We have had several trips, tours, and excursions during the duration of our study abroad program, some of which include excursions outside of France, as well as visits to the European Court of Human Rights, Wine and Cheese tasting events, and museum visits and day tours in and around Strasbourg and surrounding cities. Among these many planned trips, the one that has stood out to me the most has been our guided tour of the European Parliament.
It is one of the most important buildings in this region, and although it is somewhat smaller in size than what I had expected, I found that it does big things. It was started about 50 years ago and is located right here in Strasbourg, near the Council of Europe and the European Court of Human Rights. Its main focus is protection against conflict and it aims to work against instability and insecurity in and around the European Union. The members deal with a wide range of topics, ranging from agriculture to women’s rights and almost everything in between; they try their best to ensure that the voices of each person is heard and attempt to resolve issues as effectively and quickly as possible.
One of the members of the Parliament actually took the time to speak to us about what goes on behind the scenes, and a little about how they deal with sensitive issues from the past, present, and future. He explained that they do not only focus on their own problems, but also have open communicate with other countries and try to help those who need help. There are some issues, such as the U.S. economy and war problems, he admitted are inevitable crises, but the Parliament works to face these problems and help other nations as well. Over 500 million people are represented by the members of 1 assembly, 1 council, the European Parliament.