At the moment 751 Members of the European Parliament represent the 28 member states with more than 512 million people. Because of the Brexit, the European Parliament voted in February 2018 to decrease the number to 705 members.
With the exit of Great Britain the European Union faced some problems. At the beginning a lot of other countries thought about to follow Britain and also leave the EU. The parliament showed a lot of challenges the Brexit brings and because of that they could avoid it. Although there was a petition for a referendum my home country always was commonly for staying in the EU. Especially the young people want to stay, because if we would for example exit the EU my stay in Madeira would not be possible or we would not be able to do an exchange semester. And the European Union tries to improve the system. One example for that is the threat project. It includes to disseminate guidelines designed to optimize the preparedness of hospitals´ healthcare, infrastructures against terrorist attacks. It all leads to a better European Union, so that in fifty years we all feel safer. I am glad that my country is part of the project of the European Union.
Text written in February 2019.
Julia, from Austria, is 18 years old and is now part of the Madeira Heritage voluntary program. Likes to go hiking, swimming and reading, and is looking forward to learning about the culture and history from this wonderful island.
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.