The Regional Conferences of 2018 have now come to an end. Although the first-ever regionals were held just last year, it is fair to say that this year managed to bring a lot of novelties.
The first regional was held between the 24th and the 26th of October, in Namur, the beautiful capital of Wallonia. The conference was head organised by Neil Faber and Miguel Burstoff. It was a big step for the organisation, aiming to broaden the diversity and outreach of its 70 participants, by holding the conference in Wallonia, which was a first in the organisation. This set in motion a new trend in EYP Belgium, where as we are speaking, two other events will take place in Wallonia this year!
Another way in which Namur succeeded in terms of diversity was in the way it joined Belgian natives with first and second generation migrants, youngsters from over 22 countries. This gave them the opportunity to talk with people from diverse backgrounds and ethnicities while at the same time giving each of them a possibility to seeing the topics from different perspectives. Another exciting fact about Namur 2018 was its cooperation with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The UNHCR, accepted to fully support the session and gave delegates the opportunity to experience their first debate during the General Assembly with a UNHCR representative. All in all Namur Regional Conference 2018 was a big succes and set the tone for the next conferences.
Namur 2018 was quickly followed by Leuven 2018, our longest regional conference to date. The conference took place between the 6th and the 9th of November, which allowed delegates to enjoy three full days which included multiple different activities, Committee Work and General Assembly. The Head Organisers, Sara Lambrechts and Ella Antonissen, who had been working for a total of 224 days prior to the session, chose sustainability as their theme. The conference invited all 72 participants to reflect on this key topic. The event was kindly sponsored by MijnLeuven, the youth service of the city of Leuven, a great pillar for this ambitious regional when achieving its goals. Lastly, it important to state the diversity of individuals present throughout the conference, indeed, the officials team gathered Europeans from 10 different nationalities, sometimes coming from opposite sides of the continent as was the case between Portugal and Belarus.