The Importance of Teaching About the EU

This autumn, European Schoolnet is involved in a series of activities to raise awareness on the importance of bringing the European Union perspective to school. Discover how we are supporting teachers in introducing the EU perspective in their classes with new learning methods and promoting competitions to encourage educators to explain on How does EU democracy relate to citizens' daily lives from an early age.

Teach Europe

on 29 September European Schoolnet launched Teach Europe, an EU-funded project aimed at enriching the pedagogical offer on active citizenship and EU values and remind European citizens to have an active and informed participation in the EU decision making process.

The launch event was held online with participants from across the continent who gathered to exchange observations, ideas and viewpoints on the importance of teaching for and about the EU.


Teach Europe aims to upskill teachers by providing them with innovative learning scenarios to implement an EU perspective across the science and humanities curriculum at K12 level.

A taskforce composed of 12 secondary school teachers from across Europe has been set up to collaborate on the development of these learning scenarios. The scenarios will be piloted in selected schools across Europe and then a Massive Open Online Course will be developed to support other educators in introducing the EU perspective in their classes.

In March of this year, we launched a call for teachers. We received over 600 applications from across Europe and from teachers of every school subject and at every level willing to participate in the project. We selected 12 participants who, in May, gathered at the Future Classroom Lab for a 3-day workshop. Since then, they have been working on their respective learning scenarios individually as well as in collaboration with other taskforce members. In the coming months they will proceed with the piloting of the learning scenarios in their own classrooms.

The goal of the project is to upskill teachers to discuss with their students the rights and obligations they have as EU citizens. What does it mean to be an EU citizen? Why is it important to be an active citizen? How has the EU impacted our lives so far? How is it influencing them today? What future do we want for our shared Europe?

In times of economic, social, and political tension, we are seeing an increase in radicalisation, polarisation, and division, all of which are bound to raise questions in the heads of young children and teenagers. Moreover, the 2024 European Elections are just around the corner and for many students this will be the first time that they will be allowed to vote. Across the EU, voting rights regulations vary but in countries where 17-year-olds can vote, many are reaching this age and will be able to vote for the first-time next year.

As these developments are unfolding, who is there to teach students the basics of the European Union's history, values, rules, policies, and institutions? The education systems, schools and teachers have the responsibility to prepare students for life and work in the 21st century which requires a variety of new skills, including the ability to exercise active citizenship. Is the current K12 curriculum equipped to support students in their journey as active EU citizens? Are teachers prepared to have this conversation with their students? Do they have the necessary pedagogical materials to use? Have they received the training they need to feel confident to undertake this conversation with their pupils?

This is where initiatives such as Teach Europe come into focus. Through this project, European Schoolnet is playing its part in supporting teachers to prepare students for active citizenship and to empower pupils to participate in the European democratic process.

We are pleased to partner with the Authority for European Political Parties and European Political Foundations for a competition which invites whole classes to participate with an essay and a video on the topic of "Democracy as part of the EU's DNA: How does EU democracy relate to citizens' daily lives? What can we do to make EU democracy as lively and the voices of citizens as relevant as possible?". The winners will have the opportunity to visit the European Parliament in Brussels, meet with European personalities and learn more about the functioning of the European Union.

Through such initiatives, we hope to empower teachers to encourage young people to participate in the European democratic process and to give pupils the knowledge they need in order to understand and confidently participate in the citizenship events around them.

Visit the Teach Europe website here.

Learn more about the APPF Competition here.