What does Europe mean to you?

Among the topics dealt with on Wyred, an online platform that offers young members the opportunity to express their opinions and to compare themselves with young people from other countries, was the one concerning the meaning of Europe.

One of the WYRED partners has developed an online game that allows you to take a journey through the past, the present and the future of Europe: in this case GamifyEU has encouraged the participants to think about the differences between the past and present and then to express their thoughts.

Participants were asked to tell how they felt about the evolution of the European project, whether they have ever had to apply for a travel permit or a visa for work and for students in recent years, if they understand how the EU institutions work and especially if they see the EU in a positive or negative light.

It has been a shared opinion that the European Union means home, protection, and above all, it means to be welcoming towards others without fear of diversity because everyone is unique and unrepeatable.

The European Union gives every individual the opportunity to train and grow as a citizen of the future. In fact, the EU supports the efforts made by the Member States to provide their citizens with a high level of education and training. It promotes multilingualism in Europe, supporting teaching and languages, encouraging the mobility of students, trainees, teachers, and young people and encouraging the exchange of information and experiences: the EU, therefore, protects the present and the future of young Europeans. The EU has the competence and the ability to contact young people from various countries to ensure that lifelong learning and mobility become a reality through creative and innovative projects.

To me Europe means that everyone has equal rights; it means giving people the same possibilities to grow as a person (such as a country if we want to see it from a different point of view)– said a participant –It means helping people to develop what they like, giving them the tools to express their potential (Erasmus+ programmes or similar ones are a good starting point), or even helping them to discover new abilities. It means that, in the end, being part of Europe is like living in one single “nation” made with different cultures connecting with each other”.

A citizen of a non-European Union country said he sees Europe as a place where young people can have so many different opportunities: “European Union is excellent for students and youngsters with so many various Erasmus+ projects and other mobility opportunities, but on the other hand people in the EU and the political bodies are not connected well. That is why today in the EU people don’t know what a MEP has done during his/her mandate and what is the EU doing for their local communities. That is why it is important to use GAMIFYEU and other similar platforms in order learn how it was in the past and to understand what we need to change in the future. The European Union gives great opportunities and it would be even greater if we understood how to properly use them, and all together continue developing the EU”.

Agata Papotto