People have often questioned the EU's function and the impact it has on our daily lives, but now the British Council and the European Commission Representation in the UK have teamed up to ask young people across the UK to answer the question for them as part of a back to school competition.
The competition, open to students in secondary education between the ages of 11 - 19 years, hopes to stimulate debate amongst young people by asking them to consider the impact and relevance of EU membership on our everyday lives.
London's Green MEP, Jean Lambert who was a school teacher in Waltham Forest for many years and is supporting the competition, today said that it was a great opportunity for young people to get involved in politics as well as increasing their awareness of the EU's purpose, activities and achievements; "The EU actually affects our every day lives in a lot more ways than we realise - it affects our environment, our working lives, our consumer rights and many other areas - and this competition gives young people the opportunity to explore that!
"There are many amazing facts, figures and functions of the EU that aren't highlighted everyday and by taking part in events such as this students can begin to understand how the EU has effected their own, personal experiences. Last years competition proved to be very successful and with the winners receiving a prize along with the opportunity to visit the European Parliament in Brussels I hope we will see even more inspiring entries this year."
The closing date for entries, sent via schools and teachers, is 5pm Friday November 17th 2006. Final pieces must not be longer than 800 words. Entries will be judged by a panel of experts in four different age groups 11 - 14, 14 -16, 17-18 and 18-19 and the winners will be announced on December 1st 2006.
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Notes to editors:
Jean Lambert: In October 2005 Jean was named MEP 2005 for Justice and Human Rights. Jean was first elected Green Party Member of the European Parliament for London in the 1999 European elections. She was re-elected in 2004. She is one of nine MEPs representing London and one of two UK Green representatives in the European Parliament.