The Challenges of Europe

The event « The Challenges of Europe » occurred in Strasbourg in May 2017 on the occasion of the month of Europe. This event aimed at gathering young people within the framework of different activities to exchange and debate about European news. The activities insisted on the importance of the citizen participation of young people to fight against Euroscepticism and radicalization. In addition, those activities aimed to encourage the young people to create a climate of comprehension to tend towards a more pacific world and think of more transparent, inclusive and cohesive European policies. The mobility thus shows its relevance as a tool of safeguard of the European Union, of the fight against xenophobia and of integration of young people from disadvantaged areas.

The European Union put on the test

The European Union is at a difficult stage and is the subject of numerous criticisms. Jean-Paul Junker, president of the European Commission uses the term “polycrisis” which gathers the migration crisis, Brexit, the ascension of populism and terrorism. In this particular context, different activities were proposed dealing with these subjects in order to debate about the role of the EU, raise awareness among young people concerning the anti-EU propaganda and indoctrination as well as finding solutions to reinstate the values of the European Union and promote the citizenship.

The coffee-debate “Will the year 2017 witness the rift of Europe ?” on the 10th of May focused on four important points of the EU such as economics, migration, the security and the place of Europe in the world. The other coffee-debate on the 11th of May « Which are the measures to fight against radicalization of young people in Europe? » aimed at finding concrete actions on every scale to fight against the scourge of radicalization.  Indeed, the transmission and appropriation of humanistic values from the primary school are the main goals. Moreover, an awareness of young people as well as their families to become responsible social actors and open-minded, proves to be necessary. Finally, educational activities should be organized in all neighbourhoods to establish a dialogue with young people and organize a prevention system against radicalization.

On the 17th and 18th of May, two film-debates were proposed “Fratricide” and “Welcome”, depicting  the inhuman conditions from which the refugees attempt to flee from their countries at war. “Fatricide” is especially shocking because of its violence, it addresses the question of exile and the integration problem tied with the reception policies which tend to create segregated community. The presentation of the film “Welcome” aimed to create a general awareness about the way the refugees are welcomed within the EU, focusing on the ordeal refugees endure in Calais. Finally, the Youth Peace camp occurred from the 10th to the 27th of May at the European Youth Center and gathered young people from regions in conflict, aiming at guaranteeing the dialogue and developing a cooperation. The AMSED team, in collaboration with the CEJ, made a video of the camp in order to diffuse this initiative.


The awareness of the EU and the mobility guarantor of the EU


A better awareness of the history of Europe as well as a better transparency of actions and financings ordered by the European Union would permit young people to realize the importance of its role. Thus, the Quiz-debate of the 24th of May 2017 on the topic of Europe, aimed at verifying the knowledge young people have about the European Union. Indeed, many of them had forgotten the majority of the information. In addition, young people confessed not feeling very concerned by the EU. Indeed, the EU has to do an effort of communication, Euroscepticism mainly comes from the lack of knowledge young people have, concerning the usefulness of this 27 state partnership. Furthermore, the mobility turns out to be primordial to realize the advantage that we have to be able to travel, study and work freely within the Schengen area.

The mobility isn’t only a tool of preservation of the EU. The mobility also permits the open-mindedness, the fight against xenophobia and indoctrination, the dialogue and the interculturalism. On the 9th of May, there was a seminar presenting the impacts of mobility with the programme “Alsace, crossroad of Mobility”. This programme of two years aimed at promoting mobility on a national, European and international scale as well as the transborder mobility, making the connection between associations and the mobility actors in Alsace and in Germany. AMSED could exchange about possible partnerships to promote the motility programmes.

The Erasmus + programme, one of the keys programmes highlighted by ASMED, is a truly positive instrument for the social inclusion of young people. Within this framework, the event “the Challenges of Europe” ended with a musical-apero “The mobility and inclusion of young people from disadvantaged areas”, on the 25th of May, during which young people, having benefited from the Erasmus + programme, have shared their experience. The goal was to enhance the visibility of the opportunities available for young people thanks to the EU, permitting a personal and professional enrichment.