Why does the EU exist? How does it work? And how can I have a say in it?

These and other questions and current debates are addressed in our EU-Crash-Courses. The four-hour format provides students with basic knowledge and possibilities to encounter the EU and Europe.

Simone Veil © Friederike Schlenz

With a group of about 25 students aged 14 and older, the trainers focus on three areas:

  • A multi-perspective history – Why does the EU exist and how did it develop?
  • Institutions and other actors of the EU – Who is the EU?
  • Possibilities of participation – How can I participate in the EU?

The course usually lasts for four hours and students work in small groups. They ask questions and together determine where and how the EU influences their everyday lives. Preparation in prior classes and foreknowledge of the EU are not required. They can also decide between a specific focus on “climate and youth participation” or “media skills”.

Educational approach

The EU-Crash-Course is based on the approach of Peer Education. Therefore, it is our young, qualified Trainers who will facilitate the course in your school (or digitally, see below). With the aim of stimulating an open discussion, the Trainers share their personal experiences thus motivating students to do the same. This leads to a learning process that creates space for topics and perspectives that are important to the students.

Our goals

We wish to encourage students to participate actively in open discussions about the EU, its politics as well as current and future issues related to it. The EU-Crash-Course is designed to give space to young people’s questions and ideas on the EU, and to make students aware of opportunities for participation.

New: Digital EU-Crash-Course

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, our Trainers have developed a digital EU-Crash-Course, which has already been successfully conducted in several countries across Europe. These digital sessions provided Trainers with opportunities to get accustomed to the digital format and enabled us to further develop and optimize the course concept. The digital format lasts 2.5 hours and is delivered via Zoom. Access to a digital device such as smartphone, tablet or laptop is required in order to participate.

How to book a course

Registration for our EU-Crash-Course is handled by the Youth Organizations of Understanding Europe. Please refer to the organization in your country to receive further information or book a course: Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Türkiye and Ukraine.