For many young people, the idea of European integration is part of everyday life, they are convinced of it - it is omnipresent. But because it is so commonplace, many take the achievements of European integration for granted and no longer see a need to fight for them.
For others, however, the idea of European integration is irrelevant. They show very little interest in Europe or in political and social processes in general and are much less likely to actively engage with Europe. They take up offers to experience Europe for themselves only sporadically or not at all. Reasons for this are often a lack of incentives to engage with the subject, a lack of experience, but also many prejudices that have built up over time.
Then there are the current crises, which have a direct impact on their daily lives and constantly present new challenges: The Corona pandemic, the climate and economic crises, migration, social divisions, youth unemployment, the war in Ukraine and a general disenchantment with politicians. Insecurities are growing and inequalities are worsening.
European experiences abroad, however, make it possible to engage intensively with the idea and implementation of European integration in its many facets. They make Europe tangible by creating encounters, facilitating friendships and breaking down prejudices. Interpersonal interaction is the prerequisite for the creation of a European community.
In this context, the Europäische Akademie Otzenhausen, the foundation ASKO Europa-Stiftung, the Saarland Employment Agency and the Franco-German Youth Office (DFJW/FGYO) have launched several projects. The aim is to strengthen the European awareness and professional orientation of young adults in the German-French border regions (Greater Region and Upper Rhine) and to initiate cross-border mobility as a personal perspective.