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DECADENCE

Official Magazine of the 10 Year Jubilee Session of EYP Finland

Welcome Issue 11 February 2011


CONTENT 3. Welcome Back 4. Session Theme 5. Interview with the President 6. Opening Ceremony 7. Pictures 8. Suomenlinna 9. Current Issue 10. EYP Finland 10 Years 11. Nationalities 12. What to Expect... 13. Letter to Myself 14. Trivia 15. Fashion Column

Editorial Congratulations for getting selected to the 17th National Session of EYP Finland! By now you have already taken trains, flights and buses before finally catching the ferry to Suomenlinna for a day of teambuilding. The day brings a lot with it and we, the pressteam have the honour to present the first issue of the session newspaper; Decadence. You can learn and develop tremendously in a five-day session that will be of use for decades later. Enjoy the paper and enjoy Suomenlinna Good to have you with us, Laura&Merete

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Welcome Back, Folks!

- Eoin O-Leary & Alex Proctor

By this, the second day of the Session, we hope you are already getting back into that EYP feeling. Last night the Opening Ceremony should have reintroduced you to the particular setting of EYP, and the quick switch from formal ceremony to romantic speed dating reminded you of the peculiar duality of fun and seriousness that constitutes a Session. Today you have already begun to experience, once again, all the bizarre, seemingly random games that make up Teambuilding and, hopefully, at this stage you are finding yourself fully readjusted to the EYP atmosphere. And so, it is our privilege to say to you all, Welcome back! From past Sessions, you will be familiar with what is to come. For most of you, the road here has been

through a Finnish Regional Session, while those of you here as international delegates came through EYP in your own country. You will have already gone through the phases of Teambuilding, Committee Work and General Assembly, so you have some impression of what the next few days will involve. You will already have felt that EYP spirit, already¬ know some of your fellow Delegates from other Sessions, and – we hope – you will be feeling right at home. However, there are also many new things to be found at this Session – indeed, a whole new experience. International Delegates get their first taste of a Finnish Session, while a longer Session than your Regionals will open new opportunities such as presentations by experts on your topics and Committee Dinners. Also, the huge

number of Delegates here, twice as many as at your Regionals, provides a great chance to meet new people and form new friendships. Perhaps most important of all, this Session boasts a unique internationality. This aspect of the Session, in particular, and the opportunity for cultural exchange captures much of that which is so to the core of EYP. So, while welcoming you back to all that you will remember of EYP, we encourage you to go further. Indeed, to “go wild” and to make the most of the opportunities provided by all that which is different at this Session, to embrace the new, the strange and unfamiliar.

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Decade Discussion Discovery - Eoin O’Leary

Three words which sum up what it is we are doing here, three words which compel such odd a gathering as this – 170 students from across the continent – in Helsinki for five days in February. Here, remembering the ten years since the foundation of EYP Finland, we will look forward to the next decade, discuss and discover the future as we are faced with.

choices, you will shape the coming years.

Think of all that has changed in the past decade: of the birth of the social networker; of the cultural impact of near universal wifi, near constant connectedness, of a breed of internet friendship which seems to need no physical or personal contact. Think of the challenge proposed to the capitalIn a way, this theme perfectly encap- ist dream by recent economic trends; sulates what EYP is about. Precisely on movements toward European in our orientation as a youth organi- unity and their counter arguments sation, we obligate ourselves to in terms of sovereignty focus on the future. Despite “We the youth are as evidenced in the the cliché, the youth really Lisbon debate and the designers of the are the future – so far as the Eurozone crisis; on next decade” discussion with which we the mounting issue will here engage is concerned, of climate change; on the two are synonymous. It will be the very recent unrest in the those of you gathered here today and Middle East. This is the situation your peers who will form the base of as it stands. And now we are faced the next decade. In your actions and with another decade, ten years with

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the potential for as much, and more, change. How will these issues – of virtual communication, of the global climate, of economic stability – develop from here? And so, we look to the future, to all that might be, that could be, all that we fear or hope will be because it is us who will have to face these issues. We the youth, you delegates gathered here, are the designers of the next decade. And here we come together to think on what we may possibly do with it, with all the potential and responsibility that comes with the next ten years of this world.


Presidential Exclusive - Sara Juricic

and EYP has captured her heart from the very beginning. Many things have kept her going throughout the years, but one thing she can definitely underline is people. Making friends, travelling, and the feeling that you get before the session starts, before you have any idea what is going on are now essential parts of her life. Presiding a session might seem hard at first, but seeing her in action is astonishing. Even though she is constantly smiling, she admits it’s not the easiest of jobs: being the one that has to co-ordinate with the Head Organisers all the time, while leading an entire team of Chairpersons on her own. Despite that, she says all you have to do is jump to the bandwagon and go with the flow.

With a laptop in my hands and a camera around my neck, I stand in something one could call a humongous queue for hours. Why, you may wonder? To get a hang of our beloved president, Ireland’s one and only Gillian O’Halloran. With a face that could launch a thousand ships, containing a smile that could launch another thousand, she finally calls me and finds us a lonely corner to sit in and have a conversation. Ten years ago, Gillian was everything

but an ordinary Irish secondary school student. Singing and sailing every weekend, playing tennis with her friends, attending ballet classes while studying three languages, she never thought that getting involved with something like EYP could change her life – not in a million years. After her sister had introduced it to her, she attended a session and fell in love instantly, even though she is not a huge fan of love at first sight. “I know I’ll end up marrying the first person I properly date for a while!” she states,

Today, besides eating too much Swiss chocolate and sailing all the time, she dances salsa, skis, travels, cycles all over London, cooks, runs, does her workout regularly and besides all of that, still finds time to flirt. All she has to do is laugh, wink her eyes and she will get any date she wishes for. And looking like Rapunzel is just another plus. Even though she states she is not called Rapunzel often enough, she wants her Prince Charming to come already! And who wouldn’t want her – an opera singer with a president’s award for outstanding contribution to her university because of her singing abilities. One would have to be insane not to catch her while she is still ‘on the market’. Even though she might seem a tad too serious at times, all she wants is the delegates to have fun this weekend: bring home stories, bring good memories, and share the EYP spirit the way she does. “A lot is going to happen in one weekend…” she shouts, while rushing to her next meeting and next challenge.

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Be exceptional, be more than ordinary! - Georgina Ansaldo Gine & Luca Olumets

We all get at least one good wish a year over the candles on our birthday. Some of us throw in more, on eyelashes, fountains, lucky stars. Every now and then, one of those wishes comes true; then what? Is it as good as we hoped? Every now and then we add some small wishes on top of the already existing ones. Small wishes. Wishing that every delegate would find the right venue, that nobody would catch a cold, wishing that every single person would be extremely satisfied with the session. This is exactly the life of Hanna Pyykkönen, Sini Ventelä and every single organiser. They even compared organising a session to carrying and giving birth to a baby. They were more than happy to share with us their pregnancy stories: how you

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have to face many difficulties but still remain fully committed – this is the only way you get what you want in life.

He made some fair points on how small innovations can start something big and all you have to do is fully believe in what you are doing.

Jari Marjelund, the president of EYP Finland started from a different perspective. He wanted us to go back in time so that we could realise how much has changed in the world in ten years. To think about the times when iPhone was not tweeting in our pocket all the time and Facebook did not steal numerous hours of our everyday lives. In order to change something in your life, you have to be so much more than average. “Always and always, think wild.”

So the only thing that was missing now from a perfect inspirational speech was a little bit of brilliance and Gillian as the president of the session was able to bring it to us completely in her speech. She encouraged everybody to have fun and nothing but fun. Be extraordinary because if you try your very best, the achievements you can accomplish are unlimited.

In addition to thinking outside of the box, Tapio Schrey advised us not only to be ambitious but very ambitious.

The message to take with you: “Have fun!”


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SUOMENLINNA

- A Day In A Castle

- Alex Proctor

When you think of Finland you do not necessarily think of all the places you have to see. Instead, you think of the cold and of the depressing people. Still, even Finland has some places worth visiting. Suomenlinna, a maritime sea fortress built on a group of islands near Helsinki, is definitely one of these sites. Suomenlinna is the very site you are visiting today and getting to know each other through various activities you should definitely enjoy to the full extent. The name Suomenlinna translates to Castle of Finland. It is an impressive castle built on six different islands just a short boat ride away from the centre of Helsinki. It

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was built in 1748 when Finland was under Swedish rule. Its function was to have more protection against Russia’s expansion, though in the end it failed in a rather amusing way. When the Russian tsar Alexander the First attacked Sweden in 1808 Suomenlinna, back then Viapori, was the final hope for the Swedes to hold their position in Finland. The fortress had supplies to hold out as long as needed, its own wells, and enough ammo to hold off any attack made by the Russian army. Despite this the Russians managed to somehow take over it in less than a month. Rumour has it that the wives of the Swedish officers in Viapori persuaded their

husbands to surrender. When the Russians were deciding on where they wanted Finland’s new capital, as the old one: Turku had too good relations with Sweden, Viapori was one of the reasons they chose Helsinki. Nowadays Suomenlinna is one of the most visited places in Finland. Truthfully speaking, there is no better place to be in summer than Suomenlinna. It is an ideal place for picnics, surrounded by the sea, has its own small town, an interesting history, and wonderful things to see. So just enjoy your day playing in the castle, it is not something you can do every day.


Politics In Turmoil

- Tero Pikkarainen

For a young European who has only been following current affairs for so long, politics may seem to move forward very slowly. One often gets caught up in the current newsfeed of economic recession and political disengagement and it can feel as if we are stuck in a political purgatory with different agendas swirling around us while concrete results and accomplishments seem to endlessly elude annual progress reports.

predict. Will we be left with a democratic nation with less corruption and abuse? Or are we now faced with a power vacuum soon to be filled up with radicals promising more aggressive solutions? Only time will tell whether this will be positive or a negative turning point in Egypt’s history. Yet it certainly is a turning point, demonstrating that sometimes change can occur very quickly. Let’s just hope it’s for the best.

The unemployment rate is still high and true equality just a dream. If we are lucky we might barely agree that we should do something about that whole unfortunate climate change thing. True sense of getting things done may seem lost. Whether this sentiment of stagnation has bases in reality is another issue. Many people are still left with a sense that nothing ever happens.

I don’t want the moral of the story here to be that all it takes is a bottle of lighter fluid and matches. What I am trying to say is that only having lived a relatively short period of time things may seem to be changing at a glacial pace. We should, however, keep our eyes open and note that change does and can occur, sometimes faster than we predict.

Yet, change obviously does occur, sometimes very fast. Like when you are so fed up with the way your government is treating you that you decide to light yourself on fire right in front of the local governor’s office. Fast forward to today and your personal expression of fundamental frustration and annoyance has inspired thousands to stand up in protests, leading up to one president fleeing the country and another one probably packing up his suitcase. Yes, we have all seen the Arab world in turmoil over the past few weeks. The protests that started up in Tunisia are still raging in Egypt. The political consequences of the events, for example in Egypt, can be hard to

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Reaching a Milestone Ten years change a lot and many things change in ten years. Evolution is an everyday process, and naturally, EYP is a part of it. Throughout the years, EYP has evolved in so many ways – press rooms have changed, trainings are different and what is even more important – new issues are being discussed. New problems arise and new ways of solving them are being formed. When the European Youth Parliament was founded back in 1987, nothing was as it is today. Europe was politically divided and there were dictatorships still ruling some parts of the Old Continent. Times have changed, and we – citizens of Europe – have a story to tell, one that deals not only with the past, but also with the future. Just take a look at everything that has happened over the past decade – in 2007, the European Un-

ion widened onto 27 countries and by now, all of them have adopted the Lisbon Treaty, creating the positions of the President of the European Council, currently occupied by Herman Van Rompuy and a High Representative, Catherine Ashton. The Treaty of Nice was signed in 2003, and finally, euro replaced many national currencies in 2002. During those years and simultaneously with the evolution of Europe, EYP grew bigger and bigger, welcoming at least two new countries into its family annually. It now counts 34 National Committees all over Europe with 20,000 participants every year. In just a couple of years, EYP has evolved from organising approximately 50 events per year to almost a 100. It may still be small and growing but it has

- Sara Juricic

potential that cannot be denied, and youngsters all over Europe are helping to keep that up. Right now we have reached a milestone – a decade has ended, and we are facing a new one that will bring new problems and aim at even more ambitious goals. Along with new goals come new responsibilities, ones that both EYP and Europe must face. A new decade brings new discoveries that are ever so full of discussions. During this session you, the delegates, will discuss only a few of them, and we must keep in mind that these are certainly not all of the problems. But let’s be honest – one has to start from somewhere, hasn’t he?

TIME LINE -10 Years of In light of the decade-long existence of the European Youth Parliament in Finland, the past is not only a time to think back of nostalgicly, but also a milestone to be proud of. Even though most of us were still young and the history of EYP Finland may not seem relevant to us, it is. History is the foundation of the here and there; the building blocks of today. Without knowledge of the past, this foundation cannot be mended if broken. Also, history is the connecting element between the current time and the future. If you know where you were yesterday and are today, you know what moves have been made and therefore that sense of direction is likely to be carried on towards tomorrow.

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- Tim Keegstra

1994 Current delegates 1999 32nd International were most likely born in Session was organised in this year. Hämeenlina.

1996 The first Finnish International Session was held in Helsinki.


Nationalities Present

- Julian Cooke

Italy Spain Latvia Poland France Estonia Sweden Germany Switzerland Czech Republic

While one is in EYP, one has to travel. Every time I travel, especially internationally, I seem to suffer from this mixture of excitement and detachment. I stop dwelling in the past and present, becoming easily fuddled with gates and boarding passes, and become increasingly fixed upon the future. This soft drift of focus always has a purifying effect on me. Relations, work and problems fade out leaving me Tabula Rasa. With the sharpening of wit and unburdening we achieve. We befriend. With all our cultural and linguistic differences, we enjoy at least one unifying conformity. Finland has the pleasure of hosting delegates from:

EYP in Finland

2009 62nd International Session was held in Helsinki, the broadcast of its General Assembly was followed by more than 400 people during peak hours.

2002 Delegates, most likely to participate in 2018, were born.

2011 10 Year Jubilee Session of EYP Finland takes place in Helsinki.

2010 The National Committee of EYP Finland was awarded the Charlemange Youth Prize.

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What To Expect From the Session... - Julian Cooke

Why is it that when you write to Santa your pretty little list of things you would like to receive for Christmas, because you have been such a diligent child, you still wait for the bag of presents so excitedly like you have no idea of how many gifts you are going to get. It is the thrill, the thrill of receiving something you did not ask for, something unexpected. There’s something about the possibility of more. More odd but incredibly amazing people, more bad humour, more sleepless hours and so many more weird games and activities. More is better. The session is like a Kinder Surprise. You know that you are going to get that creamy white chocolate with the best possible milk chocolate. And unless there was an unforgivable mistake made in the mass-production factory, you are probably going to get a small surprise from inside as well. The great thing is you can never be sure of what the gift is. The key thing to remember is that you can expect almost anything from a session. Starting from massive let’s-get-to-know-

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- Luca Olumets

each-other-spoonings to wild, wild volcanoes. Literally if you have a lively imagination. Believe me, I am aware of the fact that this sounds like a cliché but nevertheless, it is true – you are the one creating the session. Not for everybody but for yourself. Everything comes down to two simple things – engaging and adapting. Your experience depends on how much you want to be involved. Be in the moment, all the time. And of course there are some things a session could not exist without: - Humour. Bad and good. The line between those two can never be defined when it comes to EYP. - Interesting people. With that high percentage of Finnish people attending I can assure you this is going to be everything but normal. - Top secret spooning – happening randomly. Attend all the time! This session is here to exceed all your expectations; you just have to allow this to be done. Have a great one, darlings.

Sifting through the excited masses of delegates, I was immediately overcome with nostalgia. Being transported back through time when I myself was a delegate. I remember anxiously waiting for the opening ceremony to finally commence (OC’s tardiness seems to be a chronic sickness), more or less touched by the speeches - I admit usually more annoyed, and the impatience for the mingling and socialising to begin. Being the charming and rhetoric person I am, I easily persuaded timid delegates to be interviewed. The delegates eventually overcame their initial restrictions and happily told me what they expected and hoped for. The majority of the delegates interviewed look forward to meet new people. I am genuinely surprised, since I was expecting politics to be more central. Surprised but not at all disappointed. Socially indulgent people equal happy people no? I sure think it is that way. And this will be a social session. I am sure of it. I wish you all happy teambuilding, dress warmly.


11.2.2011

Dear Tero of the Past, Relax. Just. Relax. I know that you are now staring out of the train window, probably nervously flicking through the pile of paper you printed out for your very first regional session. Rather than excited you are mostly concerned for the upcoming session. Don’t be. You have already done the hardest part by jumping into the unknown. Or, as you would say at this point, agreed to attend that random European thing your teacher talked about. Undoubtedly you will be faced with many challenges. Who knows what will happen? Maybe you will mess up a teambuilding game, people might completely disagree with you during committee work or your speech for GA may cause uproar of boos. Great! EYP is all about constantly challenging and exposing yourself to something new and exciting. There are people who live their entire lives never leaving their comfort zone and while doing that purchase a few dozen cats and shut the front door from a world full of opportunities. You do not want to end up like them. The world of EYP is very hard to capture in a simple letter. You just have to experience it. What I can tell you is that during the next year, thanks to EYP, you will have stood on a rooftop looking at the Frankfurt city skyline, admiring the skyscrapers reaching towards the clouds. You will have walked through the picturesque streets of Lillehammer, feeling like a figure in a Christmas postcard. Not to mention those early morning hours when you randomly ended up discussing the complexities of the Iranian nuclear programme, level of censorship in China or which ever current controversial European issue. Be brave enough to stay involved, laugh, become frustrated, get lost, miss a flight. Fall in love with this very weird organisation. Best Wishes, Tero of the Future

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Smelly Vision Do we know what is going to happen in 10 years’ time? Is it wise to predict what is going to happen in the future? - Ugis Balmaks

For coming up with a successful plan for facing the future challenges – just like the ones discussed in Helsinki 2011 - the ability to foresee the upcoming would be very useful. When predicting the future, the words of Arthur C. Clarke, the author of the science fiction classic 2001: A Space Odyssey, should be kept in mind: “If this prediction sounds at all reasonable, you can be sure that in 20 or most 50 years the progress of science and technology has made it seem ridiculously conservative.” Although Sir Clarke is probably absolutely right, following his advice does not guarantee an accurate vision for the future. Instead, you will most likely come up with a bunch of nonsense, amusing both your contemporaries and people of the future. Nevertheless, there have been plenty of people daring enough to present their predictions anyway. Let’s see how they have done. Publishing your vision of the planet Earth for the next 100 years is pretty safe. Although you might be made fun of, nobody will be able to prove you are wrong at the time. So The Ladies Home Journal of December 1900 could have easily written anything about life in the year 2000. So they did predict things

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like “There will be no wild animals” or “There will be No C, X or Q in our every-day alphabet.” Although these predictions may seem a little quixotic, some ideas were spot on. For example, the development of television and telephone was predicted quite precisely.

Still, some have done way worse with predicting the future. As the death of Civil War General John Sedgwick proves, you can never know what will happen in just a few seconds. “They couldn’t hit an elephant at this dist-”, are reported to be his last words. If predicting the future seems too complicated now, don’t worry! Even Albert Einstain claimed he never thought of the future - it came soon enough.

Predicting the next few years or even moments is a riskier business. Ten years ago we were promised to have by now Smellyvision– a technology that allows us to enjoy aromas that go with various TV shows. There actually was a product with similar functions made the next year, but it was eventually discontinued, possibly because of its submissive title iSmell.


A Tribute To Tracksuits Whenever someone tries to discuss fashion with me, I want to run away and hide. Designer bags, spring collections, collaborations between brands -you name it- bore me to death. My secret wish has always been for Sweden to adopt the idea of school uniforms, so I would not have to create an outfit every morning. I simply find today’s fashion stiff and boring.

Paula Kjellen talks

fashion

However, ten years ago, the word stiff did not exist in fashion vocabulary. The craziness of the eighties slowly started to combine with hip-hop mania and tattoo necklaces. Fashion had not yet become a question of life and death, and no one judged even if you wore a tracksuit to school. Today, the fashion industry has gained an enormous, almost ridiculous power. Fashion has changed from being something fun and easy, to something people judge each other by. Designers actually want their models to look sick. Hence making people feel bad about themselves if they are unable to fit in a pair of size zero front page jeans. To spit it out: I want the nineties back. I want belly sweaters and latex plateau shoes with matching dresses. Give me the whole package. Now you might wonder: how on earth someone wants the ugliest fashion that ever existed back. The answer is easy: I do not really care about colourful tracksuits and leggings; I want their attitude towards fashion back. I want to go back to a world where Project Runway did not have control, and fashion blogs could not buy your soul. Let us celebrate the nineties with a catwalk down memory lane.

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Journalists of the Session Alex Proctor (FI) - Julian Cooke (CH) - Ugis Balmaks (LV) - Tim Keegstra (NL) Georgina Ansaldo Gine (ES) - Luca Olumets (EE) - Katarina Warg (SE) - Eoin O’Leary (IE) - Tero Pikkarainen (FI) Sara Juricic (HR)

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