CHANGING PERSPECTIVE: LOOKING AT EUROPE THROUGH AN EASTERN EUROPEAN LENSE
The journey of our four “Thinking of Europe” fellows continues. Next stop: Bucharest. At the third Transnational Training for Trainers (TT4T) in Romania at the end of April, the fellows experienced three intensive days of workshops and activities, aimed to expand the visions of the trainers and adapt the educational content of Understanding Europe training network. Moreover, the Alfred Herrhausen Gesellschaft invited the young educators to discuss their visions of a European future in a workshop.
A CRITICAL PERSPECTIVE ON THE WESTERN NARRATIVE OF EUROPE
The Transnational Training for Trainers is a series of events where trainers, coordinators and peer educators from all over Europe can come together and connect, as Understanding Europe is an ever-growing network of young people delivering educational work in 14 different European countries. As partner of the Schwarzkopf Stiftung-Junges Europa, we at the Alfred Herrhausen Gesellschaft are delighted to foster the ever more important work of the Understanding Europe network for peer education to promote and advise on educational projects committed to civic participation and a democratic and open-minded Europe.
“A year ago, I started following my path as a member of this network through the TT4T in Armenia. It felt so magical that I promised to myself to do whatever was in my power to create such experiences for others. Hosting this event meant to me having the chance to share internationally a part of my (eastern European) identity, hoping to be welcomed by the others.”
THINKING OF EUROPE 2040
In our partnership, the Alfred Herrhausen Gesellschaft hosted a workshop on "Thinking of Europe in 2040”. The 20 Trainers were asked to develop their own visions of what they want from and imagine for the EU in the areas of democracy, climate, economy and how the EU should interact with the rest of the world in 2040.
There was a common understanding on the following points:
- Europe needs a more democratic Union. EU needs more harmonisation in some fields, and to grow closer together as a Union.
- Climate: Indeed, a great concern is to find equal conditions and rights for the climate transition in a Europe with diverse nations.
- In a more interconnected world, migration will gain weight for European global cohesion. Migration shall be based on human dignity: Each should be offered decent living standards, wages and working conditions.
The conversation confirmed the importance of exchange of ideas and visions across Europe to promote European cohesion. An exchange enabled by the partnership between the AHG and the Schwarzkopf Foundation. The Understanding Europe network supports young Europeans to see with their own eyes, stand up for their beliefs in front of others and helps to learn about other people’s history in a self-reflective way.
After three intensive days, all participants agreed on how important this experience and the exchange of perspectives was. Together they connected and reflected on their own privileges and increased their understanding of diversity. Ultimately, its experiences like these that support self-confidence and the ability to think and act for change among young Europeans.