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European Studies Round up

Fri 18th Dec 2020

By European Studies Class Teacher Viki Malcolm

We have had a great first term in EU Studies and have broken the record this year for the number of different nationalities in one class - 9! This term has been spent looking at the history of the European Union, how it came to be and thinking about how the EU touches our lives on a daily basis whether it is the assured safety and quality of the food we eat and the goods we buy or the legislation which underpins our union.

MEP Virtual Meetings

We have been very fortunate to be joined over the course of the term by 4 Dublin MEPs, Frances Fitzgerald, Clare Daly, Barry Andrews and Ciarán Cuffe as well as Minister of State for European Affairs, Thomas Byrne TD. Our discussions were lively and interesting, covering topics from the EU Green Deal to whether Covid and Brexit are overshadowing other, equally vital issues at European Level. Being able to speak to our public representatives is so important as we can directly communicate the issues that are important to us and we are very grateful to everyone for taking the time to join us. The fact that our guests were able to join remotely from either Brussels or Dublin may well be the only silver lining to the Covid cloud!

Model Council of the EU Debate

We are looking forward to next term when we will focus on the decision-making process and the role of the various EU institutions as well as continuing with our weekly discussion of current affairs topics and presentation of EU Member States. We have also applied to be part of the first virtual Model Council of the European Union debate to be hosted by the European Commission Representation Office in the New Year so we have our fingers crossed that we will be able to take part, having had great success representing Belgium for the last two years, as well as Czechia and France in previous debates. 

Erasmus + Project - Generation EU

This term sees an exciting new development for us with the launch of our first Erasmus+ project, Generation EU: Shaping the future of Europe. We are working with a partner school in Ettlingen and 24 students will work on the project over the course of the next 15 months with their partners in Germany. The project focuses on various aspects of the European Union and our own culture and traditions. The motivation behind our project is to raise the participants' awareness of the history, the values, the challenges and the visions for the future of the EU. Students will deal with a range of political as well as economic topics and will have the opportunity to meet those involved in shaping the decision-making process at European level. The project will explore at regional level how our own history and cultural heritage are part of a sense of European identity and there will be a strong focus on the use of new media and innovative working methods.  Over the course of the project, students from Ireland will travel to be hosted by their partners in Germany, their partners will visit us in Ireland and we will all travel together to Brussels as the project draws to a close.

eTwinning Projects

Throughout the academic year 2019-2020, Transition Year students in European Studies and German worked on our eTwinning projects Get up and goals and Auf gut Deustch gesagt. Bringing these projects to fruition during lockdown was a challenge but we did it and we were rewarded in October when both projects won a National and a European Quality Label. Auf gut Deutsch gesagt was also awarded a European Language Label. Congratulations to all involved.