Early in the morning on June 14, 2017 the apprentices got on the bus to Strasbourg. During the two-hour trip, the group stopped on the motorway station Baden-Baden to visit the local motorway church.
After arriving in Strasbourg, the group was allowed to enter the Parliament building only after strict admission and passport controls. The first item on the agenda was a 360° video tour dealing with the development and tasks of the European Union. Afterwards, the building could be inspected. Particularly, the place of arrival for invited guests on the way to the conference room – including a red carpet – left behind an impression with the apprentices. Andreas Kübler, one of the apprentices, was also amazed by "the infrastructure of the building with its 60 meter high office tower and its wooden "Dome" as the centerpiece".
The large Parliament Hall is located in the middle of that dome. There the apprentices pursued a parliamentary debate on the question how the EU should deal with the withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Climate Protection Agreement. It was strictly ensured that every Member of Parliament did not exceed his or her speaking time. "During the debate, we were able to experience the democratic shaping of the European Union by the MP’s and gain deep insights," Kübler reports enthusiastically.
Subsequently, the apprentices heard a speech from the President of the Ivory Coast, Alassane Ouattara, who had previously spoken with the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, in a non-public meeting.
After a short lunch break, the apprentices were personally welcomed by Rainer Wieland. He extensively told about his studies and the start times of the European Parliament. In addition, he gave a detailed explanation on why the Parliament is located both in Strasbourg and Brussels. In a subsequent round of questions, the apprentices were able to ask questions. For example, they wanted to know about Wieland’s assessments of US President Donald Trump, the global climate situation and the impact of the Brexit on the future of the EU.
In the afternoon, the group started its way back. With the arrival in Leonberg, an interesting day for the apprentices came to an end.