On the 3rd of October A Level Politics and Economics students visited Europe House, home to the European Commission Office in London. Essentially, the EU’s embassy in the UK where European Parliament MEPs as well as Commissioners house their delegations.
Students were invited to take part in an interactive lecture and workshop to discuss not only the endeavours of the Commission and other European institutions but also the ubiquitous theme of Brexit. In an open discussion, Britain’s relationship with the EU was explored, and students were able to get informed about the Brexit process. Emphasis was placed on examining Britain’s close ties to Europe and the difficulty of disentangling 40 years of cooperation. The sight of members of the youthful community at RIC engaging in informed debate on this topic was like a breath of fresh air.
Perhaps fittingly, overseeing proceedings was an impressive piece of art that resonates with the times. Created by what can be described as a European citizen, the piece was inspired on ‘the human urge to construct and reconstruct order from chaos’. Reminiscent, to an extent, of some of the works around the college, the installation was carved from what the artist noted as ‘humble, discarded items of everyday life’ that would otherwise be finding their way to a waste disposal site.
Toward the end of the workshop, participants’ knowledge of the EU was shown to be greater than that of a sample of MPs and Peers (we were reliably told by our host Sam) as students engaged in a quiz on the European Union.
All in all, the trip was an enjoyable experience for those involved and provided some food for thought to our young and aspiring economists and politically engaged students.