16 November 2009 - European Youth Parliaments: The winner comes from Belgium

Youth debating the role of plastics and sustainability

Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, and Turkey: All these countries had had their Youth Parliament debates on plastics and sustainability and had sent their ten winners to the European final. It was now held in the Parlamentino in Rome. After rougly two hours of debating, one took the win: Her name is Nora Sundahl from Belgium. 18-year old from Melle convinced the jury with her good arguments and, maybe even more decisive, her very own impressive style of presenting them. Wilfried Haensel, Executive Director PlasticsEurope, had the honour to hand over the official winner’s diploma and a cheque worth 1,000 Euro.

The final of this parliament debates and all debates in eight European countries were done in the same style and following identical rules. In Rome’s Parlamentino, it was PlasticsEurope’s Executive Director Wilfried Haensel who opened the debate. Italian astronaut and former MEP than Umberto Guidoni took the role of the con speaker while the opening address for the pro faction group was given by the German Thomas Schmidt, Olympic gold medalist in canoeing and plastics engineer at MT Aerospace.

After that, four students presented initial pro arguments of the role of plastics in sustainability and another four stand up for the con side. Very many participants seized the chance to ask questions of their own and thereby introduced new good arguments and aspects. At the end of this grand final parliament session, the top ten debaters were elected by an international jury consisting of ploiticians, industry experts, and journalists. Value of presentation, interesting reasoning, independence of opinion and presentation skills were the decisive points.

Wilfried Haensel showed very happy with this second round of Youth Parliaments “ Our starting point when kicking of these debates was that we felt that the role of plastics to foster energy efficiancy was not always fully understood. We hoped that we might interest young people and motivate them to develop interest for complex matters. Today, I am really surprised to see how well this work. Especially the crucial role plastics play when it comes to sustainability and energy efficiancy has obiviously been very well understood” says PlasticsEurope’s Executive Director.

These are the winners:

Nora Sundahl / Belgium
Josep-Oriol Guinovart / Spain
Berg Yilmaz / Turkey
Andrea Bertocco / Italy
Kübra Yilmaz / Turkey
Klára Picková / Czech Republic
Nazli Sayki / Turkey
Gianmarco Bovini / Italy
Tommaso Vincenzi / Italy
Sven Langsdorf / Germany

Introduced by PlasticsEurope in 2007/2008, the Youth Parliament initiative brings together young people to debate sustainability and plastics. Each national-level Parliament selected ten winners who traveled to Rome to participate in the grand final event. Rome was selected as the venue for the 2009 Youth Parliament final because of its place in EU history: the Treaties of Rome which established the European Community were signed in Rome in 1957.

Word document of Press release

Press Contact:
PlasticsEurope AISBL
Michael Herrmann
Phone: +49 (0) 692556-1306

Editors' note:

PlasticsEurope is one of the leading European trade associations with centers in Brussels, Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Milan and Paris. We are networking with European and national plastics associations and have more than 100 member companies, producing over 90% of all polymers across the EU27 member states plus Norway, Switzerland, Croatia and Turkey.

The European plastics industry makes a significant contribution to the welfare in Europe by enabling innovation, creating quality of life to citizens and facilitating resource efficiency and climate protection. More than 1.6 million people are working in about 50.000 companies (mainly small and medium sized companies in the converting sector) to create a turnover in excess of 300 billion € per year.

The plastics industry includes polymer producers - represented by PlasticsEurope, converters - represented by EuPC and machine manufacturers - represented by EUROMAP. For further info see the web links: www.plasticseurope.org, www.plasticsconverters.eu, www.euromap.org