The Third Žilina Summit

On Saturday, May 20, 2017, there was once again one of the Žilina summits, the third in the row. Students from all over Slovakia met as delegates of their own fictional countries and they tried to solve a fictional international problem. This time it was the problem of racial discrimination.

Participants, or in other words, students of high schools from all over Slovakia, solved this international problem and their task was to reach the final resolution, which means that everyone had to agree on one single solution, although it was often very demanding. They attended formal meetings where they couldn't be afraid to stand up and express their opinion while at the same time they had to face their opponents, as well as round table discussions where they could solve conflicts in a more open atmosphere. The rulers of their own states held their opinions and there was indeed a strong belief visible in their faces saying that they really stand behind their arguments.

One participant of the project, Natália Kocichová from Country 9 entitled Leawealth, described her impressions from the summit: From my point of view today's summit was on a very proffesional level and it enriched me in the perception of international relations and the solutions of racial and religious issues as well as the influence of social stratification. Overall, the project has given me a lot. I am pleased that I got to know new people and I'm happy for the opportunities I have gained thanks to it.

Summits are organized under the year-long nationwide competition Create & Control, which is made up of only high school students, Michaela Knošková and Adriana Repáňová, who are trying to inform their fellow-students about the functioning of the state and international associations. In this way, they try to help the education system, which inadequately prepares students for the real and full-fledged life of a citizen of a city, a region or a state. They are trying to build an interest in the world affairs and a sense of responsibility in young people, doing everything at zero budget and at 18 years of age.

All the contestants have tried really hard. Throughout the event, they have been supervised by an expert jury composed of a wide range of professionals who are actually working in this field and who have greatly contributed to the whole professional atmosphere of the event. The jury, composed of Martin Reguli, Denis Cáder and Daniel Kerekeš, was supplemented by the main supporter of the project, the MEP Ivan Štefanec, who secured for the competition the first prize for the whole winning team, which is an excursion to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, where students will be able to see how all their annual efforts work in reality. The event was also supported by the city of Žilina itself, which showed that it is interested in the education of high school students and is not indifferent to their future.

Member of the jury Denis Cáder, who participated in this summit, summed up his views: A unique project that enchanted me from the very first moment I came into contact with it. Since I was also an active student and I have participated in various competitions and events in the past, I support and cheer for young active people with critical thinking. I believe that such initiatives will evolve in Slovakia and education will acquire other form than the theoretical one at the school desks.

The evaluation of this competition will be held in June and the year-long effort of all participants will be rewarded, as throughout the year they have worked hard to solve national and international issues. We will learn who is the winner of the main prize, but in reality, the winner is everyone to whom this competition opened their eyes and raised their scope for the future.

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