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
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.