issue 5, year 3

The School corner

The CATCH-EyoU video series on European institutions and regulations

The first lecture of professor Erik Amnå aimed at embedding the students´work with a social issue into the European Union institutions and regulations. He began by giving an overview of the history and reasons of the birth of the European Union as well as the two different ideological values that now dominate the political culture of the union. The development tendencies on further integration, increased synchronization and a continuos enlargement were then addressed. Thereafter the major political institutions and the decision making processes were described. The various formal authorities of EU when it comes to different policy areas were presented whereafter the actual importance of them were commented. Professor Amnå concluded the presentation of the EU institutions by describing current ideological, territorial and religious conflicts within and around EU before he outlined four diverse scenario of the future of EU.

The CATCH-EyoU video series on European institutions and regulations

In the second lecture Professor Amnå elaborated on the process that should take the social issues the students have chosen into a policy proposal to the European Commission. Basically it reminds about the so called Citizen Initiative which now serves as a channel between the citizens of the member states and the decision making institutions of EU.
Firstly, Professor Amnå stressed that during the final phase of the students´ study of a social issue they will have to define the relevant EU policy area to which their issue belongs. In addition, they have to examine and decide what specific EU-regulations and treaties are applicable. In the lecture, some examples were given. Those who are addressing drug prevention will have to launch their proposal as a public health issue that is covered by Treaty article no 168, while the ones working with gender equality will refer to it as the policy area called Non-discrimination and citizenship that is regulated by Treaties no 18 to 25.
The students were furthermore encouraged to elect a spokesperson who will be the students´contact person in the external communication. Professor Amnå also instructed them to use the consortium’s common technical platform for inviting their fellow students in the other collaborating countries to give their opinion about the work and particularly about the preliminary proposal. In parallel, the students should test their suggestions among local or national stakeholders. After having taken all the comments and suggestions by the students and stakeholders into consideration the proposals will be submitted to the work package leaders in Bologna and Örebro.
At the end of his lecture, professor Amnå explained the final step of the process. The students or their representatives will go to Brussels and present their work and their final proposal both orally and in the format of a poster. This will be done in the presence of politicians, civil servants and stakeholders representing European and general directorates, national ministries, boards, civil society organisations and lobby groups. The event will take place on September 6-7 and will be facilitated by Radio Immaginaria, an Italian radio station that is run by adolescents. Finally, Professor Amnå assured the students that throughout the whole process, at every step help will be offered by the Örebro Team as well as by the Europe Direct offices in every membership country.

Update on activities of IT school – Liceo Bertolucci meets Lorenzo Floresta

One of the main aims of the WP9 CATCH-EyoU intervention is to enhance youths’ sense of ownership and feelings of efficacy and competence in engaging with social and political issues that have a local as well as a European dimension, increasing their awareness of their role as EU citizens. In more concrete terms, students who are involved in the intervention have the opportunity to learn about the EU and its institutions in an active and meaningful way, as they understand in a concrete manner how institutions operate and can be approached for specific issues.
The Italian students who are taking part in this WP, on December 4 had the opportunity to meet Lorenzo Floresta, Coordinator of the International Youth Panel. Lorenzo Floresta is primarily an expert on European studies and EU Policy Advisor. During the meeting, he introduced students to the organization and functions of the National Youth Forum and of the European Youth Forum. More in general, he emphasized the importance of structured dialogue process as instrument for influencing European policies.

Students were stimulated by the rich talk and obtained a useful feedback for their own work. More specifically, considering that during the intervention the Italian students are working on four complex social issues (drug abuse, immigration, environmental pollution, and poverty), Floresta’s precious feedback allowed students to increase their awareness about the main European youth organizations which are committed on the identified topics.

CATCH-EyoU has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement n. 649538