Members of the European Parliament are elected every five years and this year in May will be the next election. As a transnational parliament with directly elected members, the European Parliament is unique in the world. The institution represents the interests of the EU citizen at an European level. The Parliament elects the President of the European Commission and appoints the Commissioners (as a college).
There is more scepticism in the Netherlands about what Europe is and if it is necessary to be in the European Union. In general the Netherlands are positive about Europe but the well-known migration discussion is still a big deal for some people not only in the Netherlands but in the whole (West-)Europe.
Compared with the Netherlands I wonder how people here in Madeira think about Europe. I believe most Madeiran citizens feel like they are in a whole different world even if Madeira is a part of Europe. I hope that in the next couple of years the European Union can invest more in social and cultural projects in Madeira because it is needed.
United in diversity in the Netherlands fits very well. Overall is it safe to live everywhere, to believe in whatever you want, to express yourself no matter what. In other parts of Europe there are still some problems about human rights, religion and the LGBT- community.
I doubt if Europe still exists in 50 years, definitely not like it is at the moment. I hope people will accept each other more and know what human rights and responsibilities are. Europe doesn’t mean only some countries with their borders you can pass by plane, car or train. In Europe there are so many different people with different cultural backgrounds and languages. It is for sure that Europe will not disappear if everyone is able to maintain their own culture.
Text written in February 2019.
Merel Marcuse, a 19-year old girl who loves to sing, take photos of people & nature and to philosophize about everything.
Erasmus+ is a programme of the European Commission embracing the fields of education, training, youth and sports during the period 2014-2020. One of the major aspects is the cooperation between the different fields where the programme acts, hence contributing for a diverse and rich Europe.
Amongst the several goals of the programme, the following are prioritised: the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy, including the headline education target; the aims of the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET 2020), including the corresponding benchmarks; the sustainable development of Partner Countries in the field of higher education; the overall goals of the renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field (2010-2018); the objective of developing the European dimension in sport, in particular grassroots sport, in line with the EU work plan for sport and the promotion of European values in accordance with Article 2 of the Treaty on the European Union.
In order to achieve these goals, the Erasmus+ has several action policies. The Key Action 1 (KA1) is directed towards the mobility of people; Key Action 2 (KA2) for the cooperation for innovation and the interchange of good experiences; and Key Action 3 (KA3) which is for the support of reformation policies.
Since 1991 the University of Madeira Students’ Union has developed a wide incentive policy for voluntary work. In 2013 the Students’ Union started the process to receive, send and coordinate Erasmus+ projects of the European Voluntary Service, in order to have a larger influence in the volunteering field. The Union received its first volunteer withing the ambit of a KA1 project in 2014. Many efforts have been done to allow young people from Madeira to take part in several initiatives in Europe, as well as propose several projects allowing young people from several countries to work in the projects of the Students’ Union of the University of Madeira. The main goal of the voluntary work is the contribution of the volunteers to the communities and places they will be staying, being their work not rewarded with payment.
We believe that the European Voluntary Service is a mechanism full of experiences, allowing the approved candidates to have the privilege of taking part in these projects and benefit the places and communities where these volunteers will be staying.
Since 2013, the University of Madeira Students’ Union has received volunteers that have collaborated in several activities and initiatives. Besides being able to enjoy a wonderful experience which will contribute to their personal and professional growth, they are able to contribute in a unique way to the community in which they are inserted and to join dozens of volunteers from the University of Madeira.