News Overview 2017

Young Bridge Builders for Europe

The signing of the Treaty of Rome 60 years ago marked the beginning of the road towards a united Europe. What does Europe mean to young people today? Students from seven different countries have had their say – and they were full of answers like community, diversity, and one big homeland.
Philipp Knichel | March 2017
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Photo: David Ausserhofer/Deutsche Nationalstiftung
Europe is more than just bureaucracy and parliamentary debates: above all, Europe represents peace, human rights, and democracy. These ideas, however, are often difficult to grasp for young people. Since 2007, the SchulBrücke (school bridge) project has been providing the opportunity for encounters and exchange between students from all over Europe. During four project weeks in various German cities, the participants talked about the future of the continent. The goal is that an excitement for Europe and the desire to participate in politics grows from these personal encounters and experiences.

On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the SchulBrücke project, the 48 participants from this year’s cohort met with teachers and alumni at the Heidehof in Stuttgart, home of the Robert Bosch Stiftung. There, they took part in workshops on topics such as cohesion and sustainable agriculture, discussed various possibilities for the involvement of young people in Europe, and contemplated how the continent might look in the near future.

We asked some of the participants about what Europe means for them personally. Read the students’ answers in our photo gallery.

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Photos: David Ausserhofer/Deutsche Nationalstiftung 
Paul (16), Slovakia
"For me, Europe is a community above all else. Although we may come from different countries and speak different languages, I believe that we are all the same, more or less. Our differences shouldn’t separate us. On the contrary, we actually need our differences."

Building a Stronger Europe

We want to help strengthen the democratic structure in Europe. In times where the idea of a unified Europe is facing great challenges, we are having a lively and necessary debate on the future of Europe that extends across national and societal borders.