As part of this project, workshops will be held to raise awareness of cross-border mobility in schools in the Greater Region. Pupils have the opportunity to discuss the opportunities and challenges of cross-border mobility with our multipliers. The aim is to break down emotional barriers when considering a possible stay abroad.
This is intended to give young people a personal European perspective for the future, so that they can experience Europe and then live it themselves.
The Saarland and the Greater Region are located in the heart of Europe and bundle many competences in the field of European civic education and cross-border mobility. The aim is to use these competences and pass them on to young people in order to inspire them for Europe, mobility experiences and political participation.
A particular feature of the SaarLorLux region is the mobility of workers. In recent years, the number of commuters, i.e. employees who commute daily to and from work between the sub-regions of the Greater Region, i.e. Saarland, Lorraine, Luxembourg, Rhineland-Palatinate and Wallonia, has increased significantly and now stands at more than 255,000 people. This makes the Greater Region the largest cross-border commuting area in Europe.
In addition to the mobility of people already in work, the next generation of employees is increasingly coming into focus. Contrary to expectations, the willingness for cross-border mobility is not that high.
In previous projects and seminars of the Europäische Akademie Otzenhausen, fear of autonomy, separation from family and friends and lack of language skills were mentioned by the majority as the biggest obstacles. Another finding was that before simply providing information, emotional hurdles must be overcome to motivate young adults to engage constructively with the issue.
Against this background, in 2015 the Europäische Akademie Otzenhausen, the Saarland Employment Agency and the EURES advisers of the Greater Region launched the project "My border experiences - Living, forming and working in the Greater Region of SaarLorLux", which aims to raise intercultural awareness among young people already in school and to encourage them to engage in a critical and constructive debate on professional or career-related cross-border mobility. Due to the great success of this project (2015-2017), after two years all the partners decided to launch the project "Overcoming Borders, Experiencing Europe" from 2018 onwards, which has been implemented every year since then.
Every year, young adults from Germany and France meet to motivate other young people in the sense of peer group education to think critically and constructively about the opportunities and advantages of a stay abroad, but also about the resulting problems, obstacles and fears. They will be trained as mobility ambassadors by the European Academy Otzenhausen. They acquire skills to pass on their own experiences, well-founded information about European integration as well as different possibilities of stays abroad.
The voices of young people are essential for shaping a European future and the culture of political debate in their respective countries. In this context, the Europäische Akademie Otzenhausen and the foundation ASKO Europa-Stiftung are launching the project "Europe in Schools". Our goals are to activate and inspire young people for participation and to strengthen their European awareness.
For this purpose, we offer school workshops beginning in June 2023, in which students from the 10th grade onwards from Saarland and/or Lorraine have the chance to exchange ideas with young adults - European ambassadors - in the sense of peer group education about the role of the EU in their everyday life and to acquire new knowledge about the EU. Three modules are offered: "Europe in my everyday life", "Living and working in the Greater Region" and "News". Methods of non-formal education are selected, which are based on the Beutelsbach Consensus and are participant-, interest-, problem- and action-oriented. The topics mentioned above are to be worked on by the young people in a playful way during the workshop.
Starting in June in your school!
Every year young adults from Germany and France are trained to motivate other young people in the sense of peer group education to think critically and constructively about relevant topics of the European Union. They will be trained as workshop leaders by the European Academy Otzenhausen. They acquire skills to pass on well-founded information about European integration, to initiate a critical reflection on the history and current opportunities and challenges of European integration as well as on its concrete role in the everyday life of young people