Every year, Open Days of the European Institutions enables thousands of people to enter into the “corridors of power” and discover how decisions are made in the heart of the EU capital.
This year’s program in & around the European Parliament is fascinating – it includes everything, from learning about the daily life of this institution and voting simulations, to briefings, tours, games & activities for children. Esplanade open-air programme, activities on Place du Luxembourg and House of European History equally promise a lot of fun and learning opportunities for all the visitors.
Open Day 2019 on Saturday, 4th of May will be also marked by the upcoming European elections (to be held from 23-26 May) and this will be a great opportunity to find out why your vote makes our democracy stronger and why it makes sense to engage in EU politics.
At 9:40, the opening ceremony takes place on the Esplanade of the European Parliament to kick off the festival atmosphere. The European Parliament will be open for the Open Day from 10:00 until 18:00, last entry 17:30.
The programme and selected activities:
Discover the European Parliament – A path through the main building of the Parliament will teach you the basics about the daily life of this institution. Assistants will also be available to answer your questions and to give you more information.
You want to learn more about European democracy and politics?
What Europe does for me – find out how the European Union benefits you and your region on this interactive website complete with map and short, easy-to-read descriptions!
Knowledge café – Choose your priorities and learn about your favourite topics, all while having a chat with European Parliament staff. They will answer your EU-related questions on a variety of topics: security, social protection, consumer protection, the environment, human rights, migration, growth and the future of Europe.
Meet the political groups that represent Europeans and see what their priorities are.
Step inside the Hemicycle chamber and participate in a briefing session! Briefings start from 10:30 onwards, with the last briefing at 17:00. Sessions last for around 30 minutes each and include a Q&A session. Briefings in English & Dutch will be given every 30 minutes (from 10:30 onwards) and in French & German will be held every 30 minutes (from 10:45 onwards).
Art tour – The European Parliament will be giving two tours of the Parliament’s art collection, in English, at 11:00 and 15:00.
Games, interactive & children activities
True or false – How much do you know about the European Union? Take the challenge and decide whether you think the statements about the European Union are true or false.
Virtual reality experience – Take a tour of the European Parliament: learn how it works and what it does for you in a 360° virtual reality experience.
Interpretation booth – Have a go at interpreting another language into your own in a real interpretation booth and meet European Parliament interpreters in person!
Audio booth – Record your own message about why you’ll be voting in the upcoming European elections and share it with the world!
Match the language – Play our interactive language games and match songs and words to the European language. Fun for the whole family!
Postcards – Send your family and friends a postcard as a reminder to go out and vote. Why not pop one in the post for yourself too!
Children’s voting booths – let your little ones get a taste of democracy.
Photo booth – Take home your photo souvenir at the photo booth.
Gift – Don’t forget to pick up a gift before you leave.
Esplanade open-air programme
This is the part that we love the most! A festival atmosphere in front of the European Parliament and plenty of activities and positive energy! This is what you can expect:
- Bike Fanfare – Let yourself be entertained with a surprisingly music six-seat bike.
- Les Grandes Personnes – Make friends with lifelike giant marionettes that dance, move and amuse.
- Vespaudio – Relive retro Rock ‘n’ Roll, boogie and sunny vibes of the 1960s with a vintage Vespa scooter and sidecar.
- Circus – Let yourself by wowed by spectacular circus skills such as juggling, unicycle, magic tricks and acrobatic show.
- Sway Pole – Be hypnotised by beautiful high-flying acrobatic artists atop freestanding poles.
Place du Luxembourg
Once you’ve taken in the European Parliament, head to Place du Luxembourg for a glass of your favourite while an open-air DJ stage sets the scene from 14:00 until 20:00.
- 14:00 DJ Kwak – Timeless classics and discoveries in funk, soul and beyond.
- 16:00 L-Fêtes – Let Candice and Sofie take you on a musical journey through 80s, house, nu disco and hip hop.
- 18:00 DJ Konna – Forward thinking music from techno and trance to house and disco.
Democracy Now & Then: mini-festival at the House of European History
- Thematic guided tours on democracy – From Athens to the present day, is democracy a fixed part of our heritage or something that is always evolving? This 45-minute tour will highlight objects in the permanent exhibition that show the changing nature of democracy.
- Workshop and debate – Share stories of democracy, voting and civic engagement to co-create visual atmospheres and soundscapes, and debate the role of elections in transitions to democracy and during times of crisis.
- Family activities – Take a special children’s guided tour, illustrate your dreams for Europe’s future, write headlines from history and live European history through board games or a giant version of snakes and ladders.
You want to learn more about the European Parliament and meet the people behind the scenes?
You can do that in many ways – meet the EP social media team and discover their campaigns and day to day work! You can also ask questions about the EP via the Citizens’ Enquiries Unit (Ask EP)
In addition, you can learn abut EU Parliament Liaison offices in cities around Europe and find out what they do. Don’t miss to enter into Station Europe where EP’s Belgian Liaison Office is located, They will have activities throughout the day, giving you a peek inside the institution. You may even run into some Belgian Members of the European Parliament!
To consult the full programme and see other practical information, visit the European Parliament page.