zondag 27 januari 2019


Here they are: the eight delegates that performed so impressively this weekend that they were selected to represent Barlaeus at EYP next year. These kids were thoroughly pushed, prodded, harassed and scrutinized all weekend, and they still stood tall and smiled big. They showed themselves to be capable negotiators, inspiring public speakers and all-round smart people. Congrats from all of us, and we hope to see you return as officials at the next BYP session!

Thank you!

We can't believe this session is over. It seems like yesterday that the delegates were arriving, full of dreams and carrying their sleeping bags... oh right, that was only yesterday. The past 48 hours were so full of dancing, talking, (not) sleeping, nerves, and coffee breaks, it was hard to keep track of time.

On behalf of the media team we want to thank everyone that participated in this session. First we want to thank the organizers, who made sure snacks were provided at regular intervals, who dragged around tables and trash cans and groceries, and who cleaned up every spilled chickpea without complaining. You guys don't get nearly the credit you deserve.

We also want to thank the chairs, the board, and the jury, for doing the real serious work. They have spent every second this weekend with the delegates, have explained the complications of European policy until they were ready to cry/leave/drink, and showed up dressed to the nines at 7.30 sharp. Y'all are real ones.

Many, many thanks to the delegates, who worked tirelessly this weekend, really gave it their all, made friends, improved their English, proved themselves again and again and embarrassed themselves on camera. Thank you especially for that.

Last, a big old emotional thank you to the two people who consistently sacrifice their free time, their physical and mental health to organize this weekend each year. Margriet and Reinier: thank you, and you don't get paid nearly enough. Do they even pay you for this?

Much love to anyone who followed this blog! It was a pleasure.

XXX The BYP19 Media Team

PS. Don't forget to check out the two million photos we took! Click the link in the upper right corner for a chance to find a hot/ugly photo of your child/friend/self.


Pssst... here is the secret link to the aftermovie! It needs to stay private due to a copyright fight between Reinier and the good people who spend all their time punishing small creators for using a song that's been on youtube for a decade. So here is the link, if you want to watch the video the password is byp19.


Debate 8: AGRI

This last debate is always an uphill battle against drowsiness. Everyone is overworked and underhydrated. The temperature in this room has now exceeded "comfortably warm" and is rising quickly from "tropical vacation" to "premature cremation". Ah well. On we go.

Sami takes the stage to scream a defense speech into the microphone. You can tell he has experience as an actor, he's the most charismatic teen we've ever seen. He emphasizes the importance of preserving rural areas while developing and improving them, through foreign exchange and technological advancement. He urges us to imagine a future where agriculture is appreciated, and ends with a quote from Thomas Jefferson. What a riling speech! Everyone wants to attack it.
The first attack speech goes to AFCO. Sonia doubts the possibility of drawing tourists to rural areas, since even the local young people flee towards the city. Next is Veerle from INTA. She paints a bleak theoretical future, in which everyone lives in cities separated by vast empty land. She clearly agrees with the problems AGRI has identified, but urges the proposing committee to take a different route towards solving them.
The open debate starts with a discussion on how to attract tourists to rural areas - maybe by building homes, restaurants etc? Marije makes the point that building attractions turns a rural area into a city, which defeats the purpose of preservation. Floris adds an environmental take to the debate. IMCO's Rutger wants to speak for a minute about Sami's attack speech: changing education means leaving part of traditional education out. Gizella from LIBE does not see a way to draw start-ups to rural areas. Katia from EMPL wonders why the proposing committee has not accounted for differences between the infrastructures of the member states. Lara from AGRI ends to the first round of debate with a measured response. She explains that there is a difference between mass tourism and rural tourism. The rural experience is an attraction of its own; the tourists will come.
In the second round of the debate, the discussion point is once again "keeping the rural in rural areas". Lana is firm on avoiding urbanization, but Louk says it's no problem. The line between rural and urban gets thinner and thinner everyday as farming techniques get more efficient. Ramsus wants to turn the debate in the direction of food production. We see again what an excellent public speaker he is, and his English is excellent! A strong contender for sure. Myrthe responds to this round of open debate by fiercely defending her committee's resolution. 
Minou from IMCO has managed to stay fresh-faced and chipper throughout this whole day! It's great to hear a point from someone who's not half-asleep. Roos explains that someone who's lived on a farm their whole life doesn't need to learn how to milk a cow, they need higher education.
Xiaoyou wonders whether AGRI is planning to restore old buildings or build new ones. IMCO's Nina is a pleasure to watch with her wild hand gestures and great English. Now we go to the last two summation speeches of the day. AGRI's Josephine and Cato explain one more time the ingenuity of their resolution.
It's time for the very last vote of the day. The chairs were asked to present the scores in an original manner. After a whole lot of songs rhymes and dances the outcome is revealed; with 44 in favour and 22 against the final resolution of this weekend has passed!

Debate 7: ECON

The debate about multinational corporations by the committee ECON starts out by Berber, who reads out the IC's and OC's. Isis (earlier today crowned best dressed delegate!) is now at the podium to deliver a defense speech. She thoroughly delineates the issue of tax avoidance, making sure the GA is well-informed for the open debate.
Victor from EMPL is recognized to deliver an attack speech. He points out several contradictions in ECON's proposal. Then he asks them about their seemingly endless amount of money - how will they fund this? Finally he criticizes ECON's most controversial clause: an EU-wide unitary tax system. Next is an attack from Ijsbrand from ENVI, who has shown himself to be an active debater and engaging public speaker. Go Ijsbrand! He argues for countries' rights to decide on their own systems of taxation. He finishes strong: "Is this really what we want?"
Lily from IMCO kicks off the debate with a point about the detriments of lowering taxes. Vigo from the proposing committee stands up to dispel some misconceptions about what a unitary tax system actually means. AFCO's Bobby asks about the possibility of being a tax haven and being on the blacklist simultaneously. Katia from EMPL speaks confidently without reading from her notes, impressive! On behalf of the entire media team I'd say we're very impressed in general at the level of confidence in these delegates. Two direct responses in a row from EMPL and ECON another DR from EMPL, the direct responses make this a very lively debate. The board recognizes after a round of debate with a lot of points on different tax systems. Louk explains the unitary tax system to clear up the misunderstandings stated in the points made by the other committees. Esther from INTA gets a point of personal privilege but after speaking up she makes a very good point.
ECON is up for the final speech, the first part, the unprepared is for Donna. She seems a bit stressed but delivers a great speech. Madelief is up for the prepared part of the summation speech. She calmly recaps the debate and even though she exceeds the time limit a little, the end of her speech is worth it.
Sadly the resolution was voted down. After a quick energiser it is time for the last debate of the day.

Debate 6: IMCO

Carlotta starts off this debate by reading out the IC's and OC's, followed by a short break because of a passing drum band. Minou delivers the defence speech stressing the need to regulate the sharing economy to protect consumers and companies. The sharing economy is only growing, she says, encouraging the other committees to vote in favour. Thomas attacks IMCO by mentioning that the under regulation the reason is for the widespread sharing economy. He does urge the company to be more transparent and enable privacy for the customers. ECON's Guus gives the second attack speech. He focuses on the particular OC's and criticises of IMCO's solutions.
The first round of debate opens with Marije making a point about certification. Liet asks for specification between two OC's, they do seem very alike. ENVI's Pien criticises the deleting of inactive accounts by using AirBnB as a perfect example. Katia questions if the OC containing the deleting of an account should only count for P2P-platforms. Rutger responds to the points made in debate on by one, very clearly.
The board starts the next round of debate by asking for suggestions, not questions. Then Louk makes the first point, followed by a lot of raised placards. Nice job. Pia gets recognised and makes a strong point, with a direct response from Katia. Ines mentions the need to discuss with companies, because the sharing of information is as income source for them, that is a fresh turn to the debate. But IMCO's Lily responds with the point that more people will use a platform that is known to be safe. One more point before the end of this round, with all the placards in the air. Bibiana questions if the committee will also give sick leave and such to less frequent users of the P2P-platforms. Nina defends IMCO by saying that they can try to regulate the worldwide web with the rating systems proposed. Pien suggests that information will not be removed so people will not keep misbehaving. The last point of the debate comes from Jade, who believes that customers will not care for stricter privacy regulations, because almost everybody uses Facebook and Instagram, which are known for selling and sharing private information.
Julia finishes the round of debate with the first part of the summation speech. Lily stresses the importance of their topic and resolution, by mentioning 'us' as the peers in the second part of the summation speech. 'We' as users have to stand up for our privacy. What a fire summation, with the combination of these two girls. Now it is time for the voting! Mattho, one of the VP's, is doing the quick math and there we are: 46 in favour, 27 against. The resolution has passed!

Debate 5: EMPL

The debate on employment starts with Pien reading out the IC's and OC's, followed by a loud applause. Then Lana takes the stage with a heartwarming defence speech. The committee focuses on the challenges for employment. They want to reduce the negative effects of globalisation and automation without limiting the benefits. She is looking forward to a positive and constructive debate, so are we! Tjitske, ENVI, breaks the ice with the first attack speech in this debate. She would like to discuss that the OC's do not cover the IC's. The committee limits the OC's to solutions for education, but forgets about the current employers, that lose the jobs they have done their whole life. Marijn gives the next attack speech, including a few solutions that would protect the Union. Wonderful! A constructive attack speech, that is what BYP is all about.
Time for the first open round of debate. Esther points out the fact that EMPL forgets about the lower intelligence of factory workers, pointing out the differences in reeducating people. Econ's Felix emphasises the inability for employers to compete with machines. The technology is growing, he says, and with education we cannot fill that gap. Mette suggests education focused on adapting with technology instead of competing with it. The debate turns to the economic aspect of this topic, focusing on how to finance the adaptation of education. Victor ends this round of debate with fierce points and answers for the questions mentioned in the debate. Lara direct responds to Victor with the point that they the solutions they proposed are to youth related. Donna stresses the speed of technology and questions if education would be able to keep up. Following the chain of direct responses Mette mentions that there are options for reaction new jobs. This debate is on fire! The direct responses keep on coming. Gizella, from the committee LIBE, breaks the chain with a question of where they would get all of the teachers to reeducate people. IMCO's Carlotta comments on OC 2 that people that lose their job are usually lower on the socio-economic ladder, which is a fresh turn to this debate.
Returning to the proposing committee EMPL comments extensively on the points made in the debate. Time to dig a little deeper in the second round of debate. Madelief answers a question raised by Roos. This was a short but lively round of debate. Katia delivers the first part of the summation speech. The committee would like to encourage people to get educated in the right sector, not the ones that will disappear because of automation. Jade ends the summation speech with a clear description of the positive and negative effects of globalisation and automation. She urges the GA to pass this resolution to make a change. Nervously EMPL awaits the voting results. But after such a lively debate the resolution sadly does not pass, with 18 votes in favour and 47 against.

Debate 4: INTA

Kieran delivers an impassioned defense speech on the necessity of "union, now more than ever". Improving Europe's economic position is a race against our former allies, survival of the fittest. It's time to invest in new allies, says Kieran, rising economic powers in Asia and Africa. Kieran mentions Toto's "Africa" for a much-needed laugh from the GA. Strong third-party involvement from WTO ensures safe trade. "We need to show the world that classic European diligence!" Kieran is truly a great public speaker; his speech is met with thundering applause.
Xiaoyou from EMPL delivers an attack speech. He says depending on trade parties will have a negative effect on the free market. He says the resolution looks like an extreme reaction to America's trade patterns - ouch! Maxime from IMCO also has an attack speech prepared. She urges INTA to resolve any impending trade war with the US by negotiating with the US, instead of racing to compete. US is still the most important trade partner of the EU, Maxime does not want us to forget.
Vigo makes the first point of the open debate. Fabius comments on INTA's fourth clause, saying that "investing" does not always mean that the money will end up in the right hands, due to corruption. Marije asks the proposing committee how it will make trade with the EU attractive. AGRI's Lara says  the EU should not seek close ties with countries that violate human rights, but rather strengthen the existing ties with the US. Lana from EMPL directly responds and says Trump may be in office for another 6 years, which is reason enough to distance ourselves from the US. Julia agrees wholeheartedly. Lara from AGRI again with a direct response, saying that 6 years is by no means a long time. In other parts of the world leaders may be elected for life. A direct response from INTA's Kieran, who says this is actually beneficial to their plan, because influencing leaders that may be in office for life yields long-term results. Carlotta wants to respond to Lara as well, saying that trade with developing countries should be encouraged as it is crucial to their development. Mette wonders if there isn't a possibility to trade with both the US and countries in Africa and Asia. The proposing committee's Isha responds to this round of open debate by saying a trade relationship is not necessarily a dependance.
Ramsus from AFCO kicks off the next round with a point on BRIC countries' human rights issues. He says trade with these countries gives the EU the possibility to improve their standards. Kieran directly responds to agree with Ramsus, saying that trading with nations that violate human rights is a timeworn tradition for countries like the US, so why shouldn't we? EMPL's Katia says child labor is a definite dealbreaker for her. Nikki from AFCO says trade agreements could include a stipulation that child labor is not allowed. Marije says the role of the WTO in INTA's proposal is unclear. Bibiana from ENVI agrees, and doubts that EU even has enough influence to ask the WTO to do this.
Sami makes the point that even within the EU, human right are violated every day. We need to look at our own problems before trying to solve them elsewhere. Bibi from the proposing committee reiterates the point that balancing the EU's trade agreements across the globe is a necessary step anyway, as being dependent on America is not a long-term solution. Victor agrees with a point previously made by Gizella about child labour. Bibiana doubts that everybody would agree with a WTO. Nina emphasizes the inability to force culture on people. Donna makes a direct response to Lana's point about the EU having to choose between the US and BRIC countries. ECON's Berber makes a quick point about investing in developing countries being a risky endeavor. Katia disagrees. AFCO's Nikki warns that the US may implement sanctions preventing the EU from lowering trade.
Now we go back to the proposing committee for a summation speech. Esther says once more that becoming less dependent on the US does not mean cutting off trade completely. While making agreements with BRIC countries, she says, the EU can still honor its own human rights values. Next is Noa, who emphasizes the protectionism of the US and the rich opportunities that lie elsewhere. This will put power back into the hands of the EU, and "leave Trump in the dust"! Inspiring!
Time for the votes: 8 against and 57 in favor, it's a record! Congrats INTA on your overwhelming majority!

Dressed for success: GA looks

During GA delegates and officials are required for to wear formal clothing and, needless to say, all delegates look absolutely stunning. However, some of the delegate's styles really stand out today. We chose three best-dressed looks to give you an idea of how sharp everybody look today:
 Isis wowed the GA by wearing a beautiful beige suit. She matched it with a black turtleneck sweater and layered gold necklaces, upgrading the '80s career woman look to a sleek modern version. This combination made her outfit the best of the day.
Louk took us back in time with his 1960s bow tie, tunic shirt and high-waisted trousers. Louk is an expert of vintage clothes and thus knows how to dress for every occasion - including this one. He surprised us all with his twist on formal wear. 
 Kieran is a born politician in his dark blue suit. He finished his look with a dark red tie and a white pocket square. With this look, it is all in the details - not everybody looks this great in classic blue.

Debate 3: ENVI

Wies delivers an emotional defense speech on the dangers of melting Arctic ice. Her committee want to limit drilling for oil and gas, which brings a whole host of complications with it - military, environmental and humanitarian. Wies explains the necessity of an agreement with Russia, as its military expansion is a danger to the Arctic ice.
Many committees are jumping at the chance to deliver an attack speech, but Wieger from LIBE gets. He agrees that the arctic is a humanitarian as well as an environmental disaster, but he urges the proposing committee to disregard economic consequences even further, as the rising sea level is a much more imminent threat than any economic benefit that may be gained.
Myrthe from AGRI says peaceful compromise with Russia is a pipe dream. If one party will stop at nothing to drill, and the other wants to stop drilling at all costs, working together is not realistic. Myrthe once again emphasizes the environmental aspect. She says ENVI missed out on a chance to take a real stand against climate change. Harsh criticisms indeed, especially for the committee on environment. Let's hope they get a chance to redeem themselves during the open debate.
Isha kicks off the open debate by mentioning Russia's questionable past in negotiations. Lana directly responds to agree with Isha - taking Russia's oil drills is like taking a child's ice cream. A tantrum will surely follow. Rutger thinks debating is never as effective as actually sanctioning. The theme of the debate so far seems to be the impossibility of negotiating with Russia. Let's hope for some points about other issues like the 'donut hole'. Guus changes the topic to animals, or rather the lack of animals in the proposed resolution. The proposing committee's Mette responds to the questions raised calmly. ENVI asks the GA what the alternatives are to negotiation and compromise.
Nuclear energy is mentioned as an environmental measure. AFCO responds to state that nuclear energy is not a long-term solution and urges the GA not to underestimate the economic power of the EU, where oil companies like Shell are based. ECON's Isis wants more specifics from the proposing committee on where drilling is and isn't allowed. IJsbrand says the Northern Sea Route is both an economic and an environmental saver - Jade from AFCO agrees. ENVI once again responds to the points made with a plea for more empathy - keeping the peace is more important than competing for energy sources or confronting Russia directly.
The debate has come down to one clear divide: economic stability versus environmental preservation. Sami says renewable energy is the only solution to the Arctic issue. EMPL's Lana agrees with Sami and says nuclear energy is not an option due to its toxic waste being another environmental polluter. Pepijn from AGRI responds directly to rebut that point: he says the waste produced by nuclear energy is negligible. The board commends the delegates for using their direct response placards well and often. LIBE's Juliette makes a point about economic benefit and environmental benefit are not mutually exclusive.
We return to the proposing committee for summation speeches by IJsbrand and Bibiana. IJsbrand reiterates the controversial point that since global warming is happening anyway, we may as well benefit from it. Bibiana has the last word in this heated (ha!) debate. She says that research, cooperation, and compromise are not drastic methods but effective ones, and ENVI has found the best possible solution to this issue.
This was a spirited debate, and I expect the votes will reflect that.
And with 27 votes against and 37 in favor, the resolution has passed! Congratulations to ENVI!

Debate 2: LIBE

The next debate of the day is LIBE. Ines reads out the OC's and Bilgi continues by delivering the defence speech. He starts out by describing the current situation in Poland. He then goes on by saying that Polands course is shocking, as they were one of the EU's most promising democracies. He mentions that human rights are being violated and that the EU should take action. Donna from ECON delivers the first attack speech. The starts out by stating her disagreement with OC 4. She suggests that a 75% majority should be implemented. She then notes that right-winged parties are elected democratically. Ramsus from AFCO delivers the second attack speech. Ramsus, too, expresses that he does not think OC 4 is effective, or even desirable. He also mentions that sanctions will only give rise to more euroscepticism. Lola makes the first point, saying that prevention is more important than punishment. Lily from IMCO then says that changing EU law for one article is inconvenient. A next point is made by Myrthe, who says that sanctions punish millions of innocent people. Veerle from INTA is next to make a point. She mentions that new punishments will not work, as countries like Poland have complete disregard for the EU's punishments. Victor from EMPL also makes a point about article 7. It seems like OC 4 is a popular clause for criticism. Mette takes on a different subject, saying that the resolution does not address Hungary sufficiently. Pia from INTA mentions that countries will not want to take part in open conversations if sanctions are imposed upon them. Marijn from LIBE responds to the round of open debate. The first point in the next round of open debate is made by Wies from ENVI. Thomas and Loek make the next two points. Carlotta notes that warning Poland has not been effective and that thus . Xiao-you says that sanctions will also harm the EU, causing LIBE to give a direct response. Noa, Maxime and Loek make the next few points. Loek states that he does not think that the EU is very dependant on Poland. Bibiana and Jade are the next to make points. Minou from IMCO gives a direct response. Kieran points out that punishing Poland for the violations of human rights is hypocritical, as the EU has failed to protect human rights in the immigrant crisis. He thinks the EU should look at itself first, before criticising others. Gizella responds to the round of open debate. Katia is the next to make a point, stating that withholding EU funds will make right-wing leaders less willing to cooperate. Donna makes the next point which receives a direct response from Mette from ENVI. Rutger says that he thinks citizens should be educated more about politics and the EU, as that would decrease the chance of right-leaders being elected. Esther is the next to make a point, saying that sanctions would prove right-winged parties right and could even increase euroscepticism in more liberal countries. Pien goes on by saying that punishments would greatly affect citizens that already have enough problems with their current leaders. Juliette is next to respond to the round of open debate. She says that the sanctions are a way to put pressure on governments to change their course of action and to prevent further violation of human rights. Pepijn goes back to the majority vote, advising to change the majority needed to 80%. Ijsbrand seems to agree with the proposing committee on sanctions. Bobby makes the next point, stating that punishing Poland would only cause Poland to drift off more from the EU. Nina, Pien from EMPL, Loek and Ijsbrand are the next to make their points. Lola says that sanctions would decrease the amount of people in countries with right-winged governments that do support the EU. Donna is the last person to make a point in the open round of debate. The summation speech is then delivered. Juliette starts out by saying that LIBE does not want Poland to leave the EU, but simply wants to put pressure on the Polish government, which will benefit the citizens. Marije carries on by describing the main benefits of LIBEs resolution. She ends her speech by saying that the Parliament should "vote for human rights!" Such passion on on this debate floor!