EM Germany: Steering Committee for European Competition Meeting
On 15 November 2016, the steering committee for the “Europäischer Wettbewerb” (European Competition), Germany’s oldest school competition, held their 28th meeting at the German state Representation of Baden-Wuerttemberg in Brussels. Although “European Competition” might suggest otherwise, it was a first for the committee to meet in the EU’s capital to discuss how the international dimension of the Competition could be revived. To fit the occasion, several European guests attended the meeting. The chairwoman of the steering committee, Suzan Bacher was pleased to welcome MEPs Birgit Sippel, Evelyne Gebhardt and Rainer Wieland, as well as Petros Fassoulas, Emma Klever and Lara Rudnik from the European Movement International.
The “European Competition” is part of an international education network which in the 90s comprised up to 35 European countries. The network “Europe at School” enabled several school competitions as well as youth encounters in 10 different countries to take place. There were trainings on European education for teachers as well as several exhibitions and publications. Publications of the winners of every competition can be found on the official website.
Since the European Commission and the European Council cut the financial support for the competition’s international coordination however, the network shrunk significantly to only six participating countries today. Due to a lack of resources, the work of the remaining national committees in Germany, Austria, the Slovak and Czech Republic, Greece and Croatia is increasingly drifting apart. In many of these countries the financial circumstances pose a real threat to the continued existence of youth encounters conducted by the European Competition in Bad Marienberg and Otzenhausen.
The international meeting of the steering committee was thus held at the right moment in time. All of the attendees agreed that such traditional, successful and highly valuable project should not be cut down to size but on the contrary should be strengthened and further internationalised. In that context, the experienced European politician Rainer Wieland brought forward many ideas on how to place the “European Competition” high on the EU’s agenda. Petros Fassoulas, Secretary General of the European Movement International assured full support on part of its broad civic network. Moreover, there was agreement to establish further links with other education platforms beyond the well-established and successful cooperation with e-twinning.
Read the article in German here.