Dia duit a chairde! Rome was my first experience of an FYEG event. I didn’t know quite what to expect from the event but the experiences had over that weekend were better than I had ever anticipated.
I will never forget the feeling I had when I saw the FYEG migration campaign t-shirts for the first time. I had known that the Greens believed strongly in integration and the fairer treatment of people who seek refuge in Europe but what I didn’t expect was that it was as close to the FYEG’s heart as it was to mine. As soon as I saw the t-shirts, my face lit up with a smile and I felt at home.
What I saw in Rome was a huge diversity of people gathered together in an expression of common core ‘Green’ beliefs. These people were diverse in that we didn’t all agree on the same issues, and we didn’t all hold the same opinion of how best to attain goals. Some were activists and others conservatives or realists but how the diversity worked can best be explained through one of my most memorable experiences from Rome. I started up a conversation with a person who had opposing views from my own on a particular topic. We talked and held on to our points of view, yet in the end had a better understanding of each other’s position. Even though we had opposing viewpoints, we had become friends in the process of talking. I discovered that his opposing viewpoint was only a small piece of a larger jigsaw puzzle. We were both there in Rome because we are part of a larger ‘Green’ movement. We both believe in ‘Green’ principles, although divided on some points of how to reach those goals. The invaluable experiences gained in Rome were typified in this meeting of like-minded people who ultimately see an overall picture of a better and ‘Greener’ Europe.