Carrickfergus College were one of 29 schools from across Northern Ireland who visited Stormont to debate two of the most important issues facing Europe.
Adam Tweedie, Jordan Spry and Jedd Gould, all upper sixth Politics students at the college, were taking part in the prestigious annual Mock Council of the European Union, representing Finland as they recreated the environment of a real Council of the EU meeting.
At the event, organised by the European Commission Office in Northern Ireland and the British Council, they tackled two topical issues: energy needs in a global market and the democratic legitimacy of the EU.
Issues argued included how the EU could reinforce the public’s trust for its political institutions; whether the EU has a democratic deficit; if EU foreign policy should concentrate on building stronger ties with countries rich in oil and gas; and if Europe needs binding targets for green energy and energy efficiency after 2020.
College Head Boy Adam said: “As an A-level student studying Government and Politics, this was a very enjoyable way of finding out how politics really works.”
Congratulating the students who took part in the event was Head of the European Commission Office in Northern Ireland Colette FitzGerald. “To create greater awareness of the European Union, it is important that students have the opportunity to debate major European issues,” she said.
“The Mock Council is an excellent initiative which allows students the opportunity to form political opinions, make decisions on matters which affect them directly and learn more about how the European Union works in practice.”
British Council Director David Alderdice added: “In order for Northern Ireland to compete internationally we must continue to develop young people who are comfortable in the global marketplace.
“Programmes like the Mock Council contribute to that agenda and help young people develop skills that they will use as their careers develop. We hope these young people continue to avail themselves of international development opportunities as they continue their education. This was the seventh year running that college pupils have taken part in this prestigious event, supporting the international dimension of the college curriculum which has been recognised by the British Council’s International School Award.”