Newry schools take part in Mock Council of the EU debate

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Monday, March 23rd, 2020

Students from Abbey Christian Brothers’, Our Lady’s Grammar School and St Paul’s High School, took part in a recent Mock Council of the European Union debate.

The sixth form pupils joined schools from across Northern Ireland at Belfast City Hall to tackle two of Europe’s most pressing issues — Climate Change and social media regulation.

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Run by British Council Northern Ireland, the event aims to give Sixth Form students a chance to experience the EU’s decision-making process, by representing the 27 EU countries in debates on topical policy issues.



The event saw the European Commission, which was represented by Our Lady and St Patrick’s College Knock (OLSPCK), put forward two motions:  the first, that every EU state should commit 5% of their GDP to combat carbon emissions, was passed with 21 votes.

The second motion, that information posted on social media by public bodies should be regulated, was narrowly defeated by three votes.

Speaking at the event was Jaynie Feehan from Our Lady’s, who took on the role of Greece.



She said, “Today’s been amazing for my confidence as it takes a lot to stand up in front of so many of my peers as well as teachers in such a professional environment.

“I wanted to take part as I thought it was a great chance to learn from all the other participants and learn more about EU politics.

“The three of us representing Greece are very political and loved having an opportunity to voice not only our opinions but also opinions that we might not necessarily have,” she added.



The Mock Council of the European Union debate has been running in Northern Ireland for the past 15 years.

Jonathan Stewart, Director, British Council Northern Ireland, said, “Well done to all of today’s students – they all engaged really well throughout the debates and clearly had prepared well for the day.

“As the UK exits the EU, this year’s event is as relevant today as it was 15 years ago.



“It puts students at the heart of the negotiating table in the EU’s main decision-making body.

“In preparation for today, students researched the various positions from the perspective of each of the member states, helping to develop greater intercultural understanding and knowledge of other countries while learning more about the workings of the main decision-making body of the European Union,” he added.

The British Council is the UK’s leading cultural relations organisation.



For more information on current opportunities in Northern Ireland, visit, or follow on Twitter: @BCouncil_NI



For more of today’s top stories in Newry and beyond, click here.  



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