AUC student elected President of European Youth Parliament NL
AUC student Maria Bianka Lojanica was recently elected President of the European Youth Parliament the Netherlands (EYP NL). A second-year sciences major, Lojanica looks forward to her upcoming term coordinating and overseeing the Dutch delegations participation in various international conferences, projects and events while working to make EYP NL a more democratic and transparent organisation.
Europe for the youth
Established in 1987, the European Youth Parliament (EYP) is a non-profit organisation that works to encourage young people from across Europe to become engaged in contemporary political issues, deepen intercultural understandings and to take an active role in civil society. Spanning the continent, the EYP has independent associations in more than 40 nations, organising nearly 600 events each year with thousands of participants. These specific events vary per branch, but current project themes frequently address capacity building, civil society, energy policy, and the importance of dialogue and understanding in the pan-European context.
An experienced EYP-NL member
Although only in her second-year at AUC, Lojanica has been involved in European Youth Parliament the Netherlands for more than three and a half years. Originally joining on the suggestion of her high-school English teacher, she quickly found the EYP a great platform to debate and actively stay informed about contemporary European political issues. Most recently, Lojanica served on the Board of the EYP NL as the Fundraising and PR Coordinator, acting as a point of contact for external stakeholders while tasked with building new relationships and providing information about EYP NL programmes, including their ambitious Understanding Europe project, to interested parties.
Next steps as President
As President, Lojanica steps into an extremely important role. Her main tasks will consist of coordinating the organisation of national and international conferences, as well as assuring the participation of EYP NL delegations in the projects and events taking place across Europe.
In addition to these responsibilities, Lojanica specifically wants to take steps toward making EYP NL a more democratic and transparent organisation, especially with regard to their programme alumni. She feels that these valuable voices and opinions should receive more attention when considering the future direction of not only the Dutch delegation, but the European Youth Parliament organisation as a whole.
Looking ahead: after AUC
In addition to her studies and activities in EYP NL, Lojanica also plays an active role in the AUC community. Students and staff recognise her as the chair of the student Debating Committee, which allows students to hone their argumentation and rhetoric skills during weekly debates on a wide variety of topics. With a couple of busy years ahead, Lojanica is already planning to take a gap year after finishing her Bachelor’s degree in order to explore her interests and gain more experience before resuming her studies in a Master’s programme that will allow her to pursue scientific journalism.
AUC would like to congratulate Maria on her accomplishments and thank her for her input for this article.