The aim of “School Bridge Europe” is to expand students’ awareness of their national identity in the context of European unification and to motivate them to show long-term commitment to the European concept. Enduring political involvement should stem from the development of European awareness at an early stage.
Central to “School Bridge Europe” are the four project weeks held annually at different locations in Germany for about 50 high school students from three to four countries. In order to participate in the program, the students apply at their schools and subsequently build internationally mixed groups. To begin with, each student group composes a historical overview of its native country and presents it to the other groups. The aim is to allow the students to recognize a common European history in the history of each individual country. The project week is integrated into the curriculum. The topics (education, culture, values, constitution and human rights, economy, war, peace, national security) are prepared and reworked through lectures, discussions, and research. The project week is the highlight of a several-month-long work phase. All the findings are included in a debate on the future, in which the students ponder the core question “What will the European Union be like in the year 2030?” Discussions with politicians, journalists, board members of the Deutsche Nationalstiftung (German National Foundation), and other European personalities round off the program.
The “School Bridge Europe” was developed by the Deutsche Nationalstiftung and is jointly conducted has been run in conjunction with the Robert Bosch Stiftung since 2006. The seminar management is handled by the European Youth Education and Meeting Centre (EJBW) in Weimar. Currently, over 30 schools from 13 European countries (including Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, and France) participate.