Firstly, about the elections for the European Parliament, France is not really involved, the people don’t really care about this election, this one of the elections with the highest rate of people who don’t vote. And this is for many reasons, first because Brussels and the Parliament always seem to be far away from the National needs. There is also a big lack of trust in the European institution. Like in almost all the European countries people are afraid to lose political power and ability to take some decision in profit of the European Parliament. But this election is still important, it creates a lot of debate, between supporters of the EU but also between EU supporters and those who are against the EU. The thing about this election is that people usually use this one to vote against the actual government of France, voting as a sanction of the national politics and not voting for a European project.
So I had the feeling that in France the European Project as a union of Nations is nowadays a bit of a dead end, people who supported the European Union do not agree with each other. There are so many different visions about the European Union and what it should be that nobody is in agreement with each other. The major threat for the EU is for me that following Brexit more and more political parties want to leave EU, in France but also across Europe. And this is mainly because the EU suffer from a lack of communication about what the institution really do, so it is much easier for the political parties to criticize the EU, and people mostly see the bad aspects of it.
One of the biggest challenges for EU is to manage to stay united and not to be divided. Brexit was from some political parties in France the proof, that we need to leave the EU as fast as possible, but the main part of population in France is more for staying, because the difficulties of the Brexit show to everyone that leaving is not an easy solution. Otherwise an EU without France will be not possible or stupid in regards of the historical past of EU construction.
About Europe in 50 years, we are the leading proof that the EU is full of benefit for the people, for knowing more about each other and building a project.
Text written in February 2019.
Léo Cherel, a volunteer from France.
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.