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SOWO Finalists visited the Flemish Parliament

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The Flemish Parliament was visited today by the laureates of the Social Sciences Olympiad at the invitation of its president, Jan Peumans.

At 11 AM the winners met the guide at the windows, the café and exhibition hall of the parliament. The guide ushered them through the parliament that used to be a post office building. He stopped at every noticeable piece of art produced by famous Flemish artists such as Panamarenko, Arne Quinze and Jan Fabre. The laureates also visited the Pieter Bruegel Hall and were able to listen to the meeting of the commission. Next, a stop was made at the office of the president and the finalists made their way back to the windows by walking through the lobby. Here they were welcomed by Peumans who gave the youngsters a brief explanation about his position as the president of the parliament. One of his tasks, he stated, was representing the Flemish Parliament to the outer world, like he did during the finale of SOSO. Moreover, he presides the plenary sessions and receives delegations from diverse countries visiting Flanders.

Then Peumans invited the laureates for a lunch at the restaurant The Roof Garden, situated at the top floor of the Flemish Parliament. The winners enjoyed their lunch in the cozy atmosphere of the delightful place. They talked about the research they carried out in the context of the Social Sciences Olympiad and their higher education choices. After which the president expressed that he found the research topics highly interesting and that he will support this initiative again next year.

After the intimate lunch the laureates took their place in the audience of the plenary session where ministers and MP’s presented several social and other issues such as the administrative power of small municipalities, the approaching problems in case of a surplus of green energy, the international competitive position of the Flemish maritime ports… Maybe these question could be answered by next year’s contestants?
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