by the EESC's Diversity Europe Group

The main elements of the executive summary of the study on Youngsters and the EU – Perceptions, Knowledge and Expectations were presented in the press room of the European Commission’s Charlemagne building on May 15.  

This research aims to draw comparisons between the attitudes of young people studying at the Brussels-based European Schools and at schools following national education systems in France, Germany, Italy, Sweden and Romania. How much do these young people know about the EU and where have they learnt it? What do they think about the EU and how do they think the EU can or will affect their lives? Are there pronounced differences between Member States and do students in the European schools have distinctively different attitudes?

Commenting on the research, Arno Metzler, president of the EESC's Diversity Europe Group, said: ''It is essential to build a new European citizenship as a way to engage with people and enrich them. We should develop new educational tools with regard to the EU, for example by developing a European learning platform or introducing a specific subject in schools to explain what the EU institutions do on a daily basis. We want to make the European community more active. CSOs and citizens should communicate the idea and the aims of Europe. We need to capitalise on our young generations and listen to them, at both national and European level.'' (ih)