Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Opportunity Europe

Nelson McCausland, Cllr William Humphrey (Belfast City Council) & Maurice Maxwell (European Commission) with some of the salsa dancers.

Today was the first day of Opportunity Europe, a two-day European exhibition and fair which helps young people to learn more about our European neighbours.  The event is held in St George's Market in Belfast and is organised by Belfast City Council and the European Commission Office in Northern Ireland, with support from DCAL and others.   It is now in its sixth year and every year it attracts about 5,000 school children from across the province. 

There are stands, demonstrations, competitions, workshops and entertainment and the young people I met seemed to be enjoying it thoroughly.  The event highlights the wide range of languages in Europe and there were even workshops for our two indigenous minority languages, Ulster-Scots and Irish.

I am strongly opposed to the creeping integration of the European Union but I believe that our young people should know about other European countries and be able to appreciate their cultures.

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