FAHRENHEIT magazine of the extraordinary international session of the eyp issue 0| december 12 2010 online edition
welcome issue Fahrenheit 4.51 | 1
by the editor
Cut the Crap 451 degrees Fahrenheit is the temperature at which book paper combusts. In his famous dystopian novel, Ray Bradbury describes a world where critical thought through reading is outlawed: firemen burn books, and the hedonistic masses have ceased to care about anything. On the first day of Lillehammer 2010, Chinese writer and human rights activist Liu Xiaobo was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo. Liu couldn’t receive the prize in person, as he is currently detained by the People’s Republic of China, sentenced to eleven years of imprisonment and two years’ deprivation of his political rights. 4.51 degrees Fahrenheit – about –15 degrees Celsius – is hopefully a temperature at which opinions don’t freeze. You have travelled to the chilly Lillehammer from all the corners of Europe, and you have a unique chance to discuss and debate the most burning issues of our time. Fahrenheit 4.51 is essentially to provoke critical thought, the critical thought forbidden in Bradbury’s world and Liu’s China. In EYP, we value consensus and compromising – resolutions, for instance, are supposed to repre2 | Fahrenheit 4.51
sent the opinions of all committee members. The goal is naturally noble and should be respected. However, the emphasis on reaching compromise sometimes comes down to only finding the smallest common denominator – something vague we can all agree on. Taking a stand and going beyond mere media campaigns may thus require some guts. Our message is: use the freedom to take a stand and have your say – the freedom Liu Xiaobo doesn’t have – and aim at discussions and resolutions rich with concrete solutions. Essentially, cut the crap. Yours, jari marjelund
PS. Even though freedom of speech is not oppressed by the Norwegian government, certain practical constraints always work against the printed press. Due to such constraints, we are now only able to provide you with these 16 pages, the “issue 0” of Fahrenheit 4.51 – a mere teaser of what is to come. Stay tuned.
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Content 6–7 10–11 12–13
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Journalist, the United Kingdom
Journalist, the United Kingdom
sophie debrunner hall
Journalist, the Netherlands
Fahrenheit 4.51 is the official magazine of the Extraordinary International Session of the European Youth Parliament. It has been typed in adobe garamond pro by Robert Slimbach, alte haas grotesk by Yann le Coroller, nautik by Henning Skibbe and fontin sans by Jos Buivenga.
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So You Think This Is Cold? lillehammer > Having survived the Nordic weather for several days now, Dan Brown sets out to remind us that in the end, it is not even that cold. When signing up for the International Session in Lillehammer, there were probably many things that went through your mind. You may have asked yourself, could you afford to go? You may have questioned if you wanted to go so close to Christmas, or maybe even wondered how you were going to get there. Yet, I believe one thought that has entered most of your minds is: how cold is it really going to be? On the session website, you have seen severe warnings and the unmistakeable line “the most important thing to bring for the session is warm clothes”. 6 | Fahrenheit 4.51
No doubt many of you will have looked upon this stark recommendation with a slight degree of terror. You may have sat, nervously staring at your wardrobe and saying to yourself: “I haven’t got any warm clothes!” If like me, you have then raced out to buy more socks than there are feet in Norway and enough fake fur to cover a blue whale. But as we all arrive and are dazed by the cold we suddenly find ourselves in, it is necessary to make us all feel better by putting the temperatures we are now experiencing into perspective.
The average temperature in Lillehammer during the bitterly cold months of December is a chilly –7 °C. If we are lucky, however, we might even have the opportunity to tell our friends back home that we slipped into the double figures below as the mercury in December 2009 dropped to –22.8 °C. There is no doubt that is cold. Believe it or not, there are still places far, far colder. In the past few days, due to large amounts of Siberian air blowing down south, the temperature in Poland reached a shocking –33°C. To put that into comparison, the lowest ever
“Believe it or not, there are still places far, far colder than Lillehammer.”
recorded temperature in the United Kingdom was -27°C. If you are walking around Lillehammer, shaking with cold and asking yourself why the session had to be in Lillehammer, spare a thought for our Polish friends who are currently experiencing the true chill. This International Session is, however, extraordinary – you never know what can happen. There are those amongst us who could even have their fingers crossed to break the coldest temperature ever found in Norway – a remarkable −51.4 °C recorded in Karasjok, Finnmark. As much as I want this ses-
sion to break records, that is one record I am not so keen to break during my stay in Norway. If you are still not convinced that Lillehammer is far too cold, I have one more fact to give you that will hopefully make you think otherwise. In 1983, the Arctic research station Vostok was manned by a very brave if somewhat foolish Russian research team. They recorded the coldest temperature ever found on Earth. At the bone breaking, heart freezing –89.2 °C, the temperatures we are experiencing now would seem somewhat tropical.
Stay active and keep warm, as Lillehammer is indeed cold. Yet, don’t let feelings of coldness deter you from taking the absolute most from this session. Get involved in everything and embrace it – after all, you could be performing the Bear Hunt in –89.2°C. –db
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Wh european youth parliament > Wondering about our reasons for coming here, Schima Labitsch explores the very foundations of EYP. It is easy to answer the how, the when and the what of EYP. The crucial question, however, is the why. Why do we do EYP? Why do you do EYP? Bearing in mind that Lillehammer 2010 has over 200 participants from all over Europe, an enormous budget to be fundraised and spent responsibly and a significant workload and pressure for all the participants, it is not naïve to ask why exactly we are doing this – or why you are doing this. Spontaneous answers to the why of EYP most of us would give include fun, friends and discussions – the key elements of the positive and overwhelming experience that is EYP. However, 8 | Fahrenheit 4.51
dedicating time to an idea, a project or a vision is of no use if we don’t honestly know what are the profound reasons for doing so. It is like saying you like chocolate ice cream without knowing the composition its flavour. Well, almost. Everyone obviously participates in EYP because of the fun, the friends and the discussions. However, there are several other aspects that are subsumed because of and under these easy categories, and the latter have to be broken up in order to get to the other, essential aspects. The ultimate aim of the next few paragraphs is nothing but to question and reflect upon what seems so natural and obvious.
Fun is good. Fun is enjoyment, amusement and light-hearted pleasure. Fun is not branded or restricted to certain activities. In EYP, fun can mean the tension before meeting the people you are going to work with, the simple feeling of passionately participating in a teambuilding game or the extended use of your voice by screaming, laughing, singing or shouting. Moreover, fun can include attending a furious party or phrasing resolution, knowing you are way ahead of time. In short, fun is a soft layer that entails amusing, no less rewarding, but still amusing, reasons to do EYP.
hy? Then there are friends – the ones you see and talk to at sessions and the ones you share a relationship with outside EYP as well. The reason why friends in general are important is not to be covered here. Rather, why can EYP provide you with those friends – and what makes them special? People in EYP share the interest in the organisation and its work. Signing up for EYP entails appreciating its elements, and by so doing meeting others who do the same. Consequently, there is a pre-selection of people that will eventually become friends. It is not surprising that the likelihood of finding mind-alikes is far bigger than in a natural environment – the one so often referred to as the “everyday life“.
Finally, discussions are a vital part of EYP. One could say discussions in EYP occur on two layers: the official one in the form of Committee Work and the General Assembly, and the discussions taking place outside that official framework – the ones that do not depend upon customised phrasing or procedure. On both levels, immense amounts of knowledge and opinions are exchanged, and in addition to these discussions as such, the overall academic and social exchange provide the basis for challenge in EYP. This is the point were the aforementioned elements merge into one: challenge. EYP challenges people on very
different levels and forces us to go beyond the well-known “comfort zone”; the feeling of such accomplishment is indeed the reason for me doing EYP. In the end, it all comes down to why you do it. You have chosen to dedicate time, money and energy on Lillehammer 2010 – but what do you gain? What is it that makes all this worth it? Your time, money and energy are wasted if you do not reflect and think – why you are here, and what you want from the session. It is the why we want you to seize at this session: accept the challenge and find out the answers. –sl
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Exit Olympics, Enter Extraordinary winter olympics > For 16 years, Lillehammer has been indulging in the fame of its Olympic Games. It is time to move on, Ben Brown argues. The last time the small town of Lillehammer became the centre of Europe – or the entire world – was in 1994 with the Winter Olympics. Once again, Europeans are now flocking to this iconic location. This article looks at the impact of the Winter Olympics – and makes clear that this Extraordinary International Session of the EYP can have a similar legacy. The 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer forced Norway to the world’s attention. Having beaten the likes of Alaska, Sweden and Bulgaria, there were great expectations, great risks and even greater rewards for Norwegians and Olympians alike. The Games of 1994 are notable for being the last Games to be held in a small town, with the population of Lillehammer standing at only 25,000 at the time of the Olympics. Yet the organisers of the Games saw potential – they knew size meant little in comparison to history, pride and passion. 10 | Fahrenheit 4.51
The Winter Olympics in Lillehammer were extraordinary. The timing of the Games was unique, as the International Olympic Committee voted to separate the summer and winter events. They were the first to be held without the summer Games in the same year, and marked the only time they have been staged two years after the preceding Games. The legacy of the Games still runs true sixteen years later and will forever do so not only in the minds of those who were there or witnessed it on television but even for those who were not born yet. Furthermore, as IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch stated at the closing ceremony of the Games, the Lillehammer Olympics were the “best Olympic Winter Games in living memory”. In support, as of 2010, Lillehammer still ranks as the most watched Winter Olympics on television in the United States.
However, it is now time for Lillehammer and Norway to move on – and what better way to do so than with an Extraordinary International Session of the European Youth Parliament. Just as the Olympic Games revolutionised Lillehammer in the nineties, let us revolutionise the naughties with our session! Never before has there been an International Session so close to Christmas, never before has there been an extraordinary replacement session, and never before has there been a session in a former venue of the Winter Olympic Games. Beyond this, there is the scope to achieve and develop political thought to such a level that is eagerly sought after across worldwide policy and business. The energy and innovation that this session could generate may last longer than any personal best or medal. –bb
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Challenge of the Mjøsa
lillehammer > Impressed by Norwegian scenery on his way to Lillehammer, Ben English believes the lake Mjøsa has something to tell to us. En route to Birkebeineren, you may have missed the famous Lillehammer coat of arms bearing a Viking on skis – the only coat of arms in the world to feature a skier. Or perhaps you missed the Norwegian Olympic Museum – the national museum commonly known as “the window of Norwegian sporting history”. While these features are quite easy to ignore, the one feature which cannot go unnoticed is the lake Mjøsa – the widest lake in Norway, and something with more relevance to this session than you think. 12 | Fahrenheit 4.51
The Mjøsa is one of the deepest lakes in Europe with an average depth of 145 meters. This session thus has one delegate for every kilometer of depth in the Mjøsa. Beside one of Europe’s deepest lakes, the delegates of the session will discuss some of Europe’s deepest problems, ranging from financial crises to climate change. With the depth of these problems comes the need for greater depth in the solutions you propose. The first challenge of the Mjøsa is to challenge the depth of your own thoughts throughout the session. A media campaign may be a viable solution, but al-
ways remember to ask yourself whether there are more ambitious, more original ideas – solutions with depth. The Mjøsa has yet another challenge for you. It is renowned for its variety of fish which is a key driver in the region. Lillehammer 2010 is just like the Mjøsa – it too is diverse in its variety of nationalities, talents and most importantly, ideas. The session theme “Green Light for Great Ideas” gives you a license to be innovative throughout the session and, just like the aquatic life in the Mjøsa, let your ideas be ones of variety. With this,
“The Mjøsa has one last challenge for you: to make the most of your stay here.”
the challenge of the Mjøsa is to fear nothing and try everything both inside and outside the committee room, while at the same time respecting the variety of the other “fish” around you. Arguably the most fascinating aspect of the Mjøsa is its translation in English. Mjøsa is said to mean “the bright and shiny one”. I am sure you can all see where I am going next. While each of you are different at this session, you all have one shared reason for being here. You care. When your friends moan about snow and how climate change
has screwed us over, you would rather come here and find a solution rather than join in. When your friends talk about just how much trouble Europe’s finances are in, you would rather come here and find a solution than talk incessantly about the problem. The Mjøsa has one last challenge for you: to make the most of your stay here. As you read the cover of this paper, you will notice the word “extraordinary” on the cover. At present, this is merely a word to describe the type of session we are at. However, if you embrace every
challenge this session poses, in eight days time that word will hopefully also describe your experience at Lillehammer 2010. With this, let the fun begin, let your ideas be the “bright and shiny” ones which will address the problems facing our continent, question what you want your EYP to be and make it that way – but most of all, make it extraordinary. –be
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We Are Here the session > A mere replacement session? Jan Bubienczyk expresses his trust in the extraordinary participants of an extraordinary session. You step back from your expectations. You realise you are the only ones standing. This was the feeling that prowled upon our backs after arriving at the registration venue in Tromsø last April. Without a doubt, the initial plan for the session was not fulfilled. However, it had a purpose: it marked a start for something exceptional. That “exceptional” is what we currently know as the Extraordinary International Session of the EYP in Lillehammer. In all fairness, Lillehammer 2010 is indeed the replacement session for the Tromsø debacle – yet we are not the 65th International session. This might raise concerns whether we are actu14 | Fahrenheit 4.51
ally experiencing a proper International Session – with no valid concern. As the most perceptive have already noticed, sessions take time to arrange and upcoming sessions are already numbered; it is much easier to come up with a funky name than renumber a dozen upcoming sessions. We are experiencing a real International Session, and its intriguing name requires it to be truly extraordinary.
the session will be driven by. However, the participants are not the only ones setting the extraordinary standards for the session. The session takes place in winter and is indeed the first ever Christmas International Session. The number of participants is also slightly smaller than at regular International Sessions – in addition to the grandeur of a big session, there is thus a hint of unique intimacy as well.
With the session bearing the name it does, certain standards essentially apply. Our long wait for the session has built up anxiety and desire for something unique. The fact that we all made it here already shows the determination
You might look back at previous session and remember the same strict procedure, but not this time. This session has the potential to blow the lid of all previous antics. –jb
THE EXTRAORDINARY INTERNATIONAL SESSION IN LILLEHAMMER IS SUPPORTED BY:
THE LILLEHAMMER REGIONAL COUNCIL
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