The future belongs to us – so listen up!
The European Competition is the oldest student competition in Germany – European Movement Germany has run the competition since 1953. Around 80,000 pupils of all ages and from all types of schools take part every year.
Education about Europe in schools often takes the form of numbers, dates and facts. No wonder, then, that enthusiasm for the European project often does not reach children and young people. The European Competition has a completely different approach. The competition allows children and young people to deal with European topics in a creative way. They can paint, do arts and crafts, make films, write texts, create objects, games, posters or websites.
The European Competition orients itself by the theme of the respective European Year. In the current school year, pupils dealt with the key aspects of European development aid in a creative and critical way. The youngest pupils painted animals and plants, which they want to save from extinction. Pupils aged 10-13 sent European researchers on a quest to find new resources. The 14 – 17 year olds shone a spotlight on production and working conditions in developing countries, while the oldest pupils looked at the threat of war in Europe’s vicinity and the large tide of refugees coming to Europe.
The pupils’ creations show commitment and a sense of responsibility, but also demonstrate their concerns and criticism of the European project. Their views on the world’s biggest challenges open new perspectives on developmental topics which encourage personal reflections. In order to integrate their ideas and their criticisms into the development debate, the pupils’ works will be put on display at an exhibition entitled: “The future belongs to us – so listen up!”
There are many opportunities to listen in during the European Year for Development: the exhibition will travel to various places and events throughout Germany until the end of the year. In addition, there will be a multimedia exhibition of the pupils’ creations in the Permanent Representation of the State of Bremen in Berlin from 10 July until 7 August 2015. On 10 July, representatives from the German Ministry for Development and the European Commission Representation in Germany will attend the opening of the exhibition.
The European Competition started out as an international initiative. There were up to 30 European countries in the network “Europe at School“ in the 1990s, which all carried out the Competition for schools and sent their prize winners to international seminars. Today, the Competition for schools only exists in Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Greece. European Movement Germany and European Movement International would like to revive the Network Europe at School.
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