Tom Cobbenhagen

A business card and portfolio

President at European Youth Parliament The Netherlands

PERIOD

April 2020 – current

ORGANISATION

Stichting Europees Jeugdparlement Nederland

POSITION

President of the Foundation

WEBSITE

The Foundation

The European Youth Parliament (EYP) is an educational platform for independent thinking and initiative in young people and facilitates the learning of social and professional skills, like teamwork, tolerance and problem-solving, as well as communication and leadership skills. In the form of simulations of the European Parliament, participants aged between 16-27 come together to try and solve key societal issues, whilst exchanging their opinions and cultures. The EYP is organised by Stichting Europees Jeugdparlement Nederland in the Netherlands since 1998, whilst the programme has existed since 1987 internationally.

Accomplishments

Crisis management during a pandemic

Something that I am particularly proud of is a matter that is not usually part of the portfolio; a pandemic situation. I am responsible for the organisation’s well being through these odd and changing times. By coordinating the efforts to adjust our activities to Covid-19, I learned a lot about risk management and seeking opportunities in stressful situations.

As our events are event-based, we were expecting a huge impact, but were able to persevere and adapt to a new normal, by focusing our efforts on an online variant of our organisation. As the mandate progresses, we find more and more opportunities to reflect critically on our processes and improve them.

Strategic Development

As president, I am responsible for the process of forming our next 5-year plan. Together with a highly-regarded consultancy firm, I am coordinating the efforts by volunteers, board members and supervisory council to devise a plan that nourishes the growth and development of our organisation. This has given me a much deeper understanding of our organisation, as well as strategic development as a whole.

International Development

Together with my international coordinator, I contribute to the network’s development. Through bi-annual meetings between representatives of other countries, we prepare policy proposals to change and improve our organisation, as well as our educational value.