“Finally an opportunity to « speak about Europe » with young people ! And in particular to debate about the questions that they are asking themselves.
“What is Europe good for?” For the younger generation, peace is today a vested right. A few historical reminders often are enough to show the contrary. I try to explain in which issues Europe is intervening concretely and why the EU “imposes” directives to the Members Sates. I do this, in order to fight against the prejudices of the all mighty and devilish European institutions.
“What does it mean to be European”? The pupils often agree on considering as “normal that the rich countries pay more in order to help the poorer countries”. However they also say later that “France should not be giving so much money to the Eastern European countries”. Nevertheless, this relies on the same logic of solidarity. Once these two cases put in parallel, the pupils realise this contradiction. That way, through the dialogue, the pupils get conscious of the changing in scale that has taken place in the last half century. A reflection that would be limited to the national boundaries is not pertinent any longer. They realise that they are sharing a certain vision of the world with the Germans or the Latvians (peace, prosperity for all, sustainable development…) even if we have very diverging cultures.”
SERVENT Elodie, Former President of the Jeunes Européens Sciences Po, 23 years old, student master in European affairs in Sciences Po Paris.
« Having participated in many interventions, I remember how rich it was to share experiences with pupils, whether they were small children in primary school or adolescents in high school. It seems that the pupils and the teachers were always very satisfied and sometimes even enthusiastic after our intervention. The priority that we give to interactivity and to the debate with young people is certainly a positive factor for this. Furthermore, the fact that we are “young”, sharing our personal and professional experiences, our stories while staying abroad, conveys a more concrete visibility to the European dimension. Finally, the fact that there is always a student coming from a foreign country always gives the pupils the feeling of a real opening towards the other European countries. Therefore, we have learnt a lot and shared a lot about Europe for our greatest pleasure. We have also learnt a lot being in contact with the pupils and the teachers. I want to thank them all a lot for this great experience ! PIERPAOLI Michel, Jeunes Européens France, in charge of the action "Europe à l’école"