this issue is just to remember that we’re all in the
same boat. Different people reach their comfort zone at different times, just know and trust, that by the end you will form a comfortable bond with your fellow Committee Members, surely necessary for a smooth transition to Committee Work(the next stage of the Session.) This will even lead to the commencement of new friendships. As for the activities, some call for more creativity, while others are more strategic; others function as energisers, aspiring to give you a chance to show your incredible singing skills and get slightly more vivid. The “Human Knot” will have you confused and, at some point, pressed against someone’s armpit. Alternatively, how about integrating everybody in building a human tower while minimally touching the floor? You may not like all the games, but you may, equivalently, end up loving a few, so, that way, when things are getting tough during Committee Work, you’ll always know that there is a speedy recovery just a ninja slice away. To build a firm team of friends never forgetting to have some fun. That’s what Teambuilding is all about. Well… Ready?
“This is not a game, it’s pure competition.” By Fabrizio Colucci
on your forehead will disappear, and that is because you will realise that the people around you are, somehow, possibly the most easygoing pals you will ever come across. Before you know it, you will be spending all your time with them: lunch, coffee break and (if you really cannot stay away) even a good part of the night. You will work hard together and share the most
What you think it will be like.
This is not the aimless ramble of a lunatic. Well, not completely, at least. This is more or less what was floating in my head the first time I went to a National Session as a Delegate, as soon as I reached the venue and met my fellow Committee companions. It was understandable to a certain extent: our school was really counting on us and me and my mates worked incredibly hard before the Session. We wanted to win (you see, in Italy, the sense of group/School competition is definitely
difficult times during Committee Work, even argue about whether to start that clause with “Encourages” or “Supports”… I assure you that every common issue you have will be resolved. After all, you are the components of the same machine, designed to achieve the same goal. Yes, there is the prize thing; everyone, of course, has it in the back of their mind. However, there is absolutely no way that you will harm each other to have an individual win. Eventually, you will realise the definition of a team during General Assembly, but I will not write a thing about it. Just enjoy it.
more distinct) and no one could harm our goal and definitely not a group of other people I was supposed to work with. I knew there was Teambuilding and icebreakers to help us bond, as we were told. Still, I had my strategy – pretending to have a laugh with my peers while thinking “I’m going to destroy you all” – and I was sure of it. I was a war machine, prepared to “enter a world of pain” (the “Big Lebowski” fan will understand).
Top tip: “Do not act as stupid as I did!”
In fact, after a couple of arampampam, the laughs become genuine and that hideous frown
What it’s really like.
PS: When you will be bidding each other goodbye saying “We will text every time!,” say it like you mean it!
The perks of an EU Citizen What is it that makes us EU citizens? Would our lives be any different if our home country was not a Member State? Defying indifference starts from knowing what possibilities and opportunities the EU has to offer, and with 2013 being the European Year of Citizens, it is high time to realise how being part of the EU affects us. By Anna Petterson
Looking back at all the challenges we have been dealing with, while foreseeing what we will be possibly facing in the future, one has to recognise that being part of the European Union makes some sort of difference. To start off, officially being a European citizen means that one bears not only their home country’s nationality, but also boasts a European one as well. You are probably used to saying “I am Cypriot”, but how about saying “I am European?” Comprising a population of nearly half a billion people, we are the world’s third largest population. We benefit from a frontier-free single market on a 4 million km2 area and make use a common currency in many Member States. Then again, how do we actually detect what we call European citizenship? Perhaps, the most perceptible sign is the fact that we can freely travel, study, work and settle anywhere in the Union. Details are often those that make a difference and in fact, the EU has been paying attention to even the smallest of elements, aiming to satisfy the needs of its citizens. We can easily notice the success the Union has accomplished throughout the years; so, thanks to the EU… … we enjoy the right of being informed and compensated whenever a hindrance, such as delay or cancellation, occurs in our journey. This has been enacted long ago regarding air travel, but central planning now guarantees this for rail and maritime travel as well. Additionally, passengers with reduced mobility also have the right to special assistance.
… small firms develop and flourish thanks to the help provided by and within the Union. This occurs on the basis of relevant need-adapted legislation, a European-level exchange scheme and a fund of 100 million euros in start-up loans. … you can easily find a charger for your mobile phone thanks to the simple Micro-USB plug that allows harmonisation of the phones sold in the EU. Travelling inevitably leads to discovering, support and help for your own start-up shapes tomorrow, environmental awareness safeguards our own future. We are not only observing this project, we are part of it. This is the reason why we’re gathered in Larnaca to guide the EU ourselves: building a better future in every field for every citizen and remembering to act united on the global stage.
Meet the President of EYP Cyprus By Katerina Stavri
“Ms. Kantor joined the EYP in 2008 as a Delegate in the 2nd National Session of EYP Cyprus and, having attended over 15 sessions over Europe, she is elected as the President of the National Committee of EYP Cyprus in 2012. Katerina Stavri introduces Mikaela to you!”
What is your role in the EYP Cyprus and what do you do as the President, Mikaela? In EYP, the term “President” bears its very special definition. Serving as the President of the National Committee of EYP Cyprus for 9 months now, I have come to realise that it is a position that comes with great responsibility and leaves no space for big mistakes. As the Head of a National Committee, you represent not only the organisation, but also your country, and your words and actions must be weighted carefully. Whilst national representation abroad is very important, maintaining the status quo of the organisation within the country rests with the President and the National Committee in general. Setting higher goals for each year, whilst aiming for more EYP Cyprus events and the highest rate of inclusion has proved to be a full-time job which I also need to coordinate with my studies. A former EYP Cyprus President tried to explain to me what it is would be like.
“It can't be that hard…”,I thought. I am still learning!
What improvements have you seen in EYP Cyprus through your years as a participant, as an Official and now as a Member of the National Committee? EYP Cyprus is an organisation continuously growing, with regard to its members. More and more students every year are keen to participate, which resulting in the introduction of the Pre-Selection Procedure that commenced three years ago. As a delegate you can feel the competition increasing, however as an official you welcome more and more participants from different cities at the National Session. What gives you the greatest joy serving as a National Committee Member is seeing how the organisation gains more and more recognition both domestically and abroad. This year, our National Session comes under the patronage of a Mrs. Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth. This fact highlights the work of EYP, and EYP Cyprus in particular, which is being recognised within the European institutions and by Members of the Commission itself.
Further on, the National Session's “Discussing Europe” event will welcome some of the most well-known and accomplished representatives of the governmental and business sector of Cyprus, such as Ambassador Mr. Andreas D. Mavroyiannis and Mr. Yiannis Yiannaki, Commissioner for Volunteering and NGOs, as well as Mr. Nicos Marcou, Human Resource Manager of “Ernst and Young Cyprus”.
vidual has the opportunity to prove themselves, and the same applies for EYP Cyprus. Did you also happen to have had any pleasant surprises?
EYP Cyprus has hopefully reached a stage in time where a high goal is never too high.
Pleasant moments crop up daily amongst the people that work for EYP Cyprus and even the ones that have now 'retired' from their duties still show their support for EYP, either by assisting in any possible way or by a simple, yet precious, “Well done, good job!”.
Were there any obstacles you had to deal with during your year as President?
What advice would you give to this Session's participants?
Obstacles occur regardless of your position. It all comes down to having a set of goals you want to achieve and being willing to innovate at a time of crisis to overcome all problems and obstacles. This year has been a challenge not only for EYP, but for Cyprus as a whole, and it is through such challenges that an indi-
You have the opportunity to experience something great, to do something extraordinary and something that a lot of people can't do – so put on your hat and experience it to the fullest! Mikaela, thank you for the time and the effort you have put in EYP!
“The thing we are trying to do at Facebook is just to help people connect and communicate more efficiently.” Mark Zuckenberg
On Social Networking By Dionysis Patriarcheas
Some years ago, when most EYPers were toddlers, a new era begun; the era of social networking. Back in ‘97, the first major website which allowed its users to create profiles and attempt social connections was launched. SixDegrees.com served a simple task; to help people connect and send messages to others. However, despite its success, SixDegrees.com failed to become a sustainable business and two years later, the service closed down. During the next three years (1998-2001), major websites started, many, ahead of their time, nonetheless without notable popularity. It was in mid-2003 that the social media revolution started. Hi5, MySpace, Couchsurfing, Flickr, still-Harvard-only-Facebook and many other websites got more and more popular within their target groups. Yet something was still missing. These extremely elaborate websites were popular tools, but not part of our everyday life. Nevertheless, year by year, they steadily developed. In 2005, YouTube was launched and Facebook expanded to high-school networks. 2006, the final shot. Twitter was launched and Facebook was (finally) open for everyone. Millions of users rushed to create profiles, install applications on their mobiles and check their notifications every day. Since then, social networking took off! On closer inspection, the consolidation of social networking marks how entirely physical communication turned into a mix of digital and physical communication. What mainly
supports this transformation is technology. Literally, none of the aforementioned would have happened, unless the World Wide Web was capable of embracing these innovative moves. The generations raised alongside the Internet and social networking have grown to use it as an invariable tool. 75% of young people are socially networked, spending an average of 12 hours a week online. In light of this new reality, serious concerns have been raised about the impact of virtual contact and the fear of human interaction being replaced. However, as Aristotle would teach, the golden mean is best; namely, the felicitous middle between two extremes, one of excess and another of deficiency. Spending too many hours online would be absurd, whereas spending none at all might result in elimination from one’s peers, two ends equally undesirable.
Networking for the youth Speaking of the youth, the European Youth Parliament seems to be fond of social networking as well. Apart from the EYP Alumni Platform (alumni.eypej.org,) in place for some years now, there always is a Facebook page on an upcoming session or even anti-EYP libels. This very issue will soon be published online, as Press Teams are rather prone to online publicity. Be sure to check us out and let the feed do the rest!
LIBE I : Whose fault is it this time? As European citizens become more dissatisfied with the status quo, someone has to take the blame. By Ciara Robinson
Europe has definitely been better off. In 2013, the EU faces inflation, unemployment and a significant decrease in many citizens’ quality of life. As the Euro continues to crumble, voters are increasingly frustrated by the political system and the daily struggle. Without jobs, money or security, they search for someone to blame. Disastrously, this has evoked a surge in the support of far-right parties advocating xenophobic, anti-Islamic and anti-European sentiments. Far-right parties, clinging to nationalist ideology, have called for cuts on immigration. For those in despair, migrants are a very easy target. Arguably, they rely on national welfare systems and ‘take our jobs away’. The truth is that they also essentially fill skill gaps and take up jobs which many natives refuse to do. Yes, migration often increases pressure on already fragile welfare systems, but this does not warrant the discrimination immigrants face. After all, the EU was founded upon liberal, multicultural values.
Regrettably, the treatment of Islamic minorities has proven otherwise. As with migration, the unfortunate behaviour of the extreme few (in migration’s case: illegal immigrants), has been arbitrarily extended to the law-abiding many. This has led to further discrimination, segregation and even most cruel atrocities against many innocent, decent, hard-working minorities. Others put the blame on the Union. The Eurocrisis damaged the reputation of the EU and the economies of Member States and, although, historically, the EU has always aimed to foster cross-border cooperation, the Eurocrisis has instead revived nationalist attitudes. Where does the EU fit? There is only one way: it must protect the basic rights of all; recognise the difference between de facto segregation and physical limitations placed upon migrants; uphold the democratic principle of pluralism. Europe must remind citizens of its proper identity, along with recognising areas for improvement.
ENVI: The (vicious) Arctic Cycle By Anna Petterson
The tip of the planet is undergoing a transformation and it is seemingly not only about the Arctic environment and polar bears; it is a menacing challenge increasingly affecting societies and economies around the globe. The extremely fast sea ice retreat poses miscellaneous new challenges. Firstly, it is a major environmental turn; as white houses keep cooler during the hot Cypriot summer, a blanket of reflective snow and sea ice reduce the amount of sunlight the Earth absorbs, thus intensely influencing the climate. Moreover, warmer Arctic water leads to the melting of the East Siberian Sea that is believed to contain vast deposit of methane. It has been calculated that the damage of a large quantity of methane emission would cost around 60,000,000,000,000 $, and would especially harm developing countries unable to sustain flood, storms and droughts. Subsequently, the Arctic thawing triggers a vicious circle with several side effects urging for a political point of view on the subject. The area upholds a long tradition of international
cooperation, both regarding scientific research and the race for extract mineral resources. In fact, only international regulations can bring sustainable development and assure that inhabitantsâ€™ rights are fully respected. Especially when it comes to dealing with environmental issues, single actions are futile and the hard work of one state could be spoiled from the activity of another, if they are not coordinated. Concrete results ask for common measures. If the EU does not take action, someone else will. Even so, the position of the Union is clearly affirmed, thanks to its beneficial guiding principles based on the respect for the environment, the conservation and sustainable management of natural resources, the freedom of scientific research and the acknowledgement of indigenous rights. In parallel, the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea does not embrace all the challenges. A new treaty, therefore, drafted upon the new needs, could be a encouraging starting point, while it still is fundamental that the EU has, and raises, a voice in it.
FEMM: Sports, a reflection of society By Katerina Stavri
Sports reflect our society in many ways. Corruption, sexism, substance abuse are but a reflection of deeper ills within a society at large. Nevertheless, sports are also very beneficial in societies as they offer a sanctuary for the young where they can grow into healthy, disciplined, self-confident people who learn to work together towards a common goal. In the early years, sports were played by men, whilst women were to sit on the sidelines and watch. Even though nowadays women are athletes themselves, too, discrimination is always there. Recently a major issue for women in sports is female coaches and their salaries. Male coaches get on average 159% of the money female coaches make and male salaries are continuously on the rise. There are no laws to protect female coaches and thus women are discouraged to follow such a profession. Gender inequality in sports however starts at a much younger age than that of coaches. Col-
lege sport teams in universities all around Europe are often funded by major companies, with the majority of the funding however goes to male teams which are also featured in many regional media unlike female teams. Media not only encourage discrimination in University level sports but also in national and international level sports. Female athletes and teams often receive less media coverage as they are considered accordingly less important. It seems that many people still live in the past, when Baron Pierre de Coubertin said, always in the frame of its time, "No matter how toughened a sportswoman may be, her organism in not cut out to sustain certain shocks.". 120 years ago, such stereotypes fueled sexism in sports, which unfortunately still goes on. Itâ€™s high time action was taken in the tracks, the courts and the pitches. We are fighting for a society where men and women are equal, we still, however, allow discrimination in sports to slip through our fingers! How fair is that?
EMPL : Motion Issues Pensions in Europe and the elderly; where to? By Fabrizio Colluci
Nothing expresses the idea of “risk” better than a long-term investment like a pension fund. What made it even more dangerous in the last 5 years is something whose end is far to be seen: the Crisis. The policy-makers seem to struggle every day to give the right stimulations to keep the economic machine running and, certainly, market fixity is not included in that list. Europe needs mobility and a well harmonised internal exchange system to fight economic turmoil. However, one of the major flaws in the latter reasoning resides right in the administration of pensions around the old continent. According to the projections, a remarkable number of European citizens (which will likely become the greater part soon) are expected to have worked in more than one European country in their lifetime. What baffles those directly involved is exactly how their trans-national work is going to be valued in the long-term. In other words, how is the contribution calculated with different schemes? For example, if an individual works 10 years in Italy, 15 in Germany and 12 in France, he is going to undergo three different systems, and may not be eligible to receive an analogous pension. The problem can, of course, be tackled and, hopefully, the EU is actually going this direction. It seems properly necessary that we set up a platform which will aim at translating the contribution towards an individual’s pension fund. This allows workers to freely move around Europe and continue to grow their pension fund. To this end, the work Pension Europe is nowadays doing has to be enhanced in every possible way. At least, this seems to be an efficient enough way to create a web of pension schemes around different countries which will ultimately ‘speak the same language’.
AFET II : Sanctions vs World By Elena Papathomas
Certain people believe that sanctions do not work and will eventually lead to war. On the other hand, some believe that they are wisely used as an alternative to war when settling a dispute. In between the two, sanctions can be the reason to avoid a war when used correctly for specific circumstances, ensuring maximum efficacy and the minimum suffering. However, if the Member States of the EU do not monitor the use of the sanctions right, these can, and will, become inefficient, violate fundamental human rights and effectively lead to a war. This has been the case in Iraq with the use of comprehensive sanctions. Even though their use has been increasing in the last few years, that does not mean that they are working out perfectly. Honestly, what has been the death toll paid in Iraq so far? As it is the Member States that monitor the sanctions, it is difficult for the EU to know which ones work better and decide when they are appropriate. It would, thus, be easier if the EU maintained a closer relationship with its Member States, in order to help with the monitoring in order to determine which sanctions are appropriate. Additionally, a de-alignment of the UN forces could result in a reduction of the suffering of the people. Currently, comprehensive sanctions are targeted against an entire society with an impact on many groups, often excluding political elites. Furthermore, for the sanctions to be more efficient, a closer look needs to be taken at the type of government of the country. When directed against authoritarian regimes, they are most likely to fail, while, if they are poorly implemented, people are most likely to suffer (again); the results are just opposite to the desired.
EYP CYPRUS WOULD LIKE TO THANK ALL OF ITS GENEROUS SPONSORS AND SUPPORTERS FOR THEIR VALUABLE CONTRIBUTION IN MAKING THIS SESSION POSSIBLE FOR ALL ITS PARTICIPANTS.
Representation in Cyprus