The transnational Educational Network Understanding Europe empowers young people in Europe through democratic citizenship education, and seeks to give them a voice. To this end, we promote and advise on educational projects run by young people and are committed to civic participation and a democratic, diverse and open-minded Europe.
The participation of young voters at the age of 18-24 in the European elections in 2009 was only at 27%. Before the European elections in 2014, the Schwarzkopf Foundation Young Europe has been initiating a series of events called “Understanding Europe.“ This includes a series of Crash Courses about topics such as “the EU and media,” ranging from 2 to 4 hours in length. Two trainers are sent to schools for every crash course where they are moderators for discussions and a much broader programme.
Since 2014 Crash Courses have been successfully conducted in Austria by the European Youth Parliament.
The Crash Courses
Why does the EU exist? Who is part of the Council of Ministers? What are the responsibilities of the European Parliament? And what exactly does the European Commission do?
This is just a quick overview of the many questions answered during the Crash Courses. The trainers will be with your class for two to four hours and focus on the following topics:
Why does the EU exist?
In this small group, participants set out in search of different EU stories and personal reference points.
Who determines EU policies?
Participants find out who is really behind the phrase “the EU has decided…”. They discuss and assess the possibilities for exerting influence in the multi-level European system.
How can I have a say in European politics?
In this workshop, participants formulate their political concerns. They develop ideas for action and discuss the possibilities for implementing them as well as possible hindrances to doing so.
During the group work, the students will be supported by two trainers who will be present all the time. During the discussion following the workshops, pupils will have the opportunity to ask questions outside the day-to-day school routine.
The Trainer Team
The Crash Courses follow a peer-education approach. Our trainers are young people who have been trained to conduct these courses.
Their aim is to teach the students some basic knowledge about the EU and moderate an open and objective discussion to help the students form their own opinion about European issues.
We want to share our knowledge about the EU in an interactive and interesting way. The four-hour Crash Course should help the students to gain factual and objective knowledge.
During the Crash Course, we also show different ways of participating in the EU directly and how young people can make the EU their own.
How To Participate
The Crash Courses are aimed at high school students from the age of 16. Please keep in mind that the maximum number of participants is 25. Feel free to contact the responsible project coordinator, who will be happy to answer any questions you might have and tailor the course to individual needs if possible.