The “My Europe” workshop in Amsterdam was a great success. 51 students from schools in Amsterdam and Hilversum came together to explore European issues, learn about the world of journalism and discuss the Europe of the future.
After a message on behalf of our Dutch patron Eberhard van der Laan, Mayor of Amsterdam, the workshop was opened by Prof. Dr. Dirk Schoenmaker, Dean of Duisenberg school of finance and host of the first day. The expert in finances gave a talk on the banking system in the Eurozone and stimulated great debates among the students. He was followed by Brian Donald, Chief of Staff at Europol. With wit and charm, Brian managed to captivate the teenagers as well as their teachers and gave them a very interesting insight into police cooperation in Europe.
Madeleine Infeldt of the Representation of the European Commission in the Netherlands provided background information on the history of the European Union and its institutions. The series of talks was then completed by Tomas Vanheste, journalist at De Correspondent, who spoke about new forms of journalism, providing a perfect bridge for Journalism Day the next day.
The unanimous conclusion of the students on day one: “We did not know how important Europe is for our lives!” Thanks to our wonderful speakers, this has changed now.
For Journalism Day, we met the students the next morning in the offices of nrc.next. Hans Nijenhuis, Managing Editor of nrc.next, provided the perfect setting for a day of discussion and learning. The students got the chance to talk to 24-year-old journalist Tom Vennink, giving them an idea of what it takes to be successful at a young age.
Senior editor Hans Wammes (NRC Handelsblad) followed and gave valuable tips on how to actually write a news story. The task was challenging but the students showed great talent and impressed the journalists with their attempts at a news story. The only question left unanswered at this point was how one actually comes up with a good topic to investigate. Fortunately, nrc.next had planned ahead and reporter Hugo Logenberg gave all the answers in an inspiring discussion with the students. A tour of the editorial offices provided the perfect ending to a wonderful workshop.
We would like to thank all speakers, partners, teachers, staff and most of all the students for a wonderful workshop and a great experience: Duisenberg school of finance, nrc.next, the Representation of the European Commission in the Netherlands, Europol, De Correspondent, Vossius Gymnasium, Barlaeus Gymnasium, Montessori Lyceum Amsterdam and Gemeentelijk Gymnasium Hilversum.