European Stars - Brussels Conference 2016

26th February 2016

During the recent Spring half term, Zoe and Jamie accompanied by Mrs Napier travelled to Brussels to attend a Stars Europe Conference where schools from Milan, Madrid, Krakow, Noord Brabant, Bielefeld, Budapest, Edinburgh and London joined together to review their initiatives which had been taking place in their own schools and countries. The aim of the project has been to promote active travel (e.g. cycling in schools, and to deliver travel / road safety advice to school communities).

The conference took place on Thursday 18 February, thereforeZoe and Jamie travelled by Eurostar on Wednesday 17 February to Brussels. On the morning of the conference they went to the EU Parliament building to meet the students and staff from the eight other European cities. They toured the visitors centre, which included displays about the journey of the European Union and the impact it has on our everyday lives.

From the EU Parliament building the group walked through central Brussels passing - the Royal Palace of Brussels, Grand Place, which contains the City Hall and the Palace of Justice.

They walked to a building called De Markten which is a cultural centre in Graanmarkt, the building was once owned by Cristallerie du Val - Saint Lambert, who are leaders in the Belgian crystal glass industry.

Each of the schools presented either films or powerpoints about the initiatives that had taken place in the last year. Zoe and Jamie presented in front of an audience of 100 students and staff. They both did extremely well and presented very confidently.

After the speeches the students went on a tour of Brussels, some by bike and others on foot. At 5:30pm everyone made their way to the BiB building which is the seat of the Government of Brussels - Capital Region.

All of the students joined the delegates from European Stars, PTP (Personalised Travel Planning), and Cycle and MOBI (promoting smart mobility to employees) to listen to an open debate on real experiences from each of the initiatives.

This was followed by an award ceremony where each of the schools received awards for their participation in the EU Stars project. The awards were presented by Dr Didier Gambier, the Department Head of LIFE, and H2020 Energy and Environment Resources.

On Friday 19 February Zoe and Jamie travelled back to London, tired but pleased that they had taken part in such a prestigious event. Well done Zoe and Jamie.