Europe in schools for the Europeans of tomorrow

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“We have made Italy, now we have to make italians!” Those are the words spoken by Massimo d’Azeglio in the face of the union of Italy, conscious that even united, the country was still composed by many different micro verses. In fact even today in Italy many different dialects, cultural traits and traditions coexist, much similar to the composition of the European Union itself. With a similar idea in mind, the collaboration between BETA Italy and the Venice Diplomatic Society brought to life a project aimed on understanding what means to be a European citizen. During the span of two school days in late September we interacted with the student of a High School in Montebelluna (Veneto), trying to sort out what means to be European to them, and how it influences their lives.We talked not only about the European treaties and their rights as citizens of the Union, but we also addressed how they can directly take part in the politics and in the decision making process. In particular we talked about the European Parliament, since it’s the political institution that represents the citizens. Even though the students were interested and involved, the second part of this activity was made to further involve their participation and to allow them to experience how the Parliament works on a daily basis: so we made a mini-simulation of the Parliament itself! The students were assigned a party and their objective was to debate on a modified version of the recent “State of the Union” speech delivered by Mr. Junker. Even though we gave the students a briefexplanation on how to deliver a speech and behave in a political party, we organizers were blown away by their preparation on the subject and their ease in delivering passionate speeches. As far as I’m concerned, I would consider the activity a success, hoping that the students enjoyed this activity as much as we did.