Published: Fri, 26 May 2023
This week, Sean Kelly MEP for Ireland South, hosted the winners of his annual Transition Year essay competition in the European Parliament. The 19 students hailed from Carlow, Laois, Kilkenny, Wexford, Waterford and Tipperary.
The students submitted essays titled “What has 50 years of EU membership meant for Ireland?”. The winning essays focused on the profound social and economic developments that EU membership has brought about for Ireland. Students also presented their ideas on how certain policy areas, such as agriculture, the environment and gender equality have progressed thanks to Ireland’s EU membership.
The transition year students spent two nights and three day in Brussels, meeting with Irish MEPs and Parliament officials. The students had the chance to learn more about the workings of the EU institutions and the role of MEPs. Their visit also included information sessions on emerging EU policy areas such as disinformation and digital policies, and a guided tour at the European House of History. In their free time, the students had the opportunity to visit the sites in Brussels and sample the local cuisine.
“The visit was a wonderful opportunity for the transition year students to learn about working life in the European Institutions, and to consider how policies made at a European level affect citizens and business in Ireland” Sean Kelly MEP explained.
“For me,” Sean Kelly MEP continued, “the highlight of the students visit was listening to each student present their essays.” During a meeting with Kelly in the Parliament, each of the students presented their essays individually to the MEP. “I want to congratulate the group on their presentation skills and their passion for the subject, it is always wonderful to see young people engaging with the EU and politics more broadly. I was very impressed with the group overall, and would encourage each and every one of these students to think about a career in Europe in the future”.
Sean Kelly MEP with all winners of transition year essay competition, and group leaders Bernie Carroll and Breda Hayes (both from Limerick)