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Explore#EU - empower the young generations!
Start date: Aug 1, 2015, End date: Jul 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

E#D will cooperate with vocational schools in Berlin and Brandenburg and publicly financed corporations helping socially disadvantaged people to obtain a formation and a minimum of education (e.g. German Society for Vocational Training). The overall objective is to educate youngster in schools about the EU, its polity, politics, and policies. They shall understand how the EU is set up, which powers it has and how it is connected to the European citizens (polity). Furthermore, they shall understand how the EU is elected, how it functions and comes to decisions, how it is placed in the political system of the EU and how it contributes to political decisions that are having direct impact on the daily lives of the European citizens (politics). Eventually, they should understand which policies the EU is dealing with and recognise how important the work of the EP is (policy). At first, Explore#EU will focus on common trade policies (e.g. TTIP), immigration policies (e.g. Dublin I, II, II) and environmental policies (e.g. ETS). The substantial focus is subject to further adjustments and can be expanded. The Explore#EU project achieves this by providing teachers, lecturers and political educators with an easily accessible, event platform for performing high quality, interactive seminars about the EU and the political system of the EU. This platform provides these multipliers with resources and functionalities for performing blended learning, which is combining online and offline educational concepts. Accordingly, the multipliers are invited to organise their courses and seminars around Explore#EU and include its sophisticated technology in their seminars and courses. Furthermore, Explore#EU’s online nature is dissolving physical boundaries for joint learning and is connecting youngsters all over Europe. This promotes the development of a European Public Space. A specific simulation component trains participant’s capacities in online democracy. The project is targeted at students and adolescents that are more or less alienated from politics in general. Therefore, they are neither very likely to participating in political debates nor going to the ballot in national or European elections. By having a certain guaranteed time per week where they have to deal with political and European issues but are nevertheless free to choose their field of interest, they are becoming more motivated for the general political debate. Furthermore, the online platform provides high quality information about political issues and guarantees that the students obtain correct and unbiased facts about the European Parliament. Therefore, they are given the possibility to form an own opinion about the EU and contribute constructively to the discussion about the future of the Union. Furthermore, the participating students realise that the EU is and integral part of their everyday lives. Above all, they understand that the European Parliament is a veto-player, impacts strongly on almost all policy decisions and that consequently the composition of the European Parliament is essential for their own interests and preferences. This mobilises them for going to the ballot electing the European Parliament. The simulation game, Explore#EU will therefore be conducted within 10 vocational schools in Berlin and Brandenburg. The events will reach in total 1.500 students. During the lifetime of the project, 90 multipliers (teachers and policy makers) from 36 organisations are recruited for the Living Lab approach and invited to use Explore#EU in their organisations and institutions. These multipliers will have educated 1.500 youngsters: these will have understood the background of at least one important policy-issue of the EP and the EU, the whole decision-making process leading to a European directive as well as the importance of their individual political engagement. Therefore, they profit not only from a technical but also even more importantly from a personal perspective. In the aftermath of the project, the applicant is integrating the Explore#EU event platform into its educational offerings for universities, schools and political organisations. Those event will be rounded up with a discussion for a, where local, regional policy makers are invited to discuss the results of the simulations and stress the importance of EU´s structural dialogue. Therefore the proposal is addressing: - Empowering youth as thematic guidance - Direct link to structured dialogue – EVENT pillar with key experts and organisations - events will simulating the functioning of the democratic institutions and the roles of decision-makers within these institutions - foster direct dialogue with local, regional and European wide decision makers - participation of groups within the activity

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