The European Studies master’s programme at the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder) has been a goldmine for planpolitik in terms of European expertise. Our entire European team, Helen Böhmler, Annegret Menden and Charlotte Wiesenthal, studied there. Two of them and also Alex Kuschel (from the Democracy and Society department) as well as several freelancers had their first encounter with our small company when, as students, they took part in our EU seminar at that same university.
But not only do we regularly present events on Europe at Viadrina University, we also prepare European topics interactively for students of FU Berlin, Leuphana University Lüneburg or the Online Masters course at Centre international de Formation uropéenne (CIFE) – often in a combination of online simulation with a concluding on-site event.
What works with students also works at schools! We’re currently experiencing high demand for the modular workshop “Future of the EU”, our classic on the COD (Ordinary Legislative Procedure) and the simulation game “European Election”. It’s always a particular pleasure to carry out our primary school simulation games during which kids aged 8 and over passionately discuss European issues such as animal welfare and food safety using child-friendly graphics.
Addressing similar topics on a different level, our EU simulation games at the International Training Centre of the ILO in Turin bring together young professionals from a wide range of backgrounds. The games provide an insight into the structure, actors and dynamics of what is commonly referred to as EU lobbying. In Thuringia, we also deal with the representation of interests at the European level: twice a year, we organise a three-day seminar with Thuringian state officials, during which we try together to find a way through the jungle of responsibilities that is Brussels.
Whether it’s for youngsters, students or (young) professionals, planpolitik’s Europe department has an event format on offer for practically every target group. Below, you can read more on the long-term European projects that have taken place in recent months.
Together with our long-standing partner, the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe, we launched the portal Europa unterrichten (“Teaching Europe“) (europa-unterrichten.de) at the beginning of 2019. It provides materials (in German) for interactive workshops and participatory teaching and is aimed at both teachers and trainers in non-formal education.
The current edition revolves around the forthcoming European elections. There are eight modules to choose from, depending on the learning objective, method, duration of implementation and preparation effort, including a jigsaw puzzle featuring EU institutions, and a simulation game on “Avoiding plastic waste”. All activities last between 30 and 135 minutes, the preparation time for the modules usually amounts to a maximum of 20 minutes. Our materials strengthen competences and knowledge in the areas of “recognition”, “analysis” and “judgement”.
With just a few clicks you can download the free materials. Each module is explained in a short manual, while a more detailed manual suggests target-group-specific module combinations. The methods are designed for groups of up to 30 people and young people aged 15 and over, but are also suitable for younger and older adults!
Yet another major EU project! Having started in February 2019, we are conducting our Engage with Europe workshop 48 times throughout Germany on behalf of the European Commission Representation in Germany.
Engage with Europe is taking the debate on the future of the EU to schools, training facilities and youth institutions. The workshop looks at current and future developments in European policy. What are the challenges facing the European Union? What are possible future perspectives? What do young people associate with the EU and what future do they want for Europe?
There are four main topics (Asylum & Migration, Economy & Climate, Peace & Security, Digital Future) to choose from, along which fundamental aspects and dynamics of European politics can be explored. The modular structure of the interactive workshop allows for a varied exploration of the topic and places the participants at the centre.
The duration of the workshop is approx. five hours and is aimed at school groups of all school types from the 10th grade onwards as well as trainees and young people from other institutions from the age of 16. The possible group size is between 15 and 30 participants.
On the project website www.engagewith.eu you will find further information (in German) as well as a contact form for requesting a free event (in Germany). We will then contact you to discuss availability and possible dates.
Senaryon, our platform for online simulation games, is celebrating another premiere: At Euro FH Hamburg, BA students reading International Business Administration are taking part in the online simulation game “Green Europe? Lobbying in the European Union using the example of EU climate policy”. This time, they are not only playing for fame and glory, but also to score 6 ECTS points. After all, the two-week online simulation is a regular part of the course.
To this end, the Senaryon moderation area was expanded, enabling the employees of the Euro FH to evaluate the students’ activities and contributions using a task system. The linking of the activating gaming experience with the evaluation phase consolidates the learning process and contributes to applying what has been learned theoretically to a concrete example.
The high degree of participation proves the innovative approach right: All students are active well beyond the specified semester hours per week and jointly develop a guideline for the reduction of greenhouse gases in transport.
Only a few months after its launch with 150 participants, we are happy to announce that our Union laboratory has been a resounding success. Since launching, the online simulation has been played more than 170 times, drawing more than 1,000 young people into our European experiment. In the Union Laboratory, pupils* from the age of 15 years onwards design their very own EU in just 45 minutes. They do so by assuming the roles of European heads of state, playing with numbers, trends and options and thus getting a direct sense of the impact their decisions could have on the development of the Union.
Solidarity or going it alone – all paths are possible. Each time, however, the event (which was commissioned by the Bertelsmann Foundation and the Heinz Nixdorf Foundation) runs in a different way, training participants to change perspectives, deal with conflicts while drawing their own conclusions about European cooperation. For everything there is to know about the Union Laboratory as well as a free test game, go to unionslabor.de (in German).