Intercollegiate Democratic Convention European Parliament Elections. Yes we care!
On Sunday, March 17 2019 the Intercollegiate Democratic Convention titled ‘European Parliament Elections 2019: Why care?’ was organized by the Division of Humanities and Social Sciences at ACT (the American College of Thessaloniki), with the support of ACT’s Michael and Kitty Dukakis Center for Public and Humanitarian Service and the European Parliament - Office in Greece. The event took place at the Mediterranean Palace Hotel, Thessaloniki from 9:30-16:00. This was the 2 nd annual Intercollegiate Democratic Convention organized by ACT after last year’s one on Democracy in the EU. The event was convened by Dr. Maria Kyriakidou, Professor and Chair at the Division of Humanities and Social Sciences at ACT and Dr. Maria Bozoudi, adjunct professor at ACT.
Sixty participants from seven academic institutions (ACT, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Democritus University of Thrace, University of Macedonia, University of the Aegean, Hellenic Open University, Alexander Technological Educational Institute of Thessaloniki) and five high schools (Anatolia College, 11 th Senior High School of Thessaloniki, Apostolos Pavlos High School, Intercultural Senior High school of Evosmos, and the Arts High School of Ampelokipoi) attended the event. Young professionals who work for local and international NGOs in the region also participated in the Convention.
At first, the participants attended two presentations: One by Dr. Haris Kountouros (Public Relations Officer at the European Parliament – Office in Greece) about the European Parliament elections this year and the associated ‘this time I’m voting’ campaign and the second by Dr. Sotiris Serbos (Assistant Professor at the Democritus University of Thrace) on the general political context of the 2019 European Parliament Electionsand the key issues in the EU agenda. Then, the members of the Convention were divided in thematic working groups according to their preferences and, based on relevant literature they had received ahead of the event, they deliberated on the opportunities and challenges associated with this year’s European Parliament Elections. The event closed with the students presenting their positions and proposals on how to counteract the challenges and enhance the opportunities they identified during the Convention’s proceedings. The students impressed us with their excellent argumentation and presentation skills as well as with their innovative ideas and depth of their analytical thought.